Keeping employees engaged can be a never-ending struggle, and the methods used to achieve it will continue to change with the behaviors and needs of the emerging and changing  workforce. In fact, Deloitte’s 2014 Global Human Capital Trends study shows that 78% of business leaders believe employee retention and engagement is urgent or important, yet only 29% of the workforce is actively engaged in their work.

Instilling confidence in your workforce from day one can help set the foundation for an engaged workforce. With cooperation from various levels of leadership, you can work to retain your new employees and strategically groom them to be engaged. Here are 3 ways you can instill confidence in your employees during the onboarding stages of their employment.

#1. Confidence in Leadership

Employees that are confident in their leadership will provide employers with a more engaged workforce. In fact, 70% of employees who lack confidence in the abilities of senior leadership are not fully engaged. Having confidence in leadership can be a huge factor in retaining and engaging new employees. Company leaders should inspire employee confidence by taking a look at these tips:

  • Master the skill of communication. It doesn’t take much to be a skilled communicator. Two key ingredients to achieving this? Listening and asking questions. Take an interest in your people and listen to what they’re telling you. Open up those lines of communication from day one so employees feel confident that you are on their side and you are paying attention to them. Try this: Tell your new employee how to reach you and when you’re most likely to respond. If email takes a few hours, tell them now so they don’t get anxiety about radio silence.
  • Build on your relationships. If you want people to follow your lead, you have to earn and foster their trust. One of the most effective ways to do this can simply be to display your integrity. Invite challengers to discuss their thoughts with you and admit to them when you are wrong. Continuously exchanging feedback is perhaps the greatest display of relationship building there is. Try this: Create a small document that details the company values and your team’s values, then try to think of a practical example of when you’ve seen that displayed on the team. Go through this document with new hires so they can not only see the values, they can envision them.
  • Keep your talent development organized. Put continuous effort into developing your talent. There should be a clear understanding of what your organization’s talent needs are and how you plan to use your employees’ strengths and competencies to reach those goals. These efforts should be understood and supported by managers so they can help improve employee development. Try this: Make HR an area of continuous improvement by consulting new vendors of HR Technology. Often, free reports, webinars and templates are available to help improve your talent management processes day over day. 
  • Be a confident decision maker. Work to understand your decision-making process to ensure the right decisions are being made at the right time. It will be hard to earn employee’s trust if they are questioning each and every decision you make because of misguided mistakes you might have made in the past. Try this: When you make mistakes, take it as a teaching opportunity to show your teams that mistakes do happen and we should own up to them.

The first step to instilling confidence in your workforce is making sure leadership is making a conscious and genuine effort to connect with their people. Employers should use these tips to groom the leaders of their company so that they can lay a strong foundation for each new employee that is brought on.

#2. Become socially responsible

A recent study done by IO Sustainability links employee productivity and retention to companies with corporate social responsibility programs. In fact, the study revealed that CSR programs increased employee productivity by 13% and reduced turnover by as much as 50%. The presence of these programs also sheds a positive light on the employer brand.

Employers can build confidence in their workforce by implementing CSR programs that appeal to the interests of their people. Taking into account the kinds of causes that are important to them will go a long way in your quest for trust and confidence. Take a look at which forms of giving (cash donations, volunteering, etc.) will provide the greatest empowerment to your workforce.

#3. Demonstrate the impact of employees’ work

Today’s workforce is engaged by purposeful, impactful work that makes a difference in the world. They want to see how their hard work pays off in the big picture. Showing employees what the end result of their work does for the industry is a great way to instill confidence and engage the workforce.

A great example of this is Google’s policy which allows employees to dedicate 20% of their time to working on projects of their choosing, as long as they align with company values and goals. This policy has enabled the creation of things like Gmail and Google News.

Employers should have managers seek out their teams to describe clearly what the goals of the organization are and how those employees’ jobs are integral to the success of the goals. Leaders should enable their people to foster an ongoing interest in their work by providing them with the tools, inspiration, and time to hone their skills and track how their efforts contribute to the bigger picture.

Companies with engaged employees outperform companies without by up to 202%! If employers want to reap the benefits of an engaged workforce, they should start early by laying a solid foundation of trust and confidence with their people from day one. Having effective onboarding processes is one of the most valuable ways to retain new hires. Ask us how Click Boarding can help your company engage employees today!

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