When you have a new hire, keeping the lines of communication open is essential. For this reason, we use five touch points, which we call the Five Firsts. These enable you to answer your new hire’s questions and establish a professional, organized work environment. By creating a positive experience from the beginning, you encourage the behavior and attitude you want for your employees.
The Five Firsts Explained
The Five Firsts span over a period starting from the first hour and lasting until the end of the first 30 days of your employee’s time with you. The following details what you should do at every touch point.
- The first hour
Check how everything is going so far. At this point, what you ask is less important than showing an interest in your new employee. However, you may like to use the opportunity to confirm that the employee understands the tasks for the day.
- At the end of the first day
Be the first person to ask how your employee’s day went. Find out what was good, what was bad, and if the employee has any concerns. Discuss ideas that will keep your new hire excited and engaged.
- At the end of the first week
Check in again to find out how everything is going. Since an entire week has passed, you can now ask more specific questions. For instance, ask about the new hire’s relationship with other employees, managers, and any mentors. You should also ask about workload — does the employee have too much, too little, or the right amount of work? Finally, find out if the job is what the employee expected.
- The first paycheck
Show the employee how to receive the paycheck and make sure everything looks accurate.
- After 30 days
Arrange a formal interview in HR with the employee for feedback. You should share the outcomes of this interview with managers and executives. You may like to discuss some of the following:
- Who do you turn to when you have doubts about work? Do you usually understand what is expected of you?
- Are there any things you are still unclear about?
- What have been your best and worst experiences so far?
- Have you had any conflicts?
- How do you feel that your job fits with the mission of our company?
- Do you feel heard when you have ideas?
- How can we help you succeed? What do you need to learn?
- Do you have any suggestions for ways we can improve?
The 60-Day Evaluation Period
There is no guarantee that you will know if an employee is a good fit for a position after just 30 days. Rather, you need to continue evaluating performance closely for the first 60 days.
At Boostability, we use a 60-day evaluation period for all new client services employees as well as promoted employees. To implement something similar at your business, we recommend considering the first 30 days as a training period and the second 30 days as a chance for employees to prove their suitability.
We refer to the following criteria to determine success in the second 30 days. The employee must:
- (if applicable to the team) achieve an average of 8 out of 10 on Customer Service Survey Scores.
- have an overall average of at least 85 percent on the Department QA Score.
- have an overall average of 75 out of 100 on the BoostSEO QA Scores.
- meet set production metrics determined by a senior manager.
Planning for Improvement
If an employee falls short on the 60-day evaluation period criteria, we use improvement plans. These detail exactly what the employee needs to do to reach targets. We deliver this in the form of a written warning, which also details the consequences of further infractions.
To ensure consistency across all warnings, we use an HR form. This form has three parts:
A description of the infraction
We detail where the employee is failing short of our expectations. We also explain how this impacts the employee’s team and our business as a whole.
A plan for improvement
We define clear steps that the employee needs to take to correct performance. We also set a date when the manager will follow up with the employee.
The consequences of further infractions
We make it clear that failure to make immediate and sustained improvement will result in further disciplinary action. We note that this may be in the form of termination of employment.
Whatever your business, using five touch points like the Five Firsts will be beneficial to new employees, managers, and your company as a whole. Although you will want to adapt our 60-day evaluation plan to contain criteria that better match the duties and responsibilities of your employees, the timeframe is applicable to all business. We recommend you create a system to use with employees in each department of your company.