From top hire to top performer: the importance of employee integration

Employee integration

It’s a common scenario: Company X has just hired a highly talented new employee and in anticipation of his arrival, his PC has been prepped, a copy of the employee handbook has been left for him to read through, and a full set of stationery is ready and waiting on his desk.

Upon his arrival, he is greeted with a basic presentation detailing the company culture and basic rules of the office and taken to his desk.

Company X feels happy and satisfied that the new hire has been onboarded and is now ready to start contributing to the success of the business.

Does the talented new employee feel the same? No!

The dangers of poor employee integration

Studies have shown that 22% of staff turnover occurs in the first 45 days of employment. Making an employee feel welcome isn’t hard, but it doesn’t necessarily motivate them and set them up to be a star performer either.

Traditional onboarding processes, typically involving a brief presentation and PC setup, are not enough to successfully integrate new hires into the culture of the company.

What’s more, employees who are not onboarded successfully can quickly turn toxic as their misalignment with the company culture creates a disconnect between them and the rest of the organization.

Practical tips for developing an employee integration strategy

Developing an employee integration strategy that gets your new hires up to speed with company culture and guidelines quickly and seamlessly is not overly complicated. By following a few simple steps and tracking employee progress through the help of software tools, companies can ensure their top hires quickly become top performers:

  1. Start early. Engage with the employee before they join to ensure they feel welcome and can hit the ground running.
  2. Get them online ASAP by setting up their desks, contact lists, laptop or PC and everything else they need to get started ahead of their arrival.
  3. Assign a mentor to help them get up to speed and navigate office politics.
  4. Help them develop a career plan. Studies have found that the main reason people leave a job is a lack of opportunity for advancement. A career plan makes employee growth and development a priority and lessens the likelihood of them leaving.
  5. Give them regular feedback. According to PwC, 60% of employees want daily or weekly feedback, but most organizations still only conduct performance reviews annually or biannually. Software tools such vi’s can bring organizations closer to the holy grail of performance reviews: real-time feedback.
  6. Create a culture of continuous learning and development. Some studies have shown that nearly two-thirds of millennials believe it is management’s job to provide training opportunities for accelerated learning. And with Deloitte predicting that three-quarters of the workforce will be made up of millennials by 2025, it’s just good business to start building that culture now.
  7. Keep them challenged with internal gigs. There’s no denying the allure of the gig economy, where talented workers choose projects that are exciting, challenging or aligned with their broader value system. Many companies are turning to internal gigs as a way of giving people opportunities to try new things, work with new teams, and nurture their entrepreneurial side – all without leaving the company.
  8. Encourage them to join an employee resource group. These groups are instrumental in ensuring talented employees from diverse backgrounds, cultures and lifestyles feel welcome and included in the business. See our recent blog post for practical tips for establishing an employee resource group within your business.

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Our short video gives you a quick introduction to effective employee integration:

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