A lot of investment, both in terms of time and money, goes into recruiting the right person for the job. So, once you’ve got them, you want to make sure that they can get up to speed and start being productive as soon as possible.

New work environments can be stressful for individuals. It’s easy for them to feel overwhelmed with the countless protocols, reporting structures and new faces. Sometimes, in the general hive of activity that goes on within any organisation the new recruit can be neglected, leading to them feeling useless and wondering what to do. If you’re not careful, their motivation can quickly evaporate.

That’s why it’s important to make sure that you’re motivating your newest employees as soon as they join.

Find out about their likes and dislikes

The best place to start is by taking time to talk to your new employee as part of the induction process. Schedule an hour, ideally on their first day, for a ‘getting to know you’ meeting. In this informal meeting, you can welcome them to the team, and use it to find out about their likes and dislikes.

Take the time to find out what makes them tick; what are their specific needs related to the work environment; and what do they like doing outside of work. You should also find out in more detail about their career and personal development aspirationsHaving a career and personal development plan in place can be extremely motivating and, by helping them on that journey, you can increase employee loyalty.

Engage them straight away

It’s important to act and engage new employees right from their very first day. This willhelp your new recruit feel part of the team quickly and that they fit in.

Ways to engage new employees could include:

Above all, have a plan. There is nothing worse for a new employee than being quickly introduced to the team, and then being logged into the computer systems, and being told to play around with it to get used to it. Do this and you may find your new employee is wondering if they can return to their old job.

Continually assess their needs and motivations

As your new employee turns into a dedicated and loyal member of the team, don’t forget tocontinually review their ongoing needs and aspirations. Arrange informal reviews on a regular basis, so that you can assess their level of motivation and assist them in their career development. If you always know what motivates your employees, then, if their performance starts to dip, you will be able to act upon it quickly to ensure continual progress.

If you’re not motivating your newest employees as soon as they join, you’re wasting valuable resources: the time and cost of recruiting, your time managing the new recruit and, possibly, the new recruit themselves. Don’t leave it until it’s too late.

John Sylvester

John is responsible for the motivation division of p&mm ltd and a Director on the board of the IPM. Specialising in developing, implementing and directing many large scale staff motivation, recognition and employee communications programmes.