JTB Communications
Transformation.    Leadership.


Maximizing the Initial Employment Period for New Employees


All Material Copyright JTB Communications, Inc. 2010

High Hope & Expectations


With every new employee comes high expectations on the part of the company and the new employee.  Everyone wants the person to be successful. 


The first 90 days are the key for most employees.  If the right actions are taken during the initial employment period and the right systems are in place, you can virtually guarantee that the person will be successful (or you will know within 60 days, with certainty, that the person is not going to be successful).  The key for increasing the success of new employees is building an effective on-boarding system that maximizes the impact of the initial employment period.


Purpose of On-Boarding


Everyone is not a self-starter naturally.  This one fact is why a strong on-boarding system is critical.  Most people are adapters, which means that they adapt to the environment in which they find themselves.  They can rise to great heights or wallow in mediocrity, depending on their environment. 


On-Boarding provides a system to fully maximize the first 90 days with every new employee.


The purpose of this on-boarding process can be summarized in four words:

  • Clarity – On-boarding helps you clarify exactly what is expected in each position.
  • Intentionality – On-boarding builds an intentional system to maximize impact.
  • Structure – On-boarding provides a structure that is easy to use and follow for the leader and the new employee.
  • Coaching – On-boarding provides an intentional coaching process that builds positive accountability, puts accountability on the new employee to assess his/her own performance, and makes the coaching process easier and less time consuming for the leader.


Goals of On- Boarding

The overall goal of the on-boarding process is to create the optimum environment for success for the new employee.  As a part of this overall goal, there are four specific goals for the first ninety days:

  • Help the new employee quickly assimilate into his/her role
  • Help the new employee quickly assimilate into the organization and your culture
  • Help the new employee develop the self-starter characteristics needed to be successful in his/her role and in the culture
  • Determine if the employee can be successful in his/her role and in the culture


Two Components of On-Boarding


The On-Boarding process for all employees should have two components:

I.   Company On-Boarding


(The company information may already be included in the current orientation process.)


The company On-Boarding provides a clear understanding of the company and what is needed to be successful in the company.  The template in On-Boarding enables you to quickly integrate your existing orientation process into this robust and effective company On-Boarding program.  During the company On-Boarding you will provide the following:

  • An overview of the organization
  • An understanding of how the On-Boarding process works
  • An understanding of how leaders are evaluating new employees during the initial 90 days
  • An understanding of the total team and how all of the parts fit together
  • The mission and core values of the company and how the new person’s position relates to these
  • A set of essential tools to help the new employee on the journey to success


The company On-Boarding process gives essential information for the new employee to understand who the company is what they do and they do it, and how their role fits into the bigger picture. 


II.  Departmental On-Boarding


Departmental On-Boarding provides a very systematic process for training, equipping, and empowering the new employee on the journey to success during the first ninety days.  In the next section, the key elements of the departmental On-Boarding are outlined.


The Pillars of Departmental On-Boarding Success


This On-Boarding is built on four pillars.  When these four pillars are implemented successfully, you will very quickly determine if the new employee will be successful in the role and in your organization.

  • Expectations
  • Training
  • Benchmarks
  • Progress Discussions




On-Boarding provides two templates that are essential for clarifying expectations in the position.

Departmental Overview – This document, when completed by the leader, provides a clear understanding of the department in these categories.

  • Who we are
  • What we do
  • Why we exist
  • Who our customers are (internal and external)
  • How we do what we do
  • How we as a department fit into the bigger picture of the organization
  • How success is measured in the department
  • The other departments we must work with on a regular basis
  • The key people who must work together within the department
  • How each part of the department connects together to create success
  • The key drivers for success in the department

Position Overview – This document, when completed by the leader, provides a clear understanding of essential information related to the position and how to be successful in the position.  The following information is covered.

  • Job description is included
  • Why the position exists in the organization
  • How the work of the position is done
  • How success is measured in the position
  • Any time lines that are relevant for the position
  • Who the person must work with in the department and in other departments
  • How the actions of the person impact others in the organization
  • The five most common problems that a person in the position will encounter
  • The key drivers for success in the position (key things the person must master to be successful)
  • The key skills the person must master
  • The essential knowledge the person must learn


This information, along with the job description will create a clear picture for the new employee.


Training Plan


The training plan template provides a clear and easy way to organization training for the new employee to maximize impact.  The instructions enable you to quickly and effectively create a training plan for every new employee that will provide the skills and knowledge to be successful.

Plus, On-Boarding provides a template that every department can use to develop training plans.  Just use the process and a clear training plan can be developed in just a few hours.


On-Boarding Benchmarks


If you want self-starters, benchmarks are essential.  The On-Boarding process enables you to clarify benchmarks for the new employee for each week in the first 90 days.  The benchmarks focus in three areas:


  • Training to be completed
  • Skills and knowledge to be acquired and mastered
  • Results to be achieved


In some positions you will be expecting results during the first week.  In other positions you will be expecting results after the first month.  Whatever your expectations, when they are clearly defined for the new employee to see, it helps the person develop the self-starter characteristics you want and need.

Progress Discussions


The progress discussions are the fourth and maybe most important part of On-Boarding.  The problem with most initial employment periods is lack of effective feedback in a timely manner.  The strategy used in On-Boarding, makes feedback natural and frequent.


Employees lead progress discussions


The first element of the progress discussions that is unique is that the employee leads the progress discussions, not the leader.  If you want people to be self-starters they must be able to objectively assess their own performance.  On-Boarding creates that structure.  Following a defined template, the new employee will guide all discussions, both informal and formal.


Frequency of progress discussions


On-Boarding follows a “more frequent” to “less frequent” strategy in terms of progress discussions.  During the initial few weeks informal progress discussions will be held every afternoon.  These will be short and focused.  As the initial employment period continues it will shift to three times a week then twice a week and finally once a week.


Every week, though, there is a structured Friday progress discussion.  The Friday progress discussion has a form that must be completed by the new employee and brought to the meeting with the leader.  These meetings will usually last 20 minutes.  The new employee assesses where he/she is in relation to the weekly benchmarks.  A scoring mechanism is included for the new employee to score progress.  The leader and the new employee sign off on the form and it is sent to HR every week. 


If performance problems exist they can quickly be caught and addressed using the Friday progress discussions.  If, unfortunately, you realize that a person is not going to be successful, the Friday progress discussions provide excellent documentation and demonstrate that you have done everything within your control to help the new employee be successful. 


Maximize the First Ninety Days


On-Boarding enables you to maximize your investment of time and energy with the new employee during the initial employment period.  The entire resource can be uploaded to your internal network so that the forms and templates can be downloaded and completed at every location within your organization.

More Information


On-Boarding is priced based on the number of employees in your organization.  You will be surprised to learn how cost effective it can be to implement the system in your organization immediately.


Contact John Brantley at 706-424-2725 or johnb@jtbcommunications.net or more information and a demonstration of the system.