As John looked back on his first three months as new head of digital marketing at a leading hospitality brand, he felt the honeymoon went well. He engaged key stakeholders, aligned the digital team around his vision, and even managed to credit a successful early win to his team, building trust in the process.

When a peer at another company asked John what factors made his entry into the new role successful, John answered with one word: Communication.

5 Phases of Workplace Success

A successful agenda for the first 100 days should establish strong relationships with your peers and communicate a clear vision of the strengths, weaknesses and evolution plan for your team. An effective 100-day on-boarding plan contains five overlapping phases: Preparation, assessment, planning, acting and measuring.

Communication is integral in all phases and can greatly enhance your chances of success. Adopt these communication practices to ensure a fruitful 100-day honeymoon as a new digital marketing leader. Remember, keep your communications simple and focused on outcomes.


Timing: 10 days before to 15 days after start

Don’t wait for your start date — before the first day on the job, connect with your supervisor and your agencies. Take time to see what the organization looks like from a customer’s point of view. Prepare simple introductory communication material about yourself, your background, and your initial thoughts on joining the organization.

This will help you hit the ground running. On start day, meet and greet your new team and key stakeholders to deliver the introductory message and observe the team dynamics, skills, politics, and concerns. The goal is to listen and learn.


Timing: Days 1 to 30

Continue the dialogue following your initial meetings. At this stage you’re still very much in information-gathering mode, so don’t go for the endgame. Identify and connect with supportive stakeholders because they will be key to your success. Talk to your supervisor – share your observations and get feedback and opinions.


Timing: Days 15 to 45

In the planning phase, it’s time to validate your assumptions and create a clear action plan, stating realistically what you’ll deliver in the near term. Support your plan with data and state caveats where there are holes or assumptions. In addition, don’t forget to delegate (important) projects and celebrate their success.


Timing: Days 30 to 80

Keep your communications simple and focused on outcomes. Be collegial and consistent in communications with team members and stakeholders. Solicit and deliver feedback to demonstrate engagement and a willingness to improve.


Timing: Days 45 to 100

Communicate lessons and correct assumptions while keeping the message simple and to the point. It’s important to make your story fact-based using data. If the early wins didn’t materialize, stay focused and demonstrate how you learned from the experience. Be alert and poised for what lies ahead.

Title image by Samuel Clara