As President-elect Donald Trump steps into office in January, he’ll likely come with a 100-day plan, like the presidents before him. Historically, the “first 100 days” in office is a critical time for the president to set the tone for their time in office, bring key issues from their campaign to the forefront, and begin putting pieces in place for the next four years. It is, without a doubt, a time of foundation-building, learning, and positioning. This chapter for presidents mirrors the expectations for any new hire (albeit, on a smaller scale). As an employer, the first 90 days are an important time for you to create the environment and expectations that will help your new employee thrive. Here are a few tips for how to manage new hires and implement policies to ensure their success in the critical first 90 days.
- Set up a successful onboarding policy that extends beyond the first week. Many employers make the mistake of acting on their desire to have new hires “hit the ground running” and end up avoiding important onboarding strategies. The onboarding process is often perceived as a multi-day or one-week experience for the new hire, but a more extended version that spans the first few months will increase your odds of equipping your new hire for the long haul and for greater contributions on the team. Incorporate monthly wrap-up sessions that allow for Q&A, feedback on both sides, and goal-setting.
- Give them the opportunity to lead off the bat. When a new hire joins a team, often times they aren’t called upon to lead a discussion or presentation for quite some time. Rather than following this model, give your new employee a chance to build credibility and their own self-image within the company. Show them that they will be held accountable to lead. Of course, it might not be the best time to have a new hire give a highly specific presentation on the company, but asking them to lead a team meeting isn’t too much of a stretch.
- Ask them to illustrate what success looks like in their first 90 days. Instead of handing a new employee a roadmap of your goals for their job, ask them to develop what they think their goals should be within the first few months on the job. This forces the new employee to consider their role and impact more deeply. Moreover, it shows that you, as a manager, appreciate personal accountability and self-driven employees. When they’ve completed their vision for success, this is another great time to have them lead and present their goals to you.
- Encourage cross-team collaboration early on. It’s tempting to let new hires settle in with their respective teams or divisions from day one, but giving them the chance to meet and learn from other teams in the company is a great way to paint a bigger picture for the new hire. Show them how the company works from team to team, how different divisions support each other and ensure that they understand how these pieces fit together for company-wide success. Taking the time to educate a new hire in this way will broaden their scope in terms of how they see their role fitting into the bigger picture.
- Carve out time for socializing and team bonding. A happy, social employee is more likely to make positive contributions to their own team and across the company. Make sure each new hire feels comfortable, acquainted with their team and other teams, and has a little fun in the process. Organizing a team-specific dinner or bonding activity is a great way to bring new and old employees together.
- Conduct a post-onboarding survey. It can be difficult to see gaps in education when you’ve been with a company for a long time. The best way to adapt and improve your onboarding strategy is to get feedback from each new hire once they’ve gone through the process. Prepare a brief survey and opportunity for feedback on this front and you’ll be able to incorporate your findings for your next hire.
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