5 Success Factors to Engage and Capture Employees

In the second quarter of 2022 there were according to CBS no fewer than 143 vacancies per 100 vacancies. Competition between employers is therefore very high. How do you make sure you stand out when job seekers have a sea of ​​options? According to Aleid Erbrink and Laiza Faerber, program managers at Boertien Vergouwen Overduin, there are five success factors:

  1. A solid onboarding process
  2. A good balance between work and private life
  3. Attention to diversity and inclusion
  4. Psychological safety in the workplace
  5. Focus on vitality now and later

1. A rock-solid onboarding process

The first success factor revolves around the way you introduce new employees to your company: the onboarding process. “Onboarding is being made very hip in the market, it has to be fun,” says Faerber. ‘Then they do, for example, an escape room and they do other fun activities.’ It is very good for team spirit, but the transition to the shop floor, where people simply have to work, becomes more difficult.

‘Ultimately, it is particularly important that people get an idea of ​​the culture and DNA of your organisation. Connection is the magic word, you want people who are onboarding to come into contact with current employees and the management, then the integration goes faster,’ she says. ‘You can compare it to introductory weeks for students. The city is a metaphor for the working environment. New employees will explore the city together so they know the city’s social aspects.’

From preboarding to postboarding

Before your new employees even participate in the onboarding process, there are several things you can do to welcome them. We also call this preboarding: the phase between the last interview and onboarding. For example, consider sending a nice mug or bag with a company logo, and a personal note. In this way, your new employees will feel welcome in the organization from the first moment.

How long the actual onboarding process takes varies greatly from organization to organization. ‘In my experience it really takes six months before someone is properly trained and can work independently. Don’t think anyone knows how it works after a month, but make sure someone can land well. They must know who is who and really be part of the organization’, says Faerber. ‘Ensure that there is a good connection between the recruitment process and the onboarding. Otherwise, people expect a proverbial apple and they get a pear.’

Once the onboarding process is over, it’s time for postboarding. This involves training and development to become an independently functioning employee. ‘As a manager and HR department, you must think actively about what kind of training you could offer. A new employee often does not know what kind of training they need,’ explains Faerber.

2. How can you as an employer best facilitate the integration between work and private life for employees?

What about work-life balance for employees in your organization? TNO and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment characterize a disturbed balance as a situation where the employee:

  • Is less efficient and productive, appointments are forgotten.
  • You suffer from irritations and quarrels in the family.
  • Losing interest and joy.
  • Suffering from a constant feeling of stress.

This can happen, for example, when an employee constantly works more hours than agreed, simply because the work is not being done. Perfectionism can also be a culprit here, as a result of the work never being good enough in the employee’s eyes.

A good way to restore this balance is to regularly contact the employee as a manager. This can be done physically, but also via phone or video call. It is also desirable to regularly check whether the workload is still possible. Not all employees dare to indicate this on their own. ‘As an employer or manager, set a good example’, advises Erbrink. In this way, you prevent too much work and high demands on yourself from becoming the norm. Also pay particular attention to exercise. According to the Brain Foundation, exercise is good for, among other things, reducing stress.

3. Attention to diversity and inclusion

Does your company offer the same opportunities for all employees? Regardless of origin, colour, sexual orientation, gender or disability? If you are not aware of this topic, there is a chance of inadvertently creating inequality in the workplace.

Some employers feel it diversity something that shouldn’t play a role at work. The idea is that everyone behaves in the same professional manner, so that everyone is treated equally. “Ignoring diversity doesn’t work,” says Erbrink. ‘Diversity used to be something you mainly did at home, not at work. For example, you were a lesbian indoors, but none of your colleagues knew. Then you can’t be completely yourself at work, that’s undesirable’.

‘Make sure it doesn’t become a trick, especially young people have a really good time,’ emphasizes Faerber. ‘It is important that you focus on sustainable inclusion, where we do not forget history.’

4. Psychological safety in the workplace

If you want your employees to feel comfortable at work, psychological safety is essential. ‘Employees must have the feeling that they are allowed to make mistakes without it having a negative consequence,’ explains Faerber. ‘It is also important that you as an employee can go against the sound of the crowd. When a leader says something, you have room to have your own opinion about it’. Psychological safety is also about preventing inappropriate behaviour. This can be serious, such as an aggression or sexual misconduct, but also very subtle. Bullying behavior is also very damaging, and often happens stealthily, for example by excluding people from social events at work.

5. Focus on vitality now and later

As a manager, you have an important role in entering into an open dialogue and discussion about conditions such as work pressure and physical strain. When an employee performs too heavy physical work, problems will eventually arise. Too much work pressure can eventually even lead to burnout, which means that your employee is out of action for a longer period of time.

The tightening of the labor market also puts more pressure on current employees in many companies. After all, they have to do the same work with fewer people. ‘As an organisation, you have to be realistic. If you can’t find people, you may have to make other choices and slow down, otherwise you will overload people,’ says Erbrink. “In this consumer society that curses in church, but you have to look at your profession realistically. In my opinion, the urge to always achieve more should be removed.’

Training employees is an important step in the pursuit of vitality. For example, employees can take on new roles that involve less physical strain or learn to manage stress. Be aware that learning in itself does not become an achievement. “Some companies insist that their employees receive training a few days a month, but this is not the same as developing yourself. It then becomes a tick on the checklist, instead of the learning contributing something’, says Erbrink. ‘Learning takes place in many ways, you also learn from a challenging job. When you name it and leverage it, you’re really taking action as an organization.’

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