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Onboarding: The first 90 days

The first 90 days refers to the time between the new employee’s first week and the first 3 months of employment. During this time, the new employee finalizes all paperwork and completes new employee training. New employees should begin to acquire a full workload while supervisors monitor performance and provide early feedback.

Like the first day, this period is critical to forming new employee perceptions about the organization and job. A lack of focus on this phase can have negative consequences if employees do not feel integrated by the end of their first 90 days.

Attend Connections

All new DHS employees must attend Connections within 30 days of being hired.

Review Performance Objectives and Set Individual Development Goals

In the first week, you discussed the new employee’s accountabilities and behaviors. Now, you actually put it in writing. DHS Performance Management Process policy requires the HCM-111 to be initiated within 30 calendar days of the new employee’s entry on duty date. Focus on performance areas for development. Use the development plan as a map for how the new employee will develop the basic skills needed for their job and integrate with their team. This is also a good time to begin the employee’s Individual Learning Plan (ILP) which can be found at the end of the CSQuest article Learning Opportunities and Upcoming Events.

Give feedback early and often

Supervisors must take an active role in coaching new employees, more than just answering questions when they come up. All employees need accountability, and 85 percent of accountability is pointing out the things they are doing right.

Provide CSS Academy and begin formal training

All CSS staff will participate in the CSS Academy, which may also include pre-academy training requirements. It’s important to help new employees understand internal systems, general operating practices and other information or skills they will need to perform their jobs.

Bloodborne Pathogens within the first 10 days.

Each office develops an Exposure Control Plan stating how employees are to respond to potential exposure to bloodborne pathogens. Supervisors and the safety coordinator should provide information to staff on bloodborne pathogens and disease, methods used to control occupational exposure, hepatitis B vaccine, and medical evaluation and post-exposure follow-up procedures.

If they haven’t already, this is also a good time to complete the following online training courses on the DHS Learning Management System:

  • Substance Abuse Policy – within the first 30 days.
  • HIPAA and Information Security – within the first 90 days
  • HIPAA Privacy – within the first 30 days.
  • Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) – within the first 90 days.

Employee’s first pay day

The day a new DHS employee receives his or her first paycheck is an opportunity to teach them how to navigate My Personal Finance. After you help them sign on for the first time, show them how to review their Leave and Earnings Statement (LES). This may also a good time to show them how to use Speed-E-Travel.

Career Progression

Depending on a new employee’s experience, education and the particular requirements of the job family, the time it takes to progress from a Level I to a Level II can vary. Beginning this discussion in the first 90 days will lead into later discussions about career development.

Discuss individual work styles and preferences

While we share policy, procedure and practice, each office and work group has its own flavor. Discuss your office’s standard operating procedures (SOP), and then your own preferences. It is important employees know when they should consult you about certain issues, when and who to Cc: on e-mail messages, etc.

Arrange for the new employee to meet key stakeholders from other offices and divisions

How often have you heard the statement, “It’s so nice to be able to put a face with your name.” This is an important part of helping new employees feel like they are part of the team. It also gives the supervisor a chance to brag about the new employee.

Check regularly to see they continue to assimilate and expand their capabilities

Another old saying, “If you’re not moving forward, you’re standing still,” highlights the need to continue improving. It’s nice to have employees who are competent and satisfied in their work. It’s even better to have employees who are engaged and looking for new ways to contribute. Regular feedback focusing on the things they’re doing right, along with positive coaching to teach and correct errors, will bridge the gap from good to great.

The 5 Questions Supervisors Must Ask

Supervisors need to ask new employees these 5 questions after 30, 60, 90, 180 and 365 days on the job.

Note: If you haven’t already reviewed the CSS Onboarding Process, which supplements the DHS onboarding process, please do so now.