MYTH: Swing and a miss! The truth is, your newest team members are your most impressionable ones and more importantly, they are often most willing to give that extra level of discretionary effort (the very definition of “employee engagement”) at this stage in the game.
The moment they are done with initial training is the time to let them in on all the action! Yep, the beginning of a new employee’s journey with you is actually THE MOST IMPORTANT TIME to engage them.
This approach accomplishes a few things:
- sets the standard for your company culture
- sets your expectations (and theirs)
- allows you to reward them for meeting & exceeding those expectations
- reignites the fire and hunger to win in your tenured employees
When your tenured employees see the fire ignited in the newer team members who are winning awards, that often reignites the fire for them too! Unless they are complete sticks in the mud, of course, and that’s a talk for another day.
Remember, employee recognition isn’t just about the people who are being recognized. It’s about the effects that well-managed and consistent recognition has on the whole team!
By the way, this only works if you have a solid foundation and criteria in place for picking who will be recognized. Then you can tell your tenured folks EXACTLY why they got spanked by the newbies when that happens. And it will happen. We’ve seen it over and over again in our own organization!
Super-pro Tip: To foster growth and acceptance within your company’s culture, you can provide a separate recognition program for your newest people. When newer employees are not on a level playing field pertaining to winning Employee of the Month and other rewards, they’re more likely to leave. However, if they have their own category of award, you will have a chance to acknowledge their successes and contributions much earlier!