Getting Your Feet Wet


thLGANSBI5Imagine being employed for 3 months, getting paid and having very little accountability to produce any results.  Would you take that job?  Some like me would go stir crazy, but many work for companies in many industries that call the first 90-days of the job “time to get their feet wet.”

I must be getting old, because I still remember when the first 90-days was about showing what you are made of, and if anything, over achieving during this probationary period.  Now all too often companies allow new employees to get comfy first, learn the culture, and kick-back before performance objectives begin.

When you factor in the time it takes to recruit a new hire can take 90-days or longer before an offer is extended and accepted, time is wasting away when we then allow this new hire another 90-days to get their feet wet before we get any return on the investment.

I often advise on the building of internal training departments, and before a training manager is hired, I will recommend that a training plan, and a detailed list of tasks for the first 90-days be created before interviewing candidates.  This gives the conversation some meat about expectations and it gives the applicant / new employee a better understanding of what will be happening right from day one.

Allowing time for new hires to ease into the job is rarely a company-wide policy, but rather a manager’s policy.  This means that it can be hard to determine how wide-spread the idea is around the organization.  However deep it is, Human Resources can control the behavior by insisting that each new hire have a 90-day plan at the start of orientation.  When a plan does not exist, then the potential for a long grace period will exist.

What is your opinion of a 90-day break in period?

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