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85. The First 100 Days of a New Employee

by | Oct 3, 2022 | 0 comments

Podcast Artwork - EP85
Culture of Leadership
85. The First 100 Days of a New Employee



Have you ever started a job and felt like you were thrown into the deep end all by yourself, or that you were “drinking from a fire hose” and the process was completely overwhelming and negative?  Marc Reifenrath, CEO of Spinutech, wants to make sure that never happens to his new hires.

Spinutech is a national digital agency focusing on digital marketing, web design and web development with five locations (Chicago, Tampa, Denver, Des Moines and Cedar Falls). They specialize in delivering digital solutions that meet and exceeds the specific needs of our clients. Spinutech has clients in all 50 states and 10+ countries. The Spinutech process incorporates a unique combination of services that enables more effective communication of a company’s message. Whether it be web design, web development, web strategy, digital marketing or SEO—their services are designed to complement one another and generate digital success.

Marc Reifenrath’s passion for culture is obvious. As one of the original founders and the current CEO of Spinutech, he understands firsthand how critical a company’s culture is to achieving and maintaining success. Marc has seen Spinutech grow from a college start-up to one of the premier full-service digital marketing agencies in the country. As he tells it, Spinutech would not be what it is today without a team of people who are as invested in each other’s growth and success as they are in delivering the best for their clients. 

In our discussion for this episode, Marc shares the very detailed steps his company takes with new hires – from the “pre-employment” period where they get all the paperwork out of the way and share some company swag, to the first week, month, 6 months etc.  We’ll talk through each stage and how Marc and his team have refined the process, maybe made some missteps, heard feedback and adjusted.  Marc looks forward to the first time a new team member “defends the culture” and knows that he has given them a welcoming home to become a part of.

Discussion Points

  • Why is the first 100 so important – it sets the tone, gets the “DNA injected” into people right away, get them to the best version of themselves at work
  • Spinutech developed this concept after scaling up to a certain size
  • Marc’s YPO experience led to developing a process
  • A new hire’s reporting manager bears the main responsibility, but they also have checkins with others, and a mentor
  • An employee also has responsibility to ‘lean in’, especially in a remote setup, to engage
  • There are four segments to the team members first days:
    • Pre-employment
    • First 30 days
    • 2-6 months
    • Post 6 months
  • The benefits to the pre-employment stage – sets a tone, feeling welcome, building excitement
  • Pre-employment – what sets Spinutech apart – swag and personal touches
  • Day one – what new hires can expect – a light day, lunch with leaders, rounds of initial meetings, a light day
  • Spinutech likes to hear feedback in the first week, before your perceptions evaporate
  • Marc himself gets a great deal out of spending time with new team members – people are their most important investment
  • Is a leader ever too big for this experience? Marc constantly checks himself to make sure he’s not impeding growth
  • The 4 core values:
    • Get better every day
    • Do the right thing
    • We over Me
    • We own it
  • In the first 30 days – GB8 program for self-improvement, 15 day new hire surveys, thank you notes
  • Too many new hires onboarding at one time may dilute the experience
  • Many businesses focus on the money rather than the human capital
  • Marc hopes new hires feel a wave of positive feelings about the company: Impressed, kindness, talented, passion, validation
  • Day 30-90: focus on growth, check-ins, coffee chats, more training, more actual work, 60 day survey, theme- overcommunicating 
  • What a check-in looks like: Different for each leader, getting things back on track if needed
  • Watching for misalignment in new hires -, we need to pull the cord asap if the fit is wrong
  • Slow to hire, fast to fire
  • In the final 30 of 115 days it is critical to have new hires fully connected and engaged, if not, ask why
  • Spinutch is quite unique in this focus – perhaps because as founders they never went the “corporate route” – founder mentality
  • Biggest influences? Mainly learning what not to do
  • Marc always watches and questions his actions to be sure they are aligned with values
  • My key takeaways: 
    • Leaders are defenders of the culture
    • Leaders get better every day
    • Leaders treat people as their currency
  • Let me know your thoughts about this interview on my socials 



Spinutech Website

Marc Reifenrath LinkedIn

Spinutech Twitter

Marc on Instagram

Brendan Rogers LinkedIn

Brendan Rogers Website

The Culture of Leadership YouTube Channel

The Culture of Leadership LinkedIn

The Culture of Leadership Podcast Archives

The Culture of Leadership Facebook

The Culture of Leadership Instagram 

If you have any questions for Brendan around this episode or generally around culture, leadership, or teamwork, feel free to contact him here.

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