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The First 90 Days: Set Up Your New Hire for Success

When you hire a new employee, the first three months are the most important for establishing a connection between the new hire and your company. Implement a 90-day plan so you have a uniform process that makes new hires feel welcome while ensuring they can perform their duties. Separate your 90-day plan into a few key dates to discuss milestones and give and receive feedback.

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Day 1

Creating a positive environment from the very first day establishes a strong company culture for your new employee. Follow these steps on your new hire’s first day:

  1. Ensure all of their paperwork is complete. If it’s possible, send any forms that the employee needs to complete before their start date, which will give you more time for training and orientation on the first day. Otherwise, finishing paperwork should be the first item your new hire completes when they arrive.
  2. Introduce them to their team. Explain what each team member does and who will train and supervise them.
  3. Show them around the building. Introduce them to any departments they may work closely with, and show them key areas, like bathrooms, the break room and the supply room.
  4. Let their supervisor, trainer or a human resources representative begin orientation. Work with their trainer or supervisor beforehand to create a training guide specific to their position. The guide should include skills, software and processes the employee needs to learn and the dates the trainer intends to teach them.

If you have the resources, assign a mentorwho can offer guidance and answer questions. The mentor can be their supervisor or another member of their department who has plenty of experience with your company.

Day 15

Three business weeks is often enough time to gauge how your employee feels about their new job. At this point, you can likely learn how capable they are of performing their duties and measure the progress they’ve made. Schedule a short meeting to ensure they understand their responsibilities and have the tools to complete their tasks. Ask for feedback about the onboarding and training process to improve your methods and make the employee feel more comfortable.

Within the first three weeks, arrange a team event, such as a lunch or happy hour. Give the new hire an opportunity to socialize with their coworkers outside of their workspace to build better connections.

Day 30

After one month, the employee should be comfortable in their role. Set up another short meeting to check in with them. Before you meet with the employee, review some of their work to see how it aligns with their outlined responsibilities. Prepare feedback that can guide their work moving forward. Write down three areas where they excel and three places where they can improve to provide specific, actionable feedback.

When you meet, see how they feel about the guidance they’re receiving from their mentor or supervisor. They should have a clear understanding of their job and how their work contributes to the company. Review their work to date, and offer your prepared constructive criticism. Ask for more feedback about the onboarding process to ensure they still feel comfortable.

Though one month is still early on in the onboarding process, ask your employee to begin thinking about some short-term goals that they may want to achieve. Based on their work so far, you may be able to make suggestions for possible milestones that they can meet. Give them time to consider possible goals, and discuss them in your next meeting.

Related:Onboarding Guide

Day 60

Use the 60-day mark to briefly meet with the employee to continue defining goals. Together, define one or two goals that give the employee’s work more meaning, then assign tasks that help them meet their goals. Ensure the employee feels comfortable with their current workflow before adding more tasks. The employee should notify you or their supervisor if they’re unable to complete all of their responsibilities so you can create a manageable workload.

Check in with their supervisor or mentor regarding their progress and areas in which they need more focus. The supervisor should feel comfortable managing the employee’s workflow and making any necessary changes to help them succeed.

Related: New Employee Training: Do’s and Don’ts for Every Manager

Day 90

After three full months, your employee should be able to work with minimal supervision. When you check in, make sure they can handle their full workload. If they’re ready, start assigning them to group and department projects that further connect them with their team. At this point, involving them in long-term projects also shows that you value their work and want them to succeed.

During your check-in, conduct a review of their work. Since they will be working independently moving forward, you need to know they have the proper tools and knowledge to complete their responsibilities. Ask for more information from their mentor or supervisor regarding their work, or include them in the meeting. Factors to review include:

  • The skills the employee has developed
  • Any additional tools the employee needs
  • Their management or leadership potential
  • Their ability to connect work to company mission and values
  • Their ability to work independently and with their team
  • Their enthusiasm for the work and business

After your 90-day meeting, you don’t need to conduct another evaluation until the one-year mark. Even though this is the last formal meeting you’ll have with your employee for at least a few months, an open-door policy is key. Show your employee that you’re available to answer any questions and take care of concerns as soon as they arise. Invite them to email, message or call you when they feel the need.

The first 90 days are crucial for employee retention. When you implement an onboarding program that makes new employees feel like they’re welcome, you’re more likely to reduce turnover and increase loyalty. By checking in with your employee regularly and assigning a mentor, you’ll build a stronger connection long term.

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