A New Employee's First 90 Days

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on December 18, 2009

You’ve found the needle in the haystack and gone through onboarding and orientation. Now what? The first 90 days of employment are critical for both employers and their new employees. This is the time for your business to establish its commitment to the new hire by showing that you are prepared for them to have a distinct role within the company.

Making sure this happens is not just the role of HR. In fact, management can play a key role in making the new employee feel welcome as a member of the staff during the first three months of employment. Here are a few key activities for management to undertake:

1. Engage the new employee by asking how things are going and making the time to take them to lunch or coffee, even if it’s just in the office.

2. Maintain an open-door policy and ensure that this is communicated to every employee, not just the new hire.

3. In addition to a regular touch-base, ensure the new employee’s direct manager conducts a review at the end of the first 90 days.

4. Sponsor and organize company get-togethers—anything from a movie in the conference room to a ski trip or a wine-tasting event can bring the staff together and encourage a team atmosphere.

It is the role of the entire company—including management—to ensure that each new employee is welcomed and established in their position. Having well-defined roles and activities for management during the first 90 days of employment will ease the transition for new employees, giving them a sense of belonging, helping them produce results faster, and, in the end, making the organization successful.

Laila Rossi
CEO
Platinum Solutions
Reston, Va.

Reader Comments

Harry

December 18, 2009 2:56 PM

I also think, depending on the size of the company, that the CEO should make constant interaction with new hires just to show the closeness of the company and that he/she cares.

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Contrarian

February 26, 2010 2:04 AM

Regular "touch bases" are annoying and do not aid real work, they are only great for people that don't really have enough to do (after they delegated their entire job to others..) to bother and interrupt people that have an actual job in the organisation.

Mostly they are organised by HR departments desperate to prove that they have some relevance to the organisation and therefore should not be made redundant.

Management can have alot of meetings with other management personnel or perhaps can get out of the office and secure some sales. Having regular "touch bases" particularly enforcing these to people like engineers is incredibly wasteful alot of face time is a sure fire way to misuse human resources particularly at a time when people are assessed on how much they get done by a certain deadline rather than have normal working hours. For some people in middle management to interrupt people from real work in order to have meetings is a crime that goes unreported.

My pet theory is the abolition of HR and big chunks of marketing would lead to a permanent increase in productivity and GDP growth worldwide..

HR and management should focus on setting realistic strategic targets and then get out of the way.

People using words such as "engagement", activities, initiatives that others have to implement without being credited are corporate parasites, Look in HR, Marketing, and management itself as the main culprits. Public hanging of people wasting others' time with their initiatives that in reality are self-interested bandwagons will help keep your organisation efficient and focused.

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Glenn

March 29, 2010 12:21 PM

Comments on suggested actions/activities based on personal experience at the large corp I worked for:

1. Lunch? Coffee? Not if the company or manager is paying. Mgr. never did these.

2. Mgr. was very good at open door

3. Mgr. had 90 day review and was very good at "touching base" though my mgr. blamed me for taking his time with touching base meetings even though he offered the meetings to me

4. a company get-together? I'm still laughing. Ski trip? Wine tasting? Either was easily possible but company only paid for two group (10 members) lunches in three years.

Not one of the 50 employees, including me, recommended the company's mentor program. I was hoping my poor experience was limited to just me.

This company's HR dept. would not adhere to their own rules and timeline they set.

These experiences are from time at company with a current market value of over $20 billion. You probably use this company's services.

Nikki_Sixx

April 1, 2010 11:00 AM

Contrarian, perhaps you outta work on your people skills. It sounds like your ideal work environment includes no social interaction whatsoever.

A "touch base" does not have to be an hour-long meeting. It could be a few minutes just to check in and see what the employee is working on, and remind them that you care about their role in the company. Management ought to be aware of what's going on below them because they're overseeing a bigger picture. Without word from the trenches, how is management to know how the team is producing?

Besides, this article was referring to "new hires," who certainly could use a little feedback early on to ensure they're adapting to their new work environment. After the first few months, it's OK to back off a bit.

I tend to agree with the points in this article as a relatively new hire myself. My boss did a great job in the first few months of defining my role in the company (25 employees) and as a result, I'm more productive and more likely to stick around for a couple years.

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