The honeymoon period for new employees provides a prime time to set the stage for unlimited success. While some employers unfortunately also call this the introductory period and try to use it as an evaluation window within which to weed out new hires, we should look at it as a litmus test for our own success and a chance to invest in the success of an employee.

Employees come in ready to make an impact, optimistic about the opportunity and eager to learn. Here are three steps to take to fan that flame of enthusiasm into a sustainable fire.

Check, please!

The only time more engaging than the start of the employee-employer relationship is the interview process. Each side comes with its own expectations, things are strategically said — or omitted — and the dance evolves until, ideally, an offer is extended and accepted.

Sometimes, however, there are misunderstandings. From salary to work environment, office space to office location, there can be misalignment between what was said and what was understood. To address this in the bud, before it blossoms into full blown disenchantment, we must schedule and keep to regular check-ins.

The check-in does not have to follow an outline, a time schedule or last for a minimum number of minutes. On the contrary, as long as it happens and happens consistently, the frequency and reliability of it will facilitate open communication and allow the smaller but important items to be addressed quickly.

You’re an open book.

The second step is to listen and note any questions new employees ask. Then, read between the lines.

What are their questions telling us about their experience from the first time they heard about the position through the time they showed up this morning? Is our culture reflected in their questions?

Remember they are new and may not be as likely to ask as openly as a longer-standing employee. As such, meet with them regularly as noted above. Instead of trying to immediately answer their question or defend a practice, figure out what had to happen for them to ask that question.

Keep asking what else, how so and other open-ended follow-ups to get as much clarity as possible. Even the simplest questions from the newest employees can provide insight into an organizations systems and culture.

Next steps

Finally, find a way to systemize the above steps into the orientation and onboarding processes. In other words, look at each new employee as an opportunity to get an unvarnished look at how the work environment is conveyed.

Transition the introductory period from the misunderstood free pass to fire someone into a valuable exchange of information, helping to ensure both sides are in lock step to move forward. Optimize it as a chance to level-set expectations from the hiring process and uncover any basic issues before they become systemic problems.

The bottom line is that the start of a new job provides a great opportunity to help employees build positive habits that will help them sustain their success while, of course, helping the organization.

If you would like to get that new employee feeling again, check out this article for tips on how to rekindle that enthusiasm.