That employee you spent three months searching for and another nine months onboarding to independent thinking and productivity?   Were they a good hire?  Are they performing at the level you need them to be?  Do they think they’re performing at full productivity?  Regardless, are the two of you connecting to talk about their progress and the future?

Do you remember Peaches & Herb’s 1978 hit song, Shake Your Groove Thing?  If not, click here to listen to it now.   Whenever I listen to this song, I start dancing.  It immediately and effectively lifts my spirit and my energy.   I cannot help but transfer that energy to whatever I am doing, e.g. dancing, driving.

How is the employee experience and ‘shaking your groove thing’ aligned?   Research tells us time and again that an engaged employee is one who ‘goes the extra mile’, speaks highly of the work and is loyal to the organization. That’s who we want on our team!

While onboarding often takes 12-18 months, most employees move into the next phase of the employee experience, ‘Groove’, as soon as the lessons, on-the-job (OJT) shadowing and frequent coaching conversations end. Once an employee has proven their competency and moved out of ‘onboarding’ and into independent work, they can often become disenchanted.  It’s important during this stage to keep your employees engaged.  Especially because some employees may choose to stay in their position for years to come, e.g. until retirement, not looking to move up.  If they’re staying, you’ll want them to perform at the highest level, just like that other employee on your team who is itching to move on.  Regardless of where your employee is going, your opportunity is to harness the energy they brought with them when they joined you.

Keep Shaking Their Groove

If you’ve got a high performer on your team whom you want to continue to grow in their current position or within the company and you aren’t having regular, deliberate conversations, start doing so today.  In fact, if you’ve got someone on your team who is under performing and you aren’t already meeting regularly, start that cadence today.  Without these touch points — outside of the team, project and work-focused meetings — employees can grow stagnant, in the wrong direction, etc.

Having a standing one-on-one meeting:

  • takes the mundane out of a job that is now more routine
  • provides the opportunity to coach and/or provide direction long before an opportunity becomes a problem
  • gives your employee a platform to talk about anything including their current or future positions
  • helps you support them in transitioning to their potential next step (so that you’re both ready).

Of course, helping employees stay engaged during this stage requires much more than a regular meeting.  That’s just the starting point.  What are your best practices engaging the more tenured employee?