Ask any HR representative in any industry and they will tell you just how important the onboarding process is to employee satisfaction, workplace morale, and productivity. This is the time when the new hire not only learns about the company processes but also when they begin to build their own identity that is aligned with the organization. However, according to a recent study done in the senior living industry, it seems as though these important sentiments lessen may significantly after just a year at work. 

Employees in Their First Year Are More Engaged at Work

The research study found that individuals within their first year on the job were significantly more engaged than those who had been with the senior living organization for longer – about 10%. This cutoff was pretty dramatic and then leveled off, with employees who had been with the company for two years having the same (lowered) engagement rates as those who had been around for over a decade. It is likely that, when employees are new, they feel like they need to build their reputations and “prove themselves” on the job, trying harder and being more invested in their performance. 

They Also Believe the Company’s Values Are More Aligned 

This same study found that, when employees first start at the senior living facility, they believe that the company’s values are evident in the everyday work. However, the longer an employee stays with the company, the less likely they are to believe that the values are reflected in the workplace. The reason for this could be due to the fact that company values are stressed highly during the onboarding process, whereas many employees might not even be able to remember those values after a year or more on the job. 

How Can Employers Extend These Sentiments Over Time? 

The onboarding process is an important time that can help determine an employee’s success within the company – regardless of industry. However, if senior living facilities want to make sure that their employees continue to stay engaged with their work and see the company’s values reflected in their work, this needs to be an ongoing conversation. 

Companies can help extend the benefits of the onboarding process by continuing to give employees individualized attention and recognition for a job well done. Even if they have been with the organization for a number of years and doing the work has become second nature, employers should continue to recognize employees’ effort both publicly and privately. By doing so, you can strengthen workplace morale and keep employee satisfaction levels high even after the honeymoon period ends. 


Photo by Clark Tibbs on Unsplash