How to give employees a mentally healthy induction
There are significant costs, time and investment required to find and select a new employee. For this reason, there is a lot of pressure to ensure that new employees have a successful induction into the workplace.
Digicast found that employers risk much higher rates of new hire turnover if an induction fails to properly introduce a new employee. Within their first week, about 25% of new employees decide to leave their new firm, and by the third month, this rate increases to 47%.
Employee induction checklists are often focused primarily on the operational requirements to initiate an employee into the company. However, the employees wellbeing can often be overlooked as the most important factor in the success of their transition.
A mentally healthy induction ensures an employees mental health is considered and accounted for. Employers who are proactive in supporting the mental health of current and new hires can support long term team balance and reduce the amount new hire turnover.
Check if these mentally healthy items are included as a part of your induction:
Employee Assistance Program
New employees should be given a clear outline of the wellness programs and health perks offered to them. In particular, it is vital they understand how they can request counselling services, apply for leave and report bullying, harassment or discrimination. Check your workplace follows mental health and safety requirements.
For organisations who offer their employees pro-active employee assistance, this is a great time to reinforce the value and priority that the company places on employee happiness and wellbeing. Employees should be encouraged to register with these programs during their induction. This immediately opens contact and access to wellbeing training and coach support, ensuring your employee has adequate and accessible resources to deal with any stress in their new role.
Short Term Goals
It has been found that 60% of companies report that they do not set short-term goals for new hires. This is surprising considering the benefits of improving communication in the short term between managers and employees. By making goals in the near future, employees are encouraged to ask for help and feedback early on the tasks required within their role.
It is recommended that as part of on-boarding, you set clear goals with targets that you are confident the new employee will meet. This not only integrates the employee in a positive way, but gives room for a manager to discuss gaps in their skill set and gradually increase responsibility over time.
Develop Manager-Employee Relationship
It is well known that the relationship between a new employee and their manager has a huge impact on their success at the company. It is vital that managers schedule time on the employees first day. This one-on-one time should build a solid first point of contact who they can reach out to and communicate any queries or concerns.
As a part of this relationship, there should be a clear channel of communication where an employee fully understands their roles and responsibilities, performance targets and relationship within their team. A manager should empower their new team member by discussing their position in the organisational chart and career goals.
Consider regular management training if you know or learn (see follow up) this is a weakness in your new hire experience.
Employees starting in a new team must form relationships not only with their manager, but also with those who they will be working closely with in their team. This will mean new employees are more confident to ask for help if they need it.
A great way of doing this is for a manager to work with the new employee to identify 5-10 people who they will contribute to the success of, or who will contribute to their success. With these people in mind, the new employee can schedule time to plan and connect with these people during their first year. This develops a useful network with which they can ask for guidance, learn and develop.
It has been suggested that new employees can take an average of 8 months to fully integrate into their role. Despite this, 37% of company induction activities end after just one month. When you first induct the employee, make a plan of the 60 day, 90 day and 120 day check ups when you will be meeting to review their experiences and performance. With a clear check-in process, an employee can prepare their queries and not feel like a burden in wanting to talk about their role.
Each company induction is different, and so to improve your induction process the best way is through feedback and communication with those who have experienced it. Reach out to new hires and find out the strengths and weaknesses of your induction, what worked and what confused them. Use this information for your next hire and keep iterating to optimise the process.
Uprise is a proactive employee assistance program (EAP) provider that improves employee engagement, retention and performance by enhancing psychological wellbeing. Learn more about how our program solves employee stress.
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