What’s your new employees first 120 days like? Have you ‘attached them’ to the organisation?

What’s your new employees first 120 days like? Have you ‘attached them’ to the organisation?

Some Tips to add to your Induction / onboarding program!

Before we talk employee engagement, let’s start by talking about employee attachment. Your new employee’s view of your company is starting well before their first day. They already have a view based on their recruitment and hiring experience. Below are a few things to think about incorporating into your new employee induction/onboarding plan.


  1. Once the person has accepted a role, get the direct manager (or even more senior person) to ring them and welcome the person on board. This sends a clear message that the organisation is happy they are starting and have bought into/own the recruitment process and selection.
  2. Ensure the new employee is told what time, who to ask for, what to wear for the their first day and where to park (if applicable).
  3. Rather than ‘fill in forms’ for the first hour, can this be sent out and completed before hand.
  4. Make sure you have sent out an email introducing the new person starting before they commence so people know who they are and welcome them positively (and encourage staff to do so).
  5. Ensure their desk, log ins, emails, phone extensions etc are set up so the first day is not spent with IT frustrations.
  6. Think about the employees first day in the business – how can you make sure they feel comfortable and get focussed right for the onset. Think about having a coffee with them at the beginning of the day and cover early the values of the organisation, key company priorities next 12 months (and 3-5 yrs if developed), coverage of ‘how we do business’ and what the company standards are, who to talk to if they are feeling overwhelmed or have any issues and the importance of their role and how they can contribute to the organisation. While this may have been covered during the recruitment process, it will still be important as they will be listening with a different focus.
  7. Ensure the Direct Manager books 15-30 minutes at the end of every day of the first week to check-in, provide and receive feedback. This is a great opportunity for managers to ask the new employee what key things they have learnt and check their understanding of priorities.
  8. Ensure during the first week, there is an orientation of what all divisions are responsible for so they understand where both their department and position fits in the organisation.


Nice to do things:-


  • Have your CEO say hello in person/via phone or if not available, send an email from them welcoming them to the business.
  • Take them for lunch on their first day. Day 1 is normally quite intimidating and new employees haven’t established a network of people/friends yet and may feel a bit lost and/or may not know where to go.
  • Have their business cards waiting – this shows an element of professionalism and is a nice welcome to the business.
  • Give new staff the permission to provide feedback on processes that maybe improved and inform them of how they can provide this feedback (one of the organisations I work with automatically book this in 2 weeks after the employee starts so the new employees is actively looking for improvements right for the get-go).
  • Rather than just a ‘buddy’ – provide a group of people (3-5 people) who are ‘induction onboarders’ who ensure they regularly are checking in and building relationships/supporting new employees. These people may also take turns week 1 to go to lunch with the new person.


Remember, it is the Direct Manager who will have the biggest impact on your employees first 120 days. All too often, the responsibility of the onboarding process is hand-balled to HR or ‘buddies’. As a manager, you need to take responsibility for all new hires in your team.  While you may be ‘busy’, I can assure you, if you invest time at the beginning you will not only have more chance of attaching your new employee, you may even have a chance of keeping them motivated, productive and happy!



© Paulette Kolarz 2013