How Crucial Are the First 90 Days to Your Success?

“Why don’t more of our new recruits become real top producers?” –“we always seem to be re-hiring for the same positions…”

Does this sound familiar?

Retaining current talent and attracting new talent has a significant impact on business success.

We have seen it happen over and over where a business owner or manager will invest a lot of time in recruiting and selecting the right candidate, only to let things slip through a lack of preparation, guidance and in not establishing strong foundations with their new team member – from day one.

Therefore, if you want to make a great first day impression, make the effort to get things organised, prepared and looking as though you are ready for this person’s arrival.

From the recruitment process your new team member will have a general understanding of your business. But they are unaware of the inner workings of how you operate, the culture and how they are really expected to carry out their role on a day-today basis or where they fit into the organisation.

Coming into a new role most people have their own way of doing things, whether they realise it or not, their habits are carried over from their previous organisation- both good and bad ones, this is typical no matter what the business.

Therefore it is critical that you map out the first 90 days with clear guidelines, goals and objectives and the support structure that will enable this person to become one of your champion players. By using this initial 12 weeks wisely you can form a firm foundation for a strong working relationship with them.

No matter how skilled and talented they are no new employee can come into your business and be fully productive and effective from day one. So this can be a nervous time both for them and you. During the first week or month a lot of evaluation is going on either consciously or unconsciously…. “I have I made the right decision?”

If you map out the first 90 days, you are providing your new team member with their own personal roadmap. This helps the person feel confident and for people who want to achieve it’s a great start as they can create their own success benchmarks and monitor their own progress. By having this conversation you set clear expectations for your new team members, and it provides a platform from which to coach them and get the best performance from them. Remember too that coaching is not just about telling people where they can improve, it’s also about highlighting their strengths and showing you appreciate and value them.

Set up a daily review process during these first 12 weeks, just ten minutes at the beginning of each day to identify the priorities and manage expectations. This will enable the new team member to have the opportunity to identify what is working and what they are achieving, what challenges they have and what further training in certain areas may be needed. This process supports them and enables them to ask much better questions.

We find that something special occurs close to the end of the 90 days. All the parts of the puzzle start to fall into place and they see the whole picture.

It is only natural some of their previous job will come with them. Typically this shows up in phrases like “this is how I did it in my last job”.  The old familiar habits are comfortable and depending on the personality type they could be quite forceful in pushing that their way is the right way or certainly better than the way you are currently doing it.

Change either for a business owner or new team member is not easy, even if they are excited about their new role. But ultimately, companies are looking for results. When you find people with the right attitude and enthusiasm then results will come. This induction process allows space for letting go of old habits and time to become confident in a new way of doing things.

It is also important to induct your new person into the ‘right’ type of culture. If you don’t have a 90 day induction for new team members and demonstrate what culture you would like them to follow, they can become ‘corrupted’ by segments of the existing culture. They may join enthusiastic and inspired by your business and their new role, and begin to suggest new ideas and ways of working. Only to be met with cynicism from some of your other employees – with responses such as “we already tried that”, or “that’s not the way we do things” – quickly the new person can become discouraged and disillusioned about the possibility of creating change and reaching bigger goals. So you need to spend time sharing your vision with your new people, ensure that the environment will be receptive, enabling your new member to flourish.

The vital ingredient in getting your new champion up and running is that you set them up for success from day one and work with them closely over the first 90 day period. Based on the success of the first 90 days, you will then be able to set the next 90 day challenges and continue the process for the life-time of their employment with you.

This process is very simple but also very powerful. Ask any structural engineer how important the foundation is they will tell you it is critical and where they would invest their time to ensure they get it absolutely right.


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