New Hire Onboarding: How to Make the First 90 Days a Success

The first day for a new hire is both exciting and intimidating. The onboarding process is often seen as the responsibility of Human Resources. However, it is in the hands of managers to ensure that their new employees have a successful first 90 days. By providing support and guidance during onboarding, managers can increase productivity and loyalty from their new hires while setting them up for long-term success. In this article, we will discuss why onboarding should not be left solely to HR, explore how managers can make an employee’s first 90 days successful, and look at ways to provide ongoing support throughout the onboarding process.

Why is onboarding critical in setting new employees up for success?

Onboarding is an essential part of the new employee onboarding experience. It sets the tone for what the rest of their time with your company will be like. Onboarding helps to inform new employees of company culture and expectations. It also introduces them to the people and processes they need to know to be successful.

Onboarding can also increase productivity and loyalty in new hires. In addition, it is a process that helps foster relationships between managers and employees and provides clarity of expectations for both parties.


What is the manager’s role in onboarding?

The manager’s job in onboarding is to make a plan for the new employee’s first 90 days. They should also talk to the new employee about the plan and make sure they understand it. This helps onboarding go smoothly and sets up the new employee for success.

A manager’s role in onboarding new hires is to ensure they clearly understand the company culture and values. They should explain how these core principles guide decision-making and how employees can contribute to organizational success.

In addition, managers should ask new hires questions about their past experiences and goals. This will help create an open dialogue that allows new employees to feel comfortable expressing their ideas and opinions. By better understanding their strengths, weaknesses, and interests, managers can appropriately identify opportunities for personal growth and development.


Managers should encourage new hires to build relationships with their colleagues. Introduce them to key team members who can support them during their onboarding. Not only will this help make onboarding more enjoyable for new employees, but it will create a sense of community within teams which is essential for long-term success.

Finally, managers should provide ongoing support throughout onboarding by scheduling regular check-ins with new employees. These check-ins should discuss progress towards defined onboarding goals and areas where they need additional guidance. By regularly communicating with new hires throughout onboarding, managers can monitor performance and ensure that expectations are met, resulting in successful 90 days for all involved.

How Managers Can Make a New Hire’s First 90 Days Successful

When onboarding a new hire, managers should follow specific steps to ensure that the employee has a successful first 90 days. The first three months for a new hire are critical because it significantly impacts the employee’s long-term success and productivity. Here are eleven ways managers can make sure the employee’s onboarding experience is successful:


Develop an onboarding plan

Having an onboarding plan set out ahead of time will help streamline the onboarding process. A thoughtful and documented plan gives the new hire an understanding of what they need to do (and when). The onboarding plan should include introductions to key staff, detailed instructions about tasks and responsibilities, and resources they need during onboarding.

Establish clear expectations

The manager must communicate performance expectations, hours, and other job-related matters. This will ensure that both parties are on the same page from day one, and there won’t be any confusion down the road.

Create goals

Setting reasonable but challenging goals can help motivate new hires during onboarding. Giving them clear objectives they need to meet keeps them focused and motivated while they’re getting familiar with their role. Additionally, having specific goals also helps managers track progress and performance during onboarding so they can better assess whether or not someone is ready for more responsibility or needs additional training.


Cover Company Culture and Values

It’s vital to cover the company’s culture and values during onboarding. Core values set the tone for how employees should act and behave in the workplace. This should include a clear explanation of cultural norms and emphasize why the core values are integral to success.

Provide adequate training

Training is essential for any new hire and should cover how to complete their daily tasks. It should also help them understand how their role fits into the company’s bigger picture. A comprehensive training program gives them all the necessary information they need from day one, so they can hit the ground running.

Develop relationships

Developing relationships between new hires and coworkers is integral during onboarding. It creates an environment of camaraderie at work and helps new hires feel more comfortable in their new role. Managers should encourage team-building activities which will allow new hires to get to know their colleagues better. Creating a strong social network within the workplace can make onboarding much smoother for new hires.


Assign a mentor or buddy

Assigning a mentor or buddy to each new hire gives them someone to go to if they have questions or need assistance. In addition, having this person available makes onboarding much smoother since they are already familiar with how things work at your company and can offer guidance as needed.

Make onboarding personal

Onboarding should include more than paperwork, training sessions, and ticking off checklists. Managers should also take time to get to know their new hires personally. Take time to learn about their interests, goals, strengths, and weaknesses. Making onboarding personal shows that the manager cares about the new hire’s success. The care they feel from their manager will make them much more likely to stay engaged during onboarding.

Encourage feedback

Creating an environment where feedback is encouraged helps make onboarding more productive for both parties involved. It allows new hires to express their thoughts freely while allowing managers to get an honest opinion on how things are going and what needs improvement for future onboarding processes.


Check-in often

Regularly checking in with new hires and asking how they are doing and feeling can greatly impact their success. This type of feedback allows managers to understand issues and concerns early on, so they can address them promptly and make sure onboarding is going as smoothly as possible. Additionally, this regular communication helps build trust between manager and employee, which will help foster loyalty in the long run.

Recognize milestones

Celebrating milestones achieved by the new hire during their first 90 days shows appreciation for all their hard work. Recognition goes a long way in building loyalty! It could be as small as completing an assignment on time or successfully implementing a new system. Recognizing these accomplishments reinforces positive behavior, encouraging employees to stay with your company!

Leaving onboarding solely up to HR leaves out one crucial element: engagement from the hiring manager. Taking an active role during onboarding provides support for new employees who may lack guidance from other sources. It builds trust between the manager and new employee by demonstrating genuine concern toward individual achievements. Ultimately when a manager is engaged in new hire onboarding, it fosters loyalty which is essential when looking at someone’s long-term success within any organization!


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Jason Cortel is currently the Director of Global Workforce Management for a leading technology company. He has been in customer service, marketing, and sales services for over 20 years. In addition, he has extensive experience in offshore and nearshore outsourcing. Jason is an avid Star Trek fan and is on a mission to change the universe by helping people develop professionally. He is driven to help managers and leaders lead their teams better. Jason is also a veteran in creating talent and office cultures.

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