One way that recognition can become a way of life in your organization is to integrate recognition practices and the use of your recognition programs into every facet of the lifetime employee experience.
This is the first of six posts that will outlines different areas along the career path of a typical employee, and where you can embed recognition into their everyday life at your organization.
Let’s take a look.
Starting Off Right with Onboarding
Onboarding is usually all about what an employee gets for working with your organization and then having to fulfil all the legal and Human Resources compliance tasks. These are boring or negative at worst. They have to get done.
Recognition needs is one tool in your toolbox that you can use when welcoming your new hires.
1. Pre-boarding—Before They Start: Consider including some recognition right with pre-boarding even before the candidates first day of work.
There’s an expectation and etiquette suggesting prospective candidates write a thank you letter to the individual who interviewed them representing the employer. Turn the tables on this activity and plan in sending the candidate a letter thanking them for considering your organization as a place of employment. Summarize what impressed you about them, where you could see their talents and abilities would fit, and when a decision on whether an offer would they would make an offer to them.
Invite them to come to lunch with their new manager and few of the employees they would work with once they accept the position. You can even follow up this noon hour gathering with a tour of the offices, plant, or office location, where they will be working.
Make sure you announce to everyone in the office about the new hire and when they’ll start working with the organization. Employees know them before they arrive on day one. Invite and encourage everyone who will be work colleagues with the new employee to do whatever small things they can make them feel especially welcome.
2. Make Them Feel Welcome: If there was no opportunity or organizational support for onboarding recognition activities, then you at least have the chance to roll out the red carpet for new employees on day one.
Ghosting occurs in the workplace where a candidate extended a job offer then ends the relationship by not responding, or, even if they accept the position, then don’t show up on the first day.
So, some welcome activities are more likely to happen when the employee arrives on the first day.
Many companies and organizations are working with vendors to create wonderful welcome baskets. These boxes or baskets typically contain a welcome letter from the CEO or their manager, along with gift-like items such as,
- Ballpoint pen
- A branded cap or perhaps a sweat shirt
- Sample product items from the organization, if appropriate
- Depending on their role, a nameplate
3. Start the Employee Off with Recognition: Instead of only showing the recognition and rewards they can receive working for your organization, switch the table on them and set the expectation for them to give recognition to others.
Provide them with a branded Thank You note and a ballpoint pen. Show them exactly how to write the perfect thank you card. Then invite them to thank a new colleague or someone in the organization who made them feel especially welcome or helped them during their first week on the job. And, if you have online recognition programs, orient them how they can use the same methods to send an e-card to express their appreciation to a fellow employee who has made a difference to them.
Recognition becomes a way of life when you start off right with recognition.
Recognition Reflection: How can you better integrate recognition principles into your onboarding practices?
Roy is no longer writing new content for this site (he has retired!), but you can subscribe to Engage2Excel’s blog as Engage2Excel will be taking Roy’s place writing about similar topics on employee recognition and retention, leadership and strategy.