- Describe the first six months of your current job.
- Are you more/less excited about your job now?
For organizations in general, the onboarding honeymoon phase can be followed by disillusionment. Sometimes the boss is the problem in other cases, the peers. In one case an employee was dismayed when she learned that although her company offered flexible working hours, her boss discouraged it. Although employees have the right to advocate for these and other issues, fearing retaliation they rarely do. The boss may not always verbally express their disagreement with certain company policies, but employees know.
Even without those types of issues, the workplace can lose its luster after the onboarding honeymoon period. During the first six months of a new job, everyone is on their best behavior. New employees are trying hard to fit in. Managers are open to suggestions and new ideas. But like a marriage, the honeymoon period comes to an end. Everyone relaxes and the reality sets in. People start doing what Dorothy Dalton refers to as the professional equivalent of squeezing the toothpaste from the middle of the tube, leaving unwashed dishes in the sink, and sending texts during meals. This is not deal-breaking behavior, but it can consume a disproportionate amount of time and energy working around or dealing with it when it gets on everyone’s last nerve.
One of the best ways to lessen disengagement is for leaders to practice what they preach and make sure all employees adhere to company policies and procedures that support the mission. However, a 2015 Gallup survey revealed that almost 70% of millennial employees are not engaged in the workplace. Since employee engagement is a leading indicator of business success, emphasis on the post-onboarding experience for your long-term employees is critical.
According to Sneh Kadakia, Namely’s HR Advisor, and Michael Stapleton, VP of Marketing at AnyPerk, after the 6-month mark, the following are areas where you can actively enhance long-term tenure and ignite a more loyal workforce:
- Training & Development — driving business knowledge, hard skills, soft skills & transferable skills
- Cross-functional Exposure — encouraging involvement in projects & initiatives with other teams and knowledge-sharing across teams
- Leadership Experience — facilitating mentorship & buddy programs, social responsibility, and employee groups that support important causes
- Personal Connection — helping employees gain a sense of meaning from their work, which has a direct impact on their clients and the greater community
- Career Growth — ensuring effective goal-setting, performance feedback, and opportunities for expanded roles and promotions