Tips for Making an Employee’s First 90 Days Successful
Managing the First 90 DaysBefore They StartDay OneThe End of Day OneGoal SettingWeek 1 Assessment15-Day Follow Up30-Day Check In45-Day Benchmark90-Day Review
Making a new hire feel comfortable and a part of the team from day one is imperative to helping the employee become a successful and productive member of your business. Here are the steps you need to follow to guide your new hire through the first 90 days on the job.
It's essential to make the new employee feel welcome. Send a note expressing your excitement about the new member of your team. Include the first week's orientation schedule and new hire paperwork. Be sure to involve HR and other team members (this isn't just a responsibility of the manager). Set up the employee's workstation (phone, e-mail, computer, etc.). Getting a head start before the employee is in the office goes a long way to building trust and enthusiasm.
Simple steps to ensure an employee's satisfaction early include greeting them, physically being there as the boss, and informally introducing them to the internal team, which includes everyone they'll need to work with to be successful. Setting up onboarding conversations to acclimate the employee and make in-person introductions rather than just sharing names and e-mails is vital. The activities you have the employee participating in the first day should follow the job details; so if you're in customer service, get them on the phone with a customer.
At the end of day one, have a debriefing with the boss to make sure that the employee had a good day. This simple act shows that you care about her and you want to hear her opinions. You might also give her a take-home package, which could vary by organization. If you're a soap company, give her soap samples, or if you're a financial services company, a one-page guide to household finances. The idea is to give the new hire something she can share with people at home to answer that question about how the first day was.
From the beginning set both short- and long-term goals, whether they are professional (actual projects the new hire will be working on) or personal (regarding familiarization with the organization, contacts made, etc.). It's a good idea to give the hire a project early on so he feels like he’s contributing immediately. Also start mapping out bigger projects, which is something that should have been addressed with the candidate before you even made the hire.
After one week on the job, the employee should begin to feel comfortable with her responsibilities, have met at least one new business contact each day, be familiar with team members (inside her department and outside) and be able to walk into your office with any questions. Arrange an informal session of drinks, cake, or something similar with the other team members at the end of the week so the new hire can assess what she has learned, ask the group questions and hang out in a less formal setting.
At this point, the manager should check in on the employee’s progress toward the goals discussed on the first day. This gives the manager the opportunity to help the employee identify and resolve any issues or challenges. You can also create a questionnaire for the employee to complete. Issues that should be addressed are: the orientation, objectives set, motivation from the manager, assimilation, adaptation, mentoring, organizational philosophy, feedback, facility tours and more. Provide a 1-5 point scale, 1 being a minimum explanation and 5 thorough, and leave room for them to include questions or comments.
The most important thing in the first 30 days is to familiarize the new employee with the company through recruiting and introductions. You shouldn't expect the new hire to make extreme strides from a business perspective during this time, but you should make them feel welcome as a person and not overwhelmed. Less intensive, short-term projects are helpful in attaining that balance.
It takes about 45 days to get the new employee fully acclimated and acquainted with a job. This is a great time to sit down with the new hire not only to assess her familiarity with the organization and her role, but also to see how happy she is. You can assess her performance to this point on some of the shorter projects you assigned while also figuring out where her mind is regarding bigger picture projects. This meeting could go a long way in retaining the employee.
The 90-day mark is when you should start seeing serious results from your new hire. Anything faster can mean that the employee hasn't been analytical enough in his assessment of the business, and by this time he should have a thorough understanding of what will need to be done.