It’s no secret that the first 90 days are a critical period for acclimating new hires to your workplace culture and getting them up to speed in their roles. During this time, they need to acclimate themselves to your workplace culture and get up to speed in their roles. But what many employers don’t realize is that it’s also vital to convince employees that your company is a place where they can envision themselves working for years to come.
Seventeen percent of new hires leave during their first six months, says Harvard Business Review (HBR). That’s a sizeable number, considering how much work it takes to secure a new job. The younger generations, in particular, tend to look for other options quickly if they’re not satisfied in their new position. Since only 29% of Millennials are engaged in their jobs–leading Gallup to call them “the job-hopping generation”–employers are increasingly focusing on building loyalty and engagement in those critical first few months.
A good onboarding plan will help new employees understand your company culture, values, and norms so they can hit the ground running and be productive members of your team.
When done poorly, onboarding can be a frustrating and confusing experience for new employees. This can lead to low morale, poor job performance, and high turnover rates. A recent Officevibe study found that 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for 3 years or more if they had a positive onboarding experience. To learn more about how to create a 90-day onboarding plan for your new hires, keep reading.
There are a few key elements that should be included in every 90-day onboarding plan:
During the first few days on the job, make sure new employees have a chance to meet their team members, managers and other key stakeholders. Schedule regular check-ins and one-on-one meetings so they always feel supported.
Help new employees understand your company culture by sharing your mission, values, and brand story with them. Encourage them to get involved in social activities and networking events.
Providing comprehensive job training is essential for setting new employees up for success in their roles. Make sure they have all the resources they need to do their jobs effectively and efficiently. Provide ongoing support and feedback as needed.
After 90 days on the job, sit down with new employees and review their performance together. Discuss any areas where they excelled or struggled and set goals for the next quarter/year.
The first step in creating a successful 90-day program is to define the goals of your overall program. What do you want your employees to accomplish? Do you want to reduce turnover? Improve employee engagement? Improve eNPS scores? Once you’ve defined your goals, you can start to create a plan that will help you achieve them.
The next step is to develop a timeline for your onboarding program. What will happen during the first week? The first month? The first three months? Some companies like to get as granular as creating a 30-60-90 day plan for each new employee.
Creating a timeline will help you ensure that all essential components of your onboarding program are covered.
Now it’s time to start building out the content for your 90-day program. What information will you need to include? How can you make this information engaging and relevant for your new employees? Will the content change based on department, seniority, or other factors? Remember, the goal of your program is to set new employees up for success, so make sure that the content of your program is focused on achieving this goal.
The onboarding plan for each employee should be different. After all, everyone in your organization has different responsibilities and goals. But there are a few common steps you can take to help you create each 90-day plan.
Create an online portal that welcomes employees, shares information about the culture, and tells them what to expect when they show up for work. Learning more about the company and its people before they show up will calm new hires’ nerves and allow them to show up feeling more prepared. A well-designed HR platform will help you create a welcoming experience that will leave new hires with a great first impression of your company. Here are a few tips:
Read SHRM’s guide to setting up this onboarding portal for more ideas, or check out GoCo’s Modern HR feature if you’re ready to implement an easy platform that will make yours and the new hire’s life easier.
It’s vital to start forging an emotional connection from the beginning. Introduce new hires to other members of the team before they even start their job, if at all possible, urges O.C. Tanner. Making these introductions during a final interview will help them feel more like part of the team already. Going above and beyond to make them feel included will help you establish an emotional connection with them from the get-go. Here are a couple other ideas:
Read this guide for more tips on developing emotional connections with new hires.
On the first day, talk with a new hire about her role and responsibilities. Outline them for the whole team as well, so everyone understands how the new employee will be contributing, advises SHRM. Answer any questions the new hire has, and make sure she knows you’re available to give feedback in the coming days and weeks. When you have this talk with the new hire, do the following as well:
A peer buddy will help new hires fully understand the workplace culture and how to fulfill their role in the organization. The peer buddy should meet with the new hire weekly for the first 30 days, then every other week for the next 30, and then once more in the third month, says Forbes. It’s best to pick someone who doesn’t work directly with the new hire, Forbes notes–someone in another department can feel like a safer person to ask for advice. Here are some best practices for pairing up peer buddies:
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During the first week, hold a meet-and-greet session where the new hire can get to know the team. Offer refreshments and encourage laid-back socializing. When you introduce the employee to the group, share information about his past accomplishments and strengths so he feels appreciated from the outset.
Here are a few more ways to help the employee make new connections during the first 90 days:
Too often, organizations leave employees to figure out the culture for themselves. However, that makes new hires feel like outsiders. Employees will feel more confident when they understand the cultural norms and how to set themselves up for success within them.
Help new hires get their feet wet by giving them a manageable but meaningful project. This will boost their confidence since they’ll be contributing in a meaningful way right off the bat. Use these tips from Inc. when assigning projects:
Work to instill a belief in the company’s mission, vision, and goals in your new hire. This means not just describing them when you hire the employee, or on the first day, when it may feel like she’s being bombarded with new information. Rather, keep the vision and goals front and center by referring to them often during the first 90 days.
Read Forbes’ article “Leading with Vision: A Blueprint for Engaging Your Workforce” to learn the most effective ways to communicate the company’s vision to your team.
Discussing goals will give the new hire direction in her work and a strong sense of purpose. Showing commitment to helping her achieve her larger career goals, as well as the shorter-term ones, will make her feel valued and supported.
Progress reviews and other check-ins should happen at regular intervals throughout the first 90 days. SHRM shares these best practices for scheduling check-ins:
Recognize key milestones in the employee’s first 90 days to build his confidence. Give public praise for these achievements. Employees who don’t receive recognition are twice as likely to want to quit their jobs, according to Gallup, meaning these simple gestures will foster higher retention:
Read more about how to share social recognition in this Incentive Mag article.
Introduce the new hire to key leaders in your organization. That shows your new team member that you want to help open doors for her. When the chance for promotion comes along, these introductions could make a world of difference.
Starting a new job is always exciting. But it can also be daunting, especially in the first 90 days. The HR department should help new employees feel more comfortable and prepared for success by anticipating common challenges they may face and helping them develop strategies to overcome them. Here are four challenges new employees often face along with some useful tips for overcoming them.
Solution: One of the best ways to combat imposter syndrome is to build a strong support network at work. Have new employees seek out a mentor, connect with a buddy, or join an employee resource group. These relationships will give them someone to rely on when they’re feeling unsure, and provide valuable insights and advice.
Solution: When someone’s new to a company, it can be hard to get to know colleagues and build relationships. A great way to break the ice is to get involved in social activities outside of work. Join a sports team, sign up for a cooking class, or go to happy hour with your coworkers. Encouraging these shared interests will help new employees bond with colleagues and make it easier to build relationships.
Solution: The best way to help newcomers manage a heavy workload is to help them stay organized and prioritize tasks. Have the new team member create a daily or weekly list of tasks to help them stay on track and focus on the most important items first. Make sure they know to ask for help when they need it! Let them know that colleagues and managers will be more than happy to assist when needed.
Solution: The key to adjusting to new company culture is open communication. If an employee feels lost or confused, encourage them to reach out to their manager or HR department for guidance. You should do all that you can to help newcomers understand the company’s values and expectations and get acclimated to the culture more quickly.
The first 90 days at a new job can be both exciting and challenging. But by anticipating common challenges and preparing ahead of time, you can set your new employee up for success.
Onboarding sets the tone for a new employee’s entire tenure with your company. A well-crafted 90-day plan will help them understand your culture, values, and norms so they can hit the ground running and be productive members of your team. Take these steps, and your new hire will become a valuable member of the team by the end of the 90-day period. Moreover, your new hire will feel more loyal to your company because of the extra effort you put into making him feel included and welcome!
If you don’t have the time or resources to create a custom plan for each new hire, there are several tools and resources available to help you automate the process. GoCo offers a variety of features that make onboarding easy and efficient for both employees and managers alike. Take a tour of GoCo to learn more about how we can help you streamline your onboarding process.