The First 90 Days: Building A Strong Foundation For Your New Hire

Any successful business must rest upon strong foundations. In this article, we’ll talk about how you can build a strong foundation for your new hires.

The most important time for any new hire in your business is their first 90 days of joining the team.

This is a foundational period that sets the tone for your relationship for years to come. And during this time, there’s one rule I’d like you to keep in mind:

What you tolerate in the beginning will be much harder to change down the road. 

Unfortunately, studies show that only 12% of employers do a great job at onboarding their new employees. That means 88% of companies miss out on the key benefits of good onboarding, including increased engagement and decreased turnover, among others. 

Now, think about your own onboarding process. 

Do you go over your company values with each new hire? Do you have video tutorials and one-on-one trainings to get them started? Do you let them shadow a veteran team member for a week?

And finally… Do you think you’re doing enough to make those new hires’ first 90 days count?

If your answer is anything other than a big, resounding yes… then keep reading.


Why the 1st 90 Days are Important

All of us need an adjustment period when doing something for the first time.

You and your new hires are no exception. During their 90-day onboarding, you can check whether the person you hired is actually a good fit for your company and for the position you set them up with.

But the 90-day onboarding period is not just beneficial for you. It also helps create a solid foundation for your new hires because the onboarding period:

  • Gives them an understanding of the job description and their role in the company
  • Sets the foundation for their future in your company and gives them an idea of what it’s like working in the business
  • Provides clear expectations on what success looks like

That third point is crucial. 

See, one of the biggest reasons business owners end up with “bad hires” is because they didn’t take the time to brief their new team members about what is expected of them.

Know that there are things in your head that seem like common sense to you. But that’s only because you’ve been in this business for so long. And you just can’t expect your team members – especially new ones – to read your mind. 

So, take the 90-day onboarding period as an opportunity to discuss with a new hire exactly what you’re expecting from them. 

Give them key performance indicators (KPIs) that will serve as their markers that they’re hitting the targets you want. Not to mention that they’re achieving success as you define it.

And, most importantly, take this time to make a new hire feel excited and motivated to win with you.


3 Common Onboarding Mistakes

We’ve already touched upon one common mistake business owners make when onboarding new team members. And that mistake is assuming new hires can read their mind.

Now, here are other mistakes you want to avoid when onboarding new hires:


Mistake #1. Thinking that going through the employee handbook is enough onboarding. 

What your new hires need is a specific onboarding process, rather than a generic one. Find ways for them to really immerse in the company’s work processes and culture outside of just reading the handbook. 

So, do daily check-ins. Have them create end-of-day reports documenting their progress and new learnings. And have frequent meetings with them to discuss their tasks and how they’re doing.


Mistake #2. Thinking that onboarding is only for new hires. 

I once had someone in our business who was never properly onboarded. 

When I discovered it, we were already a year into her employment. I told her that I had done a disservice to her and would like to properly onboard her in her role. And she was grateful that I was giving her the extra time.

That’s the thing – It’s never too late to onboard a team member. 

It doesn’t matter if they’ve been with you for 10 years. You’ll still need to onboard everyone. 

In this scenario, you could hold a company meeting and explain that when you hired them, you didn’t have a formal onboarding process. But you’re now creating one for all new hires.  You want to make sure everyone is on the same page, so everything all the new hires will hear will now be shared with them, too.


Mistake #3. Thinking they “just don’t have the time” to train new hires

Regardless how busy you might be, this just isn’t true. There are countless ways you can make time for proper onboarding.

The next part of this article will tell you how.


Onboarding is Easy

You might be thinking you don’t have enough time to explain everything your new hires need to know. And that’s okay

There are a few things you can do to ensure an effective onboarding process for your new employees… without it taking up too much of your own time.

For instance, you can record videos of how the company started, what your company values are, and what those values mean. You can also have a senior team member help you out with certain aspects of onboarding.

The point is that onboarding doesn’t have to be overcomplicated. In fact, it can be easy.

…As long as you prepare for it well.

One of our clients, Carina Gardner, is a good example of this. The founder of Design Suite went from spending 10 hours on onboarding a new hire to just one hour because of this strategy.


Plan the 1st 90 Days

Before you even extend a job offer to a new hire, it’s best to make sure that your onboarding process is already set up. 

As mentioned earlier, the first 90 days of your new employees are crucial to their long-term success in your organization. That means you have no time to waste once a new hire comes in to start their new assignment.

Now, if you have any questions or need more guidance around this topic of efficient onboarding…

Schedule a free strategy session with one of our scale specialists. 

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