training in the first 90 days of employment

The First 90 Days: Setting Your New Hire Up for Success

Kelsey Peterson

by Kelsey Peterson

Head of Customer Success

After you've written a great job description and recruited top talent in a competitive job market, it's time to onboard your new hire. A good onboarding process is critical to the success and engagement of a new employee. One survey found that quick quits are prevalent -  33% of employees quit their new positions within the first 90 days of employment. These employees cited two primary reasons for their early resignations:

  • The company culture wasn't a good match for them. Sometimes the culture an organization presents in the interview process is vastly different than the one an employee will experience on a day-to-day basis. This is something that can be rectified if the organization is honest about their culture -- both with themselves and their new hires.
  • The new role wasn't what they expected. This often comes down to miscommunication within the new hire's team. Navigating this challenge requires building better communication during onboarding and ensuring the new hire's team is part of the process. 

These reasons for early resignation could easily be overcome with a strong onboarding process. Onboarding should accomplish three main objectives:

  • Offer insight into the company culture
  • Help the new hire become a contributing member of the team
  • Earn their commitment to the organization 

If you aren't doing that within the first 90 days of employment, there is a good chance you could be handling a new hire's resignation very soon. 

If your company is struggling to retain new hires, it's time to look at how you can better onboard and engage new hires in the first 90 days of employment. Here are five tips you can incorporate into your onboarding process to make it stronger. 

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5 Tips to Improve Onboarding in the First 90 Days of Employment

1. Make an Employee's First Day About More Than Paperwork

The first day needs to set expectations for the new hire within the organization. It should also help create a meaningful connection to their new position. 

While paperwork is a necessity, it's not going to get anyone excited about their new job. Intersperse the day with meet and greets, group sessions, and activities that help the new hire learn more about their team and the company culture. 

The goal is to have them excited for day two and eager to get started on impactful tasks. The paperwork will still get done, but you'll have a much happier new employee at the end of day one. 

2. Team Your New Hire Up with a Peer Outside Their Department

Teaming a new hire with a current employee is standard practice in the onboarding process. However, instead of choosing a peer from their team, consider choosing one from outside of their own department. This is beneficial for several reasons. 

First, it allows the new hire to familiarize themselves with more than just their specific department. They get to know more of the company and, in the long run, this can encourage a more collaborative company culture. 

Having a peer outside of their department can also give the new hire more freedom to ask the questions they’re curious about without worrying about causing offense within their own department. This can give them better insight into company culture and understand what to expect from the organization. 

3. Provide a Job Description for the New Hire and Their Team

Providing a written job description and a list of duties for your new hire is another standard practice. However, you can take this a step further by communicating the job description for the new hire with their entire team. 

This is a simple but impactful practice that can help solidify the new hire's role within the company. It can also help cut down on resignations tied to roles not being what the new hire expected. 

They will be less likely to be burdened with tasks outside the scope of their original job description. Moreover, everyone on the team will be on the same page about the new hire's tasks, so there is no confusion about what they are there to accomplish. 

It can also help the team start providing valuable tasks and guidance to increase the new hire's productivity in the first 90 days of their employment. 

Improve new hire satisfaction by 26%.

4. Give Them a Small Project to Set Them Up for Big Wins in the First 90 Days

Make sure the new hire has a project of their own to work on within the first 90 days of employment. This doesn't have to be a massive project, but it should be a meaningful one that's relatively low-stakes. 

This will give the new hire the experience of navigating the company's processes and understanding workflows within their team. It will also increase the new hire's confidence, plus offer the opportunity for an early win within the organization. 

If their first project is a short-term one, make their next project a longer-term one. This helps cover all areas of what they can expect when completing projects within the organization. 

5. Set Short and Long-Term Goals with the New Hire During the First 90 Days

Gallup reports that 87% of millennials say their professional development is very important to them. If you want new employees to be successful, their career goals have to be important to the organization. 

While you'll want to create performance plans and set KPIs for your new hires, set long-term professional development goals with them as well. Create a career map with them and set a cadence in which you discuss potential skill development opportunities. 

Investing in an employee's future like this is mutually beneficial. The employee gets to achieve their goals while the organization retains a valuable employee with increasing skills. 

And while the first 90 days of employment are important, the success of a new hire really begins during the assessment and reference check process. Organizations must focus on improving their recruitment and hiring process if they want to secure candidates that are going to be high-quality new hires for the organization. 

If your organization is seeing too many new hires walk out the door in the first 90 days of employment, Crosschq can help. Schedule a demo and learn how we can help improve your recruitment and hiring process.