New employees start out excited about their new job, eager to dive into their work, and proud to be part of their department, college, or unit. Newly hired faculty and staff are among the most highly engaged employees at the University. While an effective onboarding plan sets them up for success, the ultimate goal is to keep them engaged over the coming months and years.
Onboarding is an engagement strategy. Engagement is about motivating and supporting a group of people as they work together toward a set of common goals and priorities. Onboarding is about figuring out how to motivate and support a new person as they join your department, college, or unit.
As a supervisor, you can take steps to ensure that onboarding leads to an engaged and productive employee and foster the conditions that create and sustain a high level of employee engagement.
Set goals and have regular check-in conversations
One of the most important things you can do as a supervisor to sustain engagement is establish regular ongoing check-ins to talk about performance and development. Set performance expectations right away so the employee is aware. Have conversations in a way that’s supportive and that happen over time, so it’s not the annual performance review that everybody dreads.
The Quick Guide to Goal Setting outlines the best practices that make the process of setting expectations more effective. Steps include asking for input, identifying 3-5 most important expectations in both results (the "WHAT") and behaviors (the "HOW"), connecting their work to broader priorities, and checking in. Review the materials below to get started. For more detailed information on the goal setting process, see Module 2: Managing and Evaluating Performance of this course.
Apply: find and use resources
The Employee Engagement module in this Supervisory Development Course is a fully online, self-paced module designed to help you learn about the ten conditions that foster employee engagement, the three stages of the employee engagement cycle, as well as provide tools and resources you can use to ensure that new employees have the support they need.
Review the Employee Engagement module and see what you can do to create and sustain a high level of employee engagement.