First 90 Days
What to Do In Your First 90 Days of Your New Job!
Unfortunately, our team has heard too many sad stories of an organization that has tried to hire a person and a few months later that same person is let go. It is an unfortunate situation for all involved and it is one of the reason's our team decided several years ago to come alongside churches and organizations to hire just the right team member at just the right time, and for just the right role.
So, if you are a person that has just been hired or you have just hired a new team member, here are 4 things to do in your first 90 days of the new job that may help you get started on the right foot as you adapt to the new culture and the new role. :
Build relationships– Seth Godin says, "Earn trust, earn trust, earn trust, then you can worry about the rest." It is true! Trust opens up the opporuntiy for others to be authentic and real with you and will create a safe space for people to work. If your new team members trust you, there are no limits to what you can do to accomplish God’s mission for your organization. Steven Covey says that "Trust is the glue in life. It is the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It is the foundational principle that holds all relationships." Here are a few ways to earn the trust that you will need to make it to the next level of leadership:
Learn the culture – Peter Drucker emphasizes, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” He completely understands that many things may change about your role at the church or organization but the effects of a well-defined and intentional culture will not change. It defines who they are and it is extremely important that you are a ‘fit’ for their culture. The #1 reason we hear that staff members are let go from their job is they were not a cultural ‘fit.’ It is important that you not only ask a lot of questions before your hire about the church’s culture but even after you are hired and are on the team, it remains a necessity to continue to ask the right questions to learn all aspects of a culture that you are now a part of. Doing so will get you clarity and more actionable insights into what it’s like to work there on a daily basis.
Listen, Listen, Listen – Unfortunately, most of us can listen long enough only to form our own response and then we stop listening. The importance of listening during those first few days of work extends far beyond your first day on the job. Understanding how to listen will actually lead to good communication skills even in your everyday life. The most important thing to remember about listening is it is a process that requires much effort on your part. The most successful people I know are the ones who have mastered the art of listening. There is an old saying that says, "People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care." One of the best ways to show care for a person is to genuinely listen! Here are a few important things to remember while you are listening those first few days:
Remove any distractions – Focus on what the person is saying and put away your cell phone, laptop, and anything else that may take your attention off the person speaking. This is not the time to multitask but it is time to demonstrate your commitment to hear what they have to say. By listening, you value the person and the content that they add to the conversation.
Refrain from interrupting – One of the rudest actions a person could do to someone is to interrupt them while they are speaking. If you feel you must respond, use non-verbal feedback such as smiling or nodding your head to ensure you are giving the speaker your full attention.
Remember people’s names – Although you will be inundated with the names of your co-workers or team members, one of the best ways to make a great “second impression” is to remember someone’s name. Make sure when someone makes a formal introduction to one of your team members, focus on paying attention to their name and then repeat it back to them. Look for a way to remember it by making some sort of connection. If you do forget it, then ask them to repeat it at the end of your initial time together. You can use your ‘notes’ phone app to list the names and a connection point with your new team members. Work hard to remember their names and each time you meet with them, greet them by using their name. It will add a personal touch to every conversation.
Respond briefly – Don’t make the conversation about you. Although you have a lot to talk about, try to use the first few weeks to learn more about them and their story. You will have plenty of time to share your story. I have a rule of thumb and that is to “Ask more questions and make less statements.” This statement alone will help you have a great start with your new team members.
Earn Trust – Seth Godin says, "Earn trust, earn trust, earn trust, then you an worry about the rest." It is true! Trust opens up the opporuntiy for others to be authentic and real with you and will create a safe space for people to work. If your new team members trust you, there are no limits to what you can do to accomplish God’s mission for your organization. Steven Covey says that "Trust is the glue in life. It is the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It is the foundational principle that holds all relationships." Here are a few ways to earn the trust that you will need to make it to the next level of leadership:
Always keep your word. Even in the small things. Keep your word. When you tell your new team members that you will do something; then do it. Once your new team knows that they can trust you, then you will be able to move the team to new levels of ministry.
Follow Through. Fulfill your commitments and keep your deadlines. Always remember people are counting on you to keep your word that you will do what you say you are going to do.
Don’t gossip. Team members will quickly pick up on the fact that if you gossip to them about another team member (even if the team member was part of your previous job), then you will be gossiping about them as well.
Admit your mistakes. Be the first to apologize when you know that you made a mistake. It does not project weakness; it projects security.
Sure, there are a lot of other ways for new hires to pave the way for a successful season of ministry but hopefully, this will help ensure a foundation for the years to come. Cheering you on!