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Culpeo HR

The “Honeymoon Phase” of a New Hire

Everyone is struggling to recruit and retain top talent. When companies are exhausting all their efforts and resources on sourcing and hiring new talent how do they also manage their existing employees and prevent resignations? 

Let’s first examine the best on-boarding practices and focus on the “Honeymoon Phase.” 34% of all new hires leave their position before they finish their 90-day introductory period leaving a company discouraged, resource depleted, and out of pocket thousands of dollars to only hire again. So why is this happening and how can we prevent it? Let’s unpack this a bit. 

The first 90 days of employment are The Honeymoon Phase and showcase your best practices as an employer. Here are recommendations to start your new hire the right way! 

  1. Get as much of the paperwork done prior to their actual start date. Your first-day focus should be on new hire orientation and training. 
  2. Ensure that their workstation is fully operational and that their desk is covered in company swag!
  3. Provide a tour of the building and include special departments, all bathrooms, gym facilities, or any areas that require special focus. 
  4. Build out a detailed calendar outlining the schedule for team introductions, mentoring, employee shadowing, etc. 
  5. Make sure there is a clean handoff to their direct supervisor or trainer, so they feel fully welcomed and enthusiastic about starting their new role. 
  6. If able, assign a mentor to offer guidance and answer questions. 
  7. Make sure their direct report is taking them out to lunch on their first day and getting them acclimated to their surroundings. 
  8. Continue the introductions well into the first week but send around some fun facts on your new hire including pictures, favorite sports teams, hobbies etc. Post this on your Intranet, through email, on social sites, etc to build internal comradery.

15 days into the role – Three business weeks is often enough time to gauge how your employee feels about their new job. At this point, you can likely learn how capable they are of performing their duties and measure the progress they’ve made. 

  1. Schedule a short meeting to ensure they understand their responsibilities and have the tools to complete their tasks. 
  2. Ask for feedback about the onboarding and training process to improve your methods and make the employee feel more comfortable.
  3. Ask if they have all the necessary tools and resources to do their job well. 
  4. Arrange a team event, such as a lunch or happy hour. Give the new hire an opportunity to socialize with their coworkers outside of their workspace to build better connections.

30 days into the role – After one month, the employee should be comfortable in their role. 

  1. Ask open-ended questions about what they have learned about the company’s products/services that they did not previously know.
  2. Confirm they have been given their job accountabilities or KPI’s.
  3. Confirm they have met with HR to sign-up for company benefits.
  4. Inquire how their on-the-job training is progressing and if they need training in any specific area.
  5. Confirm whether they have regularly scheduled meetings with their supervisor.
  6. Ask if they have the tools needed to perform their job.
  7. Review their assignments and confirm they understand expectations.
  8. Finally, ask if they have any positive or constructive feedback about their onboarding experience to date.

60 days into the role – Use the 60-day mark to briefly meet with the employee to continue defining goals. 

  1. Set up another short meeting to check in with them. Before you meet with the employee, review some of their work to see how it aligns with their outlined responsibilities. Prepare feedback that can guide their work moving forward. 
  2. Check in with their supervisor or mentor regarding their progress and areas in which they need more focus. The supervisor should feel comfortable managing the employee’s workflow and making any necessary changes to help them succeed.
  3. Write down areas where they excel and places where they can improve to provide specific, actionable feedback.
  4. Ask about the guidance they’re receiving from their mentor or supervisor. They should have a clear understanding of their job and how their work contributes to the company.
  5. Ask for more feedback about the onboarding process to ensure they still feel comfortable.
  6. Although very early on, ask your employee to begin thinking about some short-term goals that they may want to achieve. Based on their work so far, you may be able to make suggestions for possible milestones that they can meet. Give them time to consider possible goals and discuss them in your next meeting.

90 days into the role – After three full months, your employee should be able to work with minimal supervision.

  1. Make sure they can handle their full workload. If they’re ready, start assigning them to group and department projects that further connect them with their team. 
  2. At this point, involving them in long-term projects also shows that you value their work and want them to succeed.
  3. During your check-in, conduct a review of their work. Since they will be working independently moving forward, you need to know they have the proper tools and knowledge to complete their responsibilities. Ask for more information from their mentor or supervisor regarding their work or include them in the meeting. 

Factors to review include:

  • The skills the employee has developed
  • Any additional tools the employee needs
  • Their management or leadership potential
  • Their ability to connect work to company mission and values
  • Their ability to work independently and with their team
  • Their enthusiasm for the work and business

After your 90-day meeting, you don’t need to conduct another evaluation until the one-year mark. Even though this is the last formal meeting you’ll have with your employee for at least a few months, an open-door policy is key. Show your employee that you’re available to answer any questions and take care of concerns as soon as they arise. Invite them to email, message or call you when they feel the need.

The first 90 days are crucial for employee retention. When you implement an onboarding program that makes new employees feel like they’re welcome, you’re more likely to reduce turnover and increase loyalty. By checking in with your employee regularly and assigning a mentor, you’ll build a stronger connection long term. 

From your company’s point of view, think about the thousands of dollars lost, the training expenses, and lost revenue each time a new hire leaves before 90 days! 

Additional ideas for retaining employees past 90 days: 

  • Special bonuses 
  • Stepped up training 
  • New programs 
  • Partnering new hires with a mentor or work-buddy to reduce quick quits!!
  • $1k retention bonus if you stay on the job 90 days 
  • Investment in confidential “real-time: reporting tool to allow for anonymous feedback in real-time 
  • Creating future goals to boost performance in the first 90 days – one company laid out goals for a new hire that included “successful completion of metrics = would result in a leased car and gas card.” Visual clearly outlined goals like this will certainly motivate an employee. 

Fact – One of our clients hired an onboarding coordinator that was experiencing 37% resignation rate prior to 90 days. After hiring this coordinator and implementing the process and steps above – they have cut their resignation rate in half. 

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