If you want to increase new employees' chances of success at your company, you should offer them structured training.
That's the finding of a new survey that found that new employees adjust better to their workplace with structured processes, such as orientation training and mentorship programs.
“Simply throwing newcomers into a job and letting them fend for themselves results in their being socialized by default rather than design,” said Jamie Gruman, a business professor at the University of Guelph, in Ontario, Canada.
Personal engagement at work, described as bringing one’s full self to the job, spending time thinking about the job and becoming engrossed in one’s work, is considered key to a new employee’s commitment and performance and affects the company's productivity, Gruman said.
The study found that more structured orientation for new employees made employees happier and more confident, and strengthened their feeling that they're a good fit for both the job and the organization. In turn, those highly desirable outcomes made employees feel engaged.
Organizations should use these tactics to help build relationships with employees, Gruman said. But he said formal processes should be just a starting point, as they lead only indirectly to employee engagement. To be fully engaged , people must feel “safe” — supported by their superiors and colleagues — and feel that their work is meaningful.
He also suggests companies give employees the opportunities to develop personal strengths such as self-confidence as well as the material resources they need to do their job well.
"Companies benefit from boosting their employeesâ well-being ," Gruman said. Helping new hires adjust at the start empowers them to achieve their potential later on."
Gruman conducted the study with Alan Saks of the University of Toronto. It was published last week in the Journal of Managerial Psychology.
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