Do you want emotionally engaged people at work? Not a lofty ideal or dream but part of a real and true people strategy?
People who believe in the purpose and contribution of the organisation…
People who are passionate, engaged and gladly giving of their discretionary effort…
People who who see their work as more than just turning up…
I think many people would say that they do. I think there may be others who say, honestly, we just don’t need that… and maybe that’s just fine. Organisations are perfectly designed for the results that they get…
But. If you do want emotionally engaged people, can I just ask when does that start for your new hires?
Is it when people become aware of your brand or organisation?
Is it when people see your advert for vacancies?
Is it when people apply for a vacancy?
Is it when people’s vacancy applications are accepted or rejected?
Is it at that first interview?
Is it in the following selection process?
Is it when you make a formal offer?
Is it when your formal offer is accepted?
Is it during that period afterwards, before they join?
Is it when they join and you onboard, induct, buddy or give them their first 100 days?
Is it during their contractual probationary period?
Is it when you say that they’ve passed their probation?
Is it after that first appraisal?
I don’t know what it is for you… but the opportunity for this to happen is surely when (potential) new hires see how they could contribute, emotionally. Isn’t it?
What are you intentionally doing to enable that?
What are you inadvertently doing to disable that?
How does that impact on the ongoing emotional engagement in the rest of the organisation?
Experience shows that hiring processes can enable, delay or disable that emotional engagement.
Who is responsible for that in your organisation? The hiring manager? Human Resources? Leadership? The whole organisation?
How would you know if your hiring process was enabling, delaying or disabling that emotional engagement?
Lots of questions I know. It just feels like many aren’t being asked to good effect and to the detriment of many.
What do you think?
To the first few questions, definitely yes. An unequivocal yes. As a hospice charity, the organisation I work for depends massively on the emotional engagement of its employees, volunteers, and all supporters. So in my ideal scenario, we are a local employer of choice because people love our charity and care passionately about what we do. that does not mean complacency though… far from it! Our brand is really important, so it is important to us from the first time anyone who may work for us, paid or unpaid, or who may support us in any way, gets to know about us, that the messages we give are in line with our values, our mission etc. So, we have a really tall order to meet and recruitment really matters in that. We don’t always get it right, but we have put a lot of effort and thought into making improvements. One of the things we are keen to do is to aim for everyone who applies to work for us, whether successful or not to have a good assessment experience, where they are treated with absolute courtesy, given the outcome personally when it is a ‘no’ and offered feedback. It is shocking to me how often I am told that many recruiters/hiring employers don’t do this! (I have blogged on this myself.) Taking a few moments to contact the ‘unsuccessfuls’ takes so little time, yet potentially yields so much in terms of reputation and fondness for the organisation. I have been very humbled and heartened by some of the feedback I have received from unsuccessful candidates about how much they enjoyed our process, how they will support us in the future, plan to reapply, or use our feedback to apply for a similar role with another charity. I know I sound a bit evangelical! I’m very passionate about getting this right. I could go on at length about ‘onboarding’ (a term I hate) etc as well, as it all matters. However, if you’re not building the emotional engagement from the very start, I’m not sure it will ever be as impactful. Who wants a half enthused new hire?
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