Engaging new starters – great for business and team morale
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Regardless of the size of your business, recruiting the right people will be key to your business success.  The problem is recruitment can be very time-consuming and expensive, and so it makes total sense that retaining existing staff is a

What is employee engagement?

Employee engagement is essentially how enthusiastic and motivated your team is, and how committed they are to contributing to overall business goals. There are a few tell-tale signs that an employee is engaged, these include:

  • Vigour – their levels of energy, resilience and effort
  • Dedication – their levels of enthusiasm, inspiration and pride
  • Absorption – being engrossed in the work and finding enjoyment in it.

So, highly engaged employees want to work hard, and feel committed to playing their part in achieving your business goals, and who wouldn’t want employees like that?

Where do I start in engaging my people?

It’s clearly beneficial to have highly engaged people in your team. It means less management time and energy is needed to motivate people. This should make it easier to get everyone pulling in the same direction, because everyone wants to achieve the same overall goal.

A typical engagement strategy might focus on:

  • Motivation – what makes people tick and keeps them wanting to come to work each day
  • Values – how an individual’s values align with the business values
  • Attachment – how loyal your people are to the business, which keeps them wanting to work for you

However, where new employees are concerned, the recruitment process should have covered most of this and it’s more important to maintain those early good impressions. 

Engagement starts before the employee does

When a candidate is excited about a role, engagement will start during the recruitment process.  It may even start from when they first see the job advert!

Their experiences throughout the process: the communication, the interviews and assessments will all play a role in engaging them and allowing them to get a feel of what it’s like to work for you.  By the time you offer them the job, your new starter has already imagined how great working for your business will be.

To maintain that great first impression, it’s a good idea to be organised so their first day can go as smoothly as possible.  This could include things like making sure they know the car parking arrangements or the directions to your location, which will help ease any first day nerves.

Once they have started

Having an informative and planned induction in place ready for your new starter will have them feeling valued and excited to get started. This will include making sure they have all the tech and equipment they need as well as any necessary paperwork ready to go.

I won’t go into too much detail about the importance of the induction, but you can read more about it in our great blog on the importance of induction. First impressions count, so make sure you create a good one.

Other important factors to bear in mind

We’ve talked about some of the things that you can do to keep a new member of the team engaged from job offer to when they first join the business, but there are a number of other factors than will affect retention and engagement.  These include the working environment they are coming into, the culture of the organisation, the pay and benefits, and the people that they will be working with.

It’s a good idea to make sure the pay you are offering is competitive, but we appreciate this won’t always be possible. In those cases, it’s worthwhile making sure the other benefits are great, so your team want to stay!

When it comes to the people that your new starter is going to be working with, you could get them working alongside someone with useful knowledge and experience who may be able to help them learn the role and the way your organisation works.  A buddy system for new starters is an easy way for a new member of the team to meet others from around the business and have someone to go with any questions. If you’re already building a supportive and hardworking team, it should be easy for the new person to fit right in, but it’s equally important that they know who to speak to if they have any issues.

What happens next

Continue with the usual induction and probationary processes, monitor the new team members performance and provide any support they need to get them operating at the level you expect.

If you can maintain employee engagement right through the recruitment process, induction and probationary period, you should end up with an employee who is motivated and contributing to achieving your business goals!

Obviously, it’s not only new staff that you want to be engaged, it’s the whole team.  So, if you are serious about employee engagement, why not use HR software, such as citrus HR, to run a Pulse Survey.  Once you’ve got your survey results you can use that as the basis for making decisions on other ways you could motivate and engage the team.


When you have just offered someone a job, it’s highly likely that they’ll be engaged and very excited about the prospect of joining you.  However, what you do between the offer and their start date can make a huge difference to how engaged that employee is by the time day one arrives.

Be organised, plan ahead, and get your communication right and you can keep up the momentum of that job offer to ensure that your new starter arrives fully motivated and absolutely raring to go.

Fancy a chat? Our friendly HR advisors love talking about why employee engagement is so important. Get in touch today by emailing info@citrushr.com or call 0333 014 3888 to find out how we can support your small business keep your team engaged. 

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