You probably are not surprised to hear that employees in their first year of work – in the senior care industry and others – are more engaged than those who have been at the company for longer. What you might not know, however, is that this number generally does not continue to decrease over time. The lowered engagement rates are the same for someone who has been there just over a year, or more than ten years.
Essentially, the excitement of a new job starts to fade. Employees feel less invigorated with the office and their responsibilities. The “Honeymoon Period” ends.
So, what are companies and HR managers to do? With the stress of daily tasks and the urgency of filling open positions, it can be difficult to focus on the current employees. However, making the time and energy to do so will improve efficiency levels and workplace morale, lowering turnover rates as a result.
Keep the following recommendations in mind if you want to extend employee engagement beyond the first year.
Publicly appreciate employees for a job-well-done
One of the main reasons that employees start to become disengaged is because they feel like they are no longer being monitored as closely. Basically, their work does not matter as much. During the onboarding period, employees get lots of feedback, but this dries up over time. By doing company “shout outs” and recognizing team members – old and new – for their continued good work, you let your employees know that their efforts are noticed and appreciated.
Regular team-building and strengthening exercises
Learning the company values is another big part of the onboarding experience. But these are rarely revisited after this time. By having a company-wide team building day once a year or so, you can remind your employees of what they are working toward together. In addition to these programs, it would also be a good idea to consider supervisor engagement training to extend these benefits over the course of the year.
Make communication part of your company culture
Having an open-door policy is critical for getting feedback and improving your company work processes. Make sure employees know that they can come to you (or their direct supervisor or HR manager) if they are not feeling challenged or engaged. At least once a year, you should also be conducting stay interviews, particularly with your top performers. This lets these employees know that you are actively invested in their experience working with your company.