The Critical Nature of Staff Orientation & 100 Day Reviews

©aleksandarfilip / Dollar Photo Club

Everyone I know who does this, does it differently. But not everyone does this.

When you don’t go through orientation and an early review, you’re missing out on a great opportunity to gather fresh ideas and insights. It allows you the opportunity to build relationships and ensures that everyone who works with you is on the same page.

The first 100 days for a new staff-member are critical. As a supervisor, there’s a lot to be done during that time, and you only get one chance to do it right.

In order to make the most of the first 100 days, we’ve set multiple steps in place for new church staff employees:

  1. Onboarding orientation
  2. 30 day church culture orientation with an executive pastor
  3. 100 day review with supervisor (click here for our template)

New Callout Box

This is the content for inside my callout box

Click Here

During those first 100 days, we connect a new employee with HR, IT, and fun information like how to use the copier and get yourself into the building. But we also cover things like:

  • staff vocabulary
  • personnel manual
  • one, three, and six months goals for the employee
  • the organization chart and how the lines of communication flow
  • church governance
  • staff values and expectations

After they’ve been there 30 days, we schedule their “executive pastor culture orientation”. This orientation with an executive pastor (in our case we have two) is informal and allows us to not only dispense needed information to the new employee, but also to learn from their questions and first impressions. Here’s what I mean:

Even 30-45 days into their work, it can be determined how we as leadership are doing in our orientation process. You can also gauge how clearly we depicted the working expectations and culture at our church, in our selection process.  Often, the new employee will ask questions in this orientation, which (by its very mention) provides you a new insight about our church or staff.

This is the quote that I want to emphasize.

Their fresh eyes often innocently identify poor procedures, sacred cows, and shed light on things we do that don’t make sense. Many times you’ll walk away from an orientation with a to-do list involving investigation of one of the new employee’s comments.

For our ministry staff, the 100 day review comes at the end of an orientation-period when the new employee and their supervisor have been meeting weekly. This is purposeful immersion for the new employee. As their orientation progresses, the new employee has more and more time to do the work we’ve called them to do. But ultimately, the priority of the first 100 days is making sure they get a strong start – even if that strong start means significant work output has to wait.

In most cases, our staff searches (particularly for minister positions) take three months or more. And when they finally get to their first day of work, everyone’s anxious for them to jump right in and make a difference. So as the leader, you’ll have to use restraint and fortitude to set up a process that prioritizes the new employee being on the same page with the church, and fully equipped to begin their work.

Get Posts Delivered to Your Inbox

Join my mailing list to receive all my blog posts in your inbox and other special subscriber-only content.

You have Successfully Subscribed!