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The First 100 Days: How to Successfully Integrate New Employees

The first 100 days of a new employee’s introduction to a company is critical. A staggering 28% of new hires quit within the first 90 days of starting a job, 22% quit in the first 45 days, and 4% even quit after a disastrous first day in a new role - something that could be prevented with a robust onboarding system.


Despite the fact that onboarding has been proven profitable, one in three companies doesn’t have a structured onboarding process at all. Most organizations don’t bother with onboarding past the seven-day mark, and only 37% ensure onboarding programs run for more than a month.


The lack of high-quality onboarding isn’t lost on employees or HR professionals. One poll noted that only 12% of responding employees think their own companies are onboarding effectively. Half of the HR leader respondents to another survey say they know that their company is not effective at hiring, onboarding, and retention.


When employees feel unsupported in those critical 100 days after hire, they are less likely to gain confidence that the job and workplace are a good fit. In contrast, 70% of employees who had exceptional onboarding experiences say they have "the best possible job." These same employees are three times as likely to say they are extremely satisfied with their workplace.

[See More: New Hire Onboarding Checklist]

Creating a Successful New Employee Onboarding Program

Employee onboarding should be more than HR paperwork. It should be a well-thought-out, collaborative effort to integrate new hires into the company at both a business and cultural level, nurturing emotional intelligence by providing support through the first three months and beyond.

A 100-day onboarding program can completely transform an organization’s employee retention and productivity levels. Adopting such a plan and putting the steps in place before the next round of hiring can reduce costs associated with employee churn, and improve morale. 

What is a 100-Day Onboarding Plan?

A 100-day onboarding plan is a partnership between an organization and its employees to shepherd them and support them through their first 100 days with the company and beyond. It’s dependent on a collaborative approach, constant communication, and clear objectives.


Each 100-day plan should be personalized and aligned with the organizational goals, strategies, and measures already identified for the company. The goal is to smoothly integrate each employee with the company as a whole as well as with their specific team, provide support and mentorship, and improve outcomes, including employee retention.


Aspects of a 100-day plan should include:


  • Clear, achievable goals at targeted intervals (15 days, 30 days, 60 days, 90 days)
  • A list of objectives and broken-out goals to be achieved at intermediate milestones
  • Guidelines for how progress and completion will be tracked and measured
  • A plan for adjustments if the original goals become unachievable


Plan creation should be a collaborative effort with the involvement of the executive(s), manager(s), team members, and the employee themselves. 


An employee performance support system should be put in place to ensure success. This can consist of:


  • A mentor (co-worker or team member who can provide guidance and support)
  • A coach (a manager or other supervisory figure capable of adjusting goals as needed)
  • A learning plan to provide the necessary knowledge and skills required to do the job
  • Respect for the new hire’s abilities and strengths and plans to leverage them
  • Opportunities to build an in-organization network through interaction with all levels


Steps that lay the groundwork for a 100-day plan are often what is typically thought of as “onboarding”. These alone should not be considered sufficient, and should actually be labeled as “pre-boarding” activities or expectations:


  • Training on company values, best practices, mission, vision, and culture
  • Completing a checklist of HR paperwork (payroll, benefits, etc)
  • Company-related access and security items (badge, passcodes, emails, NDAs)

What Makes a Successful New Employee Onboarding Program

How successful a 100-day plan is will depend on how committed each stakeholder is to the process and how consistent the follow-through is. Many parts of an onboarding program can be automated or completed online, but there still needs to be human interaction and support.


There should be a standardized way in which content is communicated to each new hire, with a plan in place for accommodations for differently-abled employees. Make sure each piece of content is equally accessible to people who may have varying levels of sightedness or hearing.


All new hires, whether remote or distributed across office locations, can get an immediate introduction to critical communications and training without waiting on scheduling or having to travel to a centralized location. HR administrative onboarding can also be automated.


Make use of tools that allow new hires easy access to the people and information that can help them the most. From Slack to Zoom to online training modules, new hires should be set up for success. Don’t forget an easily searchable document that helps them find what they are looking for when they need it.


Track new employees and schedule surveys and check-ins at regular intervals to surface any issues and spot red flags early. Taking the pulse of a new hire frequently can be the best way to head off attrition at the pass. Crosschq Analytics is the perfect tool for this task.


Accountability is a two-way street. Ensure that new hires are hitting benchmarks, but also keep an eye on mentors and coaches to determine if the appropriate amount of support is being provided to help employees succeed. This is particularly crucial when dealing with remote employees.

onboarding plan

Benefits of a 100-Day Plan

Implementing a 100 day employee onboarding plan can shift the focus from administrative (making the employee complete tasks and checkboxes) to integrative (helping set the employee up for success.)


The benefits of employee integration over their first 100 days include:

Better employee experience

Being proactive and giving employees the tools and environment they need to become productive quickly can be key to a better employee experience. A big part of a good employee experience boils down to onboarding and managerial style. More than four out of five American workers say they would quit over a “bad manager”. Common complaints include micromanaging or not enough guidance.

Higher employee engagement

In one survey, 53% of HR professionals who responded stated that better onboarding creates engaged employees. Disengaged employees in the US cost their employers $450 to $500 billion each year, so engagement is critical to the bottom line. Better onboarding can lead to automatically improved employee engagement.

Improved employee retention

Employee retention is a top priority for companies that are realizing the cost of employee turnover. While typically not factored in when it comes to recruitment, constantly replacing new hires can be even more expensive than replacing a high-level executive.


Research shows that organizations with a strong onboarding process retain new hires at an 82% higher rate. This can save a company up to a third of a new hire’s salary every time a new employee is convinced to stay longer. 


Nearly 70% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experienced great onboarding. New employees who went through a highly organized, prolonged, and structured onboarding process were almost 60% more likely to be with the organization even after three years have passed.

Expanded talent pools

Poor onboarding leads to new hires declining to recommend their workplace to a friend or colleague. In contrast, great onboarding encourages word-of-mouth referrals, which can lead to a bigger pool of talent to source from. 

Referred employees are also 23% less likely to quit than cold hires. Making your new employees love the company from day one is a solid way to build credibility and tap into new talent sources.

Enhanced company culture

Nearly 70% of companies report easier integration of new hires into their corporate culture following an overhaul of and investment in their onboarding program. High-quality onboarding also makes it easier to integrate and retain diverse hires and to lead co-workers to appreciate what they bring to the workplace in the form of culture add.

Heightened productivity

In most cases, a new hire can be expected to take up to a year to fully hit their stride and reach peak productivity. In companies with great onboarding strategies, this timeline can be cut by as much as half. Onboarding employees using a 100-day plan can significantly decrease time to proficiency and improve productivity by over 70%

Analytics Are Critical to Successful Onboarding of New Hires

Overall, an effective onboarding experience has been found to improve new hire quality by 70%. Crosschq Analytics is the ideal tool to help identify metrics that affect the quality of hire and retention, through automated interactions with new hires at predetermined checkpoints throughout their first 100 days.



Contact us for a demonstration today, and discover how we can help with new hire integration.

Elena Arney

by Elena Arney

Director of People & Culture

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