First Month

During their first month on the job, your new employee will become a productive member of the NIU community. You can guide this process by meeting with them often and developing a plan for their ongoing training and professional development.

First Month Tasks

Your new employee will be feeling more comfortable during their first month. They will be eager to take on more responsibility and to show you that you made the right hiring decision. The following tasks will help you guide your employee toward productivity.


  • Check in with your new employee at least once a week and encourage them to share any concerns or frustrations they have. If you’re traveling, do a check-in over the phone.


  • Conduct a first-month meeting with new employee.

Plan for Next Phase - Future Actions

  • Develop a training and development plan for the new employee to complete in the future.
  • Institutional Communications offers free, professional headshots to all faculty and staff at NIU Career Fairs five times annually. Upcoming photobooth events are posted on the Photography and Videography site, no appointment is necessary for headshots.
  • Ask for your employee’s feedback on the orientation process.
  • Conduct a provisional employment evaluation review before the end of the three-month probation period. If you have performance concerns, report them to your employment coordinator at Human Resource Services.
  • Continue to check in with your new employee at least once a week and encourage them to share any concerns or frustrations.

Meeting with New Employee

By the end of your new employee’s first month, you’ll have a lot to talk about. Schedule a time to meet and give them feedback about their performance, including strengths, areas for improvement and steps they can take to improve.

These meetings are designed to quickly address employee issues soon after they arise. If left to go on too long without intervention, issues can become difficult to resolve. Human Resource Services can be your partner in resolving these issues.

Discussion topics include:

  • What you see as the most important of their work objectives
  • The strategic plans of NIU and your department, as well as key initiatives in your area
  • Your department’s performance evaluation process and cycle, and the criteria and form that will be used to evaluate their performance
  • Rewards and recognition opportunities and how to apply for them
  • Their career goals and a plan to reach them
  • What they should do if they have a conflict with another employee
  • New ideas they may have—don’t wait until they forget their previous job and become too much a part of your system and processes
  • Their schedule of future activities including training specific to their job and department
  • If your employee adequately understands their role
  • If this is the job they expected, and if not, what can be done to improve the situation
  • Ideas they have to improve your department or the university
  • If they are having trouble fitting in or having difficulty with another employee or department, and if so, what can be done to improve the situation
  • If they see a career path for the future, and how you can help make it materialize

Training and Development Plan

You can be a powerful force in your new employee’s professional life by guiding their ongoing training and development. There are many ways your employee can enhance their job skills, including the following:

  • Informal on-the-job training
  • Mandatory training requirements
  • Formal classroom and online training
  • University-sponsored education opportunities, including tuition reimbursement

You can help your employee plan for their professional development by following these steps:

  • Break down their job by task and necessary skills.
  • Determine how well-developed their skills are.
  • Discuss training and education opportunities if a gap exists between the necessary skills and their current skills.
  • Create a development plan, including milestones, to help guide them in the future.


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