If you want to motivate new employees starting on day one, SHRM (The Society for Human Resource Management) tells us that there are several effective ways of properly onboarding employees. Moreover, they’ve found that the positive results of effectively welcoming new hires is that both employee AND employer reap long-term benefits.
According to SHRM, effective onboarding will increase job satisfaction, organizational commitment and performance levels. In addition, motivating new employees in this way can reduce turnover and new employee stress levels. What’s more, motivating new employees can be as simple as creating the right video onboarding tool.
Traditional onboarding often consists of classroom-style lectures and accompanying slide decks, with documentation the new hire must study. Providing video is more memorable and far more effective than a lecture. It’s a way to build trust of company executives and ensure that the message to new employees is consistent. In addition, top-notch onboarding that includes video can reduce in-house training costs, and even reduce turnover in the first 90 days of employment.
Here are six great ideas to help you motivate you new hires. You may only need one or two of them, or you may decide, over time, to implement them all! Whatever you decide, these tips can vastly improve your onboarding process.
Separate the information you want to convey into manageable pieces. For example, one video could be a welcome video from the CEO; another might come from department heads and so forth.
If you’ve got an employees-only website, you can easily build a library of onboarding videos and update them regularly. If every employee, no matter how long they’ve been with the company, has access to the library, they can revisit information that they need to reinforce. This kind of “tribal” knowledge can be invaluable in building a UnionProof culture and becoming an Employer of Choice.
Another advantage of distributing video information online in these bite-sized chunks is that you won’t overwhelm your new hires by providing all the information they need at one time. It’s easy to set up an email campaign that spaces out delivery of links to these videos in sequential order, based on the employee’s start date and job requirements.
Consider adding an online method for new hires to contact HR with questions as part of your portal. That way, when they see something in one of the videos that they have questions about, they can reach out immediately, which the question is fresh, rather than waiting until they get to HR.
Get input from existing employees on the topics you need to motivate new hires. Ask existing employees of differing seniority in what ways they got “lost” when they were new!. Also, ask them what they know now that they wish they’d known when they first joined the company.
By carefully planning out each of these “sticky” areas, you can address them and make your new hires productive that much more quickly.
Here are some topics you may want to include in a multi-day orientation program:
Ease your new employees into day-to-day company operations with videos on things they might otherwise never know about your company. These videos can cover topics that may seem mundane but are vital in feeling knowledgeable about the company. Examples include how to use necessary equipment, IT policies, how to get support if something goes wrong, and a wide variety of other day-to-day challenges.
Operational videos are also useful for reference – they’re the sort of content that the new hire may return to later, when they encounter that particular challenge. Think about how to contact maintenance if there’s a building issue, who’s in charge of phones or email, even how the sales department brings in new customers.
Of course, your onboarding videos should reflect your company culture. Expand on that idea with fun videos that illustrate what it’s like to work at the company. Create a “day in the life” video of one employee, or edit input from a variety of employees into one video.
Your team members can share testimonials on a variety of topics, such as what they do, their biggest challenge, their greatest satisfaction, the resources they find most useful, the help they can offer to new employees, and what they like about their job or the company. If you have employees whose career paths have included a series of promotions, arrange for them to provide a testimonial on career opportunities for long-term employees.
If you’re responsible for onboarding new employees, video is a tool you don’t want to ignore. Don’t get overwhelmed if you don’t have a video library right now. Since you’ll be creating specific videos to address specific topics, you can easily build a library over time. The most important thing is just getting started!
We all know what’s supposed to excite employees – raises, getting out early on Fridays, crazy hat Wednesdays to spice up the humdrum workweek. But does your management team really understand motivation from the perspective of the employee? Put an end to these communication mistakes that are discouraging your employees.
Sure, we all know those employees who make no genuine effort and complain even when management attempts to improve things. But mature employees respond positively to clear direction and leadership. If several of your employees from different departments were interviewed, would they give the same answers to questions like, “How is the company organized?” Getting a variety of different answers to this kind of question shows a lack of cohesion, or worse, a complete misunderstanding of the corporate goals and chaos at the company.
In short, if you are hearing about little incidents of confusion or mistakes, assume that a deeper underlying issue needs to be addressed. Leadership needs to be trained on the communication mistakes that they are making. Training is not a week-long event for new hires but an ongoing process for all employees.
According to a study by the University of Vermont, people from around the world experienced better moods in the morning, dipped throughout the afternoon and peaked again in the evening. The study revealed how managers can’t simply remove negatives, like low pay or long hours, to boost employee motivation. This will only bring employees to neutral.
Once the negatives of the environment are removed, management should begin educating employees about the positives – why it matters personally for employees to succeed at the company. Communicate clearly with employees about how their contributions contribute to the larger goals of the company – this type of employee message creates a giant positive for the entire workforce.
From a management perspective, it makes sense that the hardest working employees should reap the benefits. Thus to weed out the slackers, you put your employees to the test – who has the best attitude or is the most creative? But in reality, all employees have this potential, and making your staff compete for treats is a surefire way to create resentment.
Instead of encouraging competition, which creates tension between and within employees, encourage respect. Your employees were hired with the confidence that they were skilled and capable. Don’t revoke that respect once they clock in.
By regularly engaging with employees to let them know their efforts are appreciated, you’ll show them that you respect them, something that can be inspirational for the entire company!
In 2014, Monster discussed a puzzling phenomenon in the workplace that has been growing – employees failing to use paid time off. Their assertion was that companies discourage vacation time in subtle ways; for example, by adopting complicated protocols for requesting time off or rewarding employees who don’t take vacations with more hours. If you find these roadblocks at your company, work to remove them.
Even better, communicate at least annually with employees about the benefits available to them, and how they can take advantage of them. This kind of communication elevates your employer brand and instantly raises employee satisfaction.
By being aware of these common communication mistakes, your management team can operate more smoothly with its employees. It’s not always logistical changes that need to be made, but expectation changes on both sides. The Projections employee communication team can help you connect with employees and set expectations precisely where they should be for your employer brand.
As a busy human resources professional, monitoring your company’s website for employee data privacy may not be high on your list of priorities. You may think it’s marketing’s job to deal with the website, but company websites are often keepers of far more data than you probably imagine. Making sure your company is successfully prepared – including not just policies but action plans – is crucial. As an HR professional, you are also in an excellent position to engage employees and communicate changes to data policies, creating greater trust and understanding between employees and the company.
When it comes to your company’s website, you might be surprised at the amount of employee data hidden there. From inactive web pages, to employee image data, even hidden meta descriptions in PDF documents, finding and removing that data is a very real challenge. But employee data privacy is an issue that should be addressed by the HR team regularly and systematically.
No longer can HR teams abdicate responsibility for employee information. Make it a point to be involved as your company builds security protocols and plans for any incident or privacy concerns. Company policies should specifically address employee communications and you should let employees know that all files can be monitored for security weaknesses.
In 2018, the new GDPR requirements provided privacy legislation within the EU (affecting many US businesses that sell products or employ workers globally). GDPR gives everyone the right to be “forgotten” by a website – meaning have all their data removed. This also applies to employees.
So if you have an employee who has created company documents and posted them to your website, the metadata contained in those documents could easily still identify that former employee, violating their “right to be forgotten.” This is just one area of which HR professionals need to be aware.
In 2017, credit bureau Equifax was hit by one of the biggest website data breaches in history. Hackers exploited a vulnerability in a web application to access customers’ Social Security numbers, addresses, dates of birth, driver’s license numbers, and credit card numbers.
The consequences of the data breach were terrible for both Equifax and its employees. The company experienced a significant loss of reputation. Although the company managed to come to an agreement with some state banking regulators in the United States to avoid paying fines, it faced large financial penalties in the United Kingdom and other areas. Meanwhile, Equifax employees were left in the dark about the data breach.
Simple communication from the HR team might have helped Equifax maintain it’s trust and relationship with employees following the data breach. Instead, after the breach was over, the company faced the challenge of working to reestablish its reputation among its own workforce.
Staying on top of policies, protocols and specific employee data privacy issues can be tedious, but there are tools available to HR professionals to help make this task more manageable. Siteimprove is one such resource, and Collibra offers a whitepaper on “Data Privacy Regulation.”
It’s particularly important to address any area where sensitive or personal employee data is concerned. Communication is key, and your employees need to be reassured that all data is stored on a secure site (https). If your company has one, make sure you connect with your security team to understand correct protocol. If there’s no team in place, it’s even more vital to ask the right questions:
Within your own team, be sure that access to employees’ personal data is limited to those that actually need to use it to perform their jobs. To reduce vulnerability, those with access should also create protocols for archiving, storing or deleting old or unnecessary employee data.
Always keep an eye to proactively creating easy-to-understand data protection policies. Be sure that those on your team that work with employees’ private data understand the laws that apply to that data. Maintaining employee trust is vital to your reputation as an employer of choice, and giving employees this peace of mind around their data is a vital part of that trust.
Ready to let employees know they can trust your company to protect their personal information? A custom-crafted online safety video from Projections can help you communicate with both your workforce and their families.
When a union has you — and your employees — in its sight, you need to be ready to respond. Union leadership had months to prepare, to start engaging your employees, and to lay the groundwork for a unionization drive. Your business can’t afford to cobble together a strategy once a representation vote is imminent; you need to have a well-thought-out communications game plan. Here are a few tips to help craft your message:
Your labor team needs to communicate with employees during an organizing drive. But before they do, it’s vital to understand that the laws are explicit about what kind of communication is permissible. The team of people working to help keep your company union-free will be in charge of overseeing the message, understanding what is said, to whom and when. Beyond that, the labor team (even if it’s a group of leaders who normally have other primary responsibilities) must know what resources are available to them to help them communicate well. This includes attorneys, persuaders & consultants and those that provide video, web, and eLearning tools dedicated to keeping your company union-free.
So, do your research and know what’s legal as well as what’s recommended for your unique company and workforce ahead of time. Then, when you do have to manage a campaign to keep your company union-free, you’ll be well-prepared.
Next, remember that your supervisors are out every day interacting with employees… making them your best source of information about what’s going on with your workforce. Empower those in supervisory positions and promote positive employee relations by providing confidence-boosting training that helps them understand not only what cannot be said to employees – but what CAN and SHOULD be said during an organizing drive. Supervisors can state that the company is opposed to unionization, highlight the disadvantages of union membership, and point to misleading statements in union propaganda. Supervisors cannot prohibit employees from wearing union buttons or demand to know if they’ve signed a union authorization card. Provide them with the skills they need to conduct meetings with employees, recognize distribution of authorization cards, and implement other targeted communications.
Any team member that is expected to lead and to communicate with employees needs powerful leadership training to avoid mistakes – and Unfair Labor Practice charges – that could lead to fines and penalties for your company, and stress for your management team. This gives you time to prepare your response and make your case to your employees.
Why are your employees even considering joining a union in the first place? If you can answer that question, maybe you can prevent this problem altogether. In a union-free environment, one option is to empower your supervisors to engage employees directly and solicit feedback. If there are consistent grievances, you may have your answer. A more involved option is to organize a “town hall” with executives to speak to employees and even the families of employees directly. This is a slightly more risky idea, but if your leadership is prepared and willing, this can put a more human face on your company.
Finally, your internal processes can include regularly conducted employee engagement or union vulnerability assessments and surveys. When conducted by an outside company, these processes can help upper management gain insight, understanding, and the ability to take action on the right things.
The time to plan your communications strategy is before an organizing drive – not during. Whoever makes up your labor team – be it staff dedicated to this area or communications teams and senior management – needs to sit down and create templates for several key publications: a response to an organizing drive so employees immediately understand that the company is aware and listening, educational information about the effects of unionization and why the company wants to remain union-free, and what to say once an organizing drive has ended (and what it means for the business going forward).
This pre-prepped communications plan applies to company emails and press releases, but if your labor team wants to directly engage and refute union messaging, the best medium can be a website, dedicated to the organizing drive – and addressing only that topic. This kind of site can be created and kept in a “dark” state until it’s needed.
This is where your labor & communications teams earns their keep. Your internal and public communications need to be clear, consistent and positive. Your leadership needs to have the authority to control all management interactions with the media and ensure that no company leaders “wing it” and go off-message. That message needs to state the facts and avoid painting the dispute as bitter or unpleasant. Remember, all you need to communicate is where the company stands and that events are ongoing. Anything else is just noise.
Your message needs to be thoughtful, consistent and constructive. Every communication you release will be picked over by your employees, the union and, depending on the level of coverage, the media. What you say, and how you say it, will reveal a lot about how your organization is weathering the storm and how soon you can get back to business.