30-60-90 Day Plan for New Hires (+Free Template)
Effective onboarding enables an employee to become productive quickly and boosts employee engagement, directly impacting organizational success. Creating a goal-driven plan for your new hires helps build an onboarding process that enables them to adapt to the new work environment seamlessly.
A common goal-orientated onboarding framework is a 30-60-90 day plan. The 30-60-90 day plan enables new hires to absorb as much information as possible, master core job responsibilities and set them up to make a lasting impact at their new organization.
What Is a 30-60-90 Day Plan for New Hires?
A 30-60-90 day plan is a straightforward course of action for new hires during the initial few days and months of their new job. By setting specific, manageable goals and a vision for one’s abilities at each stage of the plan, managers make the new hire’s transition into an organization smooth.
Breaking down a new hire’s learning process into 30-day increments empowers them to focus on learning specific skills and prevents burnout. The first 30 days are intensive with learning sessions on the product or service, company tools, and culture. As days progress, processes become more fluid, and new hires become more independent.
How Long Should a 30-60-90 Day Plan Be?
There’s no set length for a 30-60-90 day plan. Depending on the organization, official onboarding programs run anywhere from one week to 90 days, or potentially even longer. The basics are set up during the first 90 days, but employees continue to learn and develop their skillset throughout their tenure at the company.
Elements of a 30-60-90 Day Plan
A 30-60-90 day plan includes the following elements:
- Focus – The focus is your objective for each phase of the month. Typically, the first month of a new job focuses on understanding the company culture, roles and responsibilities, and absorbing onboarding materials. The second month focuses on adding value to the organization, planning, and contributing to the team. The third month is about executing the strategy mapped out in the second phase and contributing to projects within the team.
- Priorities – Priorities are more specific than the focus phase, but broader than individual goals. It is important to outline high-level priorities to be completed in each phase. Priorities for different phases include learning internal processes, performing job roles independently, proposing solutions to problems, etc. For instance, for a sales rep, the priority for month one might be learning about the company’s sales funnel or listening to high-performing team members’ sales calls.
- Measurable goals – For each phase, goals are set that roll up to your focus and priorities. Goals are categorized into learning, performance, and personal goals.
- Learning goals: Includes the knowledge and skills employees need to acquire to succeed in their roles.
- Performance goals: Concrete goals employees want to accomplish or complete as part of their new role.
- Personal goals: These goals are more about getting to know the people in the team and the leadership and establishing workplace relationships
- Success metrics – Each goal or priority is tied to metrics to visualize what success looks like and helps measure performance.
Benefits of a 30-60-90 plan
Major benefits of the 30-60-90 day plan include:
- Keeping track of goals – A 30-60-90 day plan is a great solution for keeping track of new hires’ goals and progress in the first few months of their new job. It provides a sense of direction on how to add value to their new organization.
- Better time management – A 30-60-90 day plan helps new hires manage their time more efficiently on actionable and quantifiable tasks.
- Track employee performance – A 30-60-90 day plan allows managers to track the performance of their new hires and give constructive feedback that improves job performance.
How to Write a 30-60-90 Day Plan
Here is a detailed step-by-step process to create an effective 30-60-90 day plan for your new hires.
1. Set realistic expectations
The goal of a 30-60-90 day plan is to give new hires an overview of their purpose within the company. Before creating a 30-60-90 day plan, it is important to remember that there is only so much a new team member can learn in their first few months of employment. While you may have a lot of topics to address, try not to overwhelm new hires with too much information at once, specially for the first 30 days.
2. Set SMART goals
The goals for the 30-60-90-day phases need to be SMART goals: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound.
Here is an example of SMART goal setting:
- General/Vague Goal: Employees must onboard and adopt the company’s CRM.
- SMART Goal: After completing a 2-week training program (time-bound, attainable), all employees will be able to create and manage leads and accounts on the company’s CRM platform.
3. Identify 30-day goal targets
The first 30 days involve intensive training for the job role. This is when the new hire is learning as much as possible about the company policies, team structure, and job responsibilities.
For the first 30 days, identify any knowledge or learning-based goals. Some key fundamentals to set for a new hire’s first 30 days are:
- Understand company culture and policies
- Learn company-specific platforms, intranet systems, communication and collaboration tools
- Complete company-specific training sessions
- Learn about the company’s products and customers
- Meet with key stakeholders to establish healthy working relationships
- Start working on projects
- Build an employee development plan with specific goals, metrics, and KPIs
4. Identify 60-day goal targets
Days 30 – 60 are for new hires to practice what they’ve learned in their first month. For the 60-day target, identify goals related to contribution. These goals rely on implementing the knowledge gained by taking on new tasks and focusing on contributing to the company’s mission.
A few important goals for the 60-day checkpoints are:
- Collaborate with other teams
- Identify issues or pain points with the roles and develop plans to address them.
- Set up regular meetings with managers to get their feedback on the progress
- Discuss opportunities to get further involved with the company culture, including participating in activities or group outings.
5. Identify 90-day goal targets
The third month of employment is when new hires begin mastering their job skills to achieve their SMART goals outlined in their 30-60-90 day plan. By this point, new hires should be able to start taking on more responsibilities, working on more significant projects, be more accountable for their work, and meet the expectations set by their managers.
The last month of the 90-day plan includes the following:
- Start working independently on projects
- Be more accountable for work
- Be proactive and become more involved in the organization
- Touch base with the manager for feedback about the KPIs going forward
6. Assign an onboarding buddy
To help new hires settle into an unfamiliar environment, implement an onboarding buddy program. An onboarding buddy is a current employee who assists the new hires and acts as a support system throughout their onboarding process. An onboarding buddy educates the new hire about the company’s day-to-day processes, introduces them to the team, helps build social connections, supports their immediate productivity on the job, and helps them feel comfortable in the new work environment.
7. Schedule a 30 or 90-day check-in meeting
The HR department should schedule check-in meetings with all new hires after settling into their new role. These meetings are held 30 or 90 days after the new employee’s start date – but the exact date is flexible.
While this meeting should be informal, it still needs to be filled with active dialogue on the continued progress of the new hire in becoming a productive team member. Here are a few checkpoints to be covered in these check-in meetings:
- Ask employees about their first 90-days experience
- Review their performance with their manager and offer feedback
- Ask new hires about their biggest challenges
- Get feedback on the onboarding buddy
- Talk about career planning and progression
- Gather feedback on the employee onboarding process and new hire training
- Understand if they have the support, resources, and equipment they need to work efficiently
- Ask direct managers to establish a regular check-in schedule for all employees
- Discuss their employee development plan for the future
3 Tools for Facilitating a 30-60-90 Day Plan
Here are three tools to help faciliate your 30-60-90 day plans effectively.
Whatfix enables your 30-60-90 day plan by building employee onboarding task lists to create a self-serve onboarding journey for your new hires – directly in the digital apps and processes they’re learning and using.
Whatfix digital adoption platform overlays on any web, desktop, and mobile application and guides new users with interactive, in-app walkthroughs of a company’s software tools and digital processes. Whatfix guides new employees with its mission-critical software, enabling a fast ramp-up time and improving overall application adoption of common business software such as CRM, ERP, HCM, and other enterprise platforms.
Here are some of the major highlights of Whatfix features that enable the perfect onboarding process for new hires:
- Personalized employee onboarding experience
- Welcome new users with the first call-to-action based on their role
- New users discover enterprise applications with guided tours
- Analyze the impact on onboarding objectives and optimize guidance flows in real-time
- Create task lists with required tasks that a new user needs to complete in order to get started with an application
- Create a sense of achievement when tasks are completed
Guru is a knowledge management system that helps create a level playing field where new hires that helps themselves to find relevant information and revisit it post training. Guru’s employee onboarding solution enables better communication, cheaper and efficient onboarding, and helps new employees become productive quickly.
Some major features of Guru’s onboarding software that help streamline the new-hire onboarding process.
- Automated onboarding enables new hires to proceed at their own pace and lowers the costs of administrative support.
- Consolidate company knowledge in a single place for new hires to find all the information they need for their 30-60-90 day plan.
- User-level data enables managers to monitor employee performance and provide the necessary help.
Businesses use Trello to assemble and organize a list of the necessary onboarding materials for the new hires. Its visualization features allow new hires to see and digest the 30-60-90 day plan information all in one place. The tool is intuitive and interactive. It enables HR and managers to create tasks for new hires, attach files, set up checklists, include due dates, add comments, and much more. Here’s what the Trello onboarding dashboard looks like
Free 30-60-90 Day Plan Template
If you don’t have a 90-day plan template in place, download the template below and customize it according to your requirements.
Remember that the first 30 days is the portion that is going to require the most structure as it covers aspects that every new employee will go through. The 60 and 90-day ranges can be tuned to focus more on the department, seniority, and individual roles and responsibilities.
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