The first 90 days for a new hire are crucial for employee engagement. Candidates join your organization because they’re excited about your opportunity, and a good employee engagement strategy will build on that excitement from day one. Engaging your employees early will allow you to build momentum as you strengthen engagement levels with each employee throughout your relationship with them.

Building Employee Engagement During the Recruitment Process

First impressions set the stage for employee engagement, so it’s important to engage your employees before they even start working at your organization. The first order of business is to identify candidates with the behavioral qualities that match your organization’s culture and are therefore most likely to succeed and be happy. Candidates who are aligned with your mission, vision and values are more likely to be satisfied on the job and less likely to leave. For instance, a children’s hospital should hire people who genuinely enjoy working with children and who have the inherent behavioral competencies needed to be successful in their role.

Candidates who are a strong culture fit can strengthen their connection to your organization through the interview process, so pay close attention to the candidate experience. Hiring managers are a critical component of employee engagement and should be properly trained on healthcare recruitment best practices, in addition to how to be a great leader. People who like their supervisor will feel more connected to your organization throughout the recruitment process — and during their employment with your organization.

Building Employee Engagement During the Onboarding Process

In healthcare, the new-hire onboarding process should build upon the engagement established during the recruitment process. This is a time to make your new hires feel welcome, and to align expectations.

Show candidates around your organization, and introduce them to key people they will need to know to do their jobs. Tell them how excited you are that they accepted your offer to join your organization. Even the most experienced healthcare professionals can find it difficult to transition into a new environment, so put them at ease by making them feel welcome and encouraging everyone to help them settle in.

Review the job description and performance goals with your new hire in detail so they know exactly what they’re responsible for and how their success will be measured. It’s important for your new hire to understand what they’ll be evaluated on so there aren’t any surprises later. When employees know what it takes to succeed from day one, they will be happier and more engaged.

Continuously Building Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is not a one-and-done deal, and employers must have a strategy in place to continue to build upon it throughout each employee’s tenure with their organization.

Revisit your new hire’s job description and goals and  frequently within their first 90 days to help them settle into their role. Provide both positive and constructive continuous feedback to identify things the employee is doing well, and where they could improve. Particularly within the first 90 days of hire, employees are still learning how things are done in your organization and may need additional positive coaching or encouragement. Showing your support during this critical time period will help build engagement because the new hire will appreciate that you’re invested in their success and will feel more connected to your organization as a result.

While the first 90 days are the most critical to building employee engagement, there should be an ongoing effort to sustaining employee engagement. Working in a healthcare setting can be taxing on your employees, but keeping them engaged in their role will help them stay focused on what’s most important: your organization’s mission of high-quality care delivery.


Are you interested in learning more about how you can improve employee engagement in your healthcare organization? Download our free how-to guide:

Building Employee Engagement: How to Improve Employee Retention and Increase Patient Satisfaction


About Jen Dewar

Jen Dewar is a marketing consultant in the HR technology space with a focus on developing educational content for recruiters, corporate HR professionals, and staffing agency owners. She has spent the past 10 years working with a wide variety of companies — from corporate marketing for healthcare organizations and recruitment firms, to startup marketing for both Identified and, prior to their respective acquisitions. When she’s not doing marketing, you can find Jen snowboarding in Tahoe, enjoying a glass of wine in Sonoma, or watching Netflix at home with her husband.