Your remote employee’s first 90 days: 10 things leaders must do
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Your remote employee’s first 90 days: 10 things leaders must do

The first 90 days of employment are critical: They set the tone for a new hire’s experience in the organization. “In those three months, new team members will form opinions on the best practices, leadership capabilities, and culture of a company,” says Joseph Puglise, senior director of executive search and recruiting at executive search firm JMJ Phillip. “In the mega-competitive technology sector, where talent is extremely difficult to secure and retain, it’s more important than ever to create a stellar employee experience in those first 90 days that will shape the reputation of your firm with that individual on the open market.”

When that 90-day initiation period takes place virtually, the possibility of disconnects and disengagement increases considerably. “Emails, calls, and video chats have a way of amplifying whatever we transmit over the Internet. Whatever you write, say, and show becomes the only thing others read, hear, and see – and the only inputs others have to discern what the expectations are,” says Gorick Ng, author of the forthcoming book The Unspoken Rules: Secrets to Starting Your Career Off Right. “Anything you say can and will be taken literally, and – if not managed strategically ­– can quickly turn into misunderstandings, frustration, and in turn, employee churn.”

In many cases, the new employees may still have other opportunities in process or offers pending, giving them a significant amount of power and flexibility. Meanwhile, losing an employee at this point can be the most expensive to the organization and have the greatest impact on productivity, says Ian Cook, vice president of people analytics at Visier.