What is a 30-60-90 day plan?
A 30-60-90 day plan helps outline employees' objectives during their first 30, 60, and 90 days with a company. It helps new employees have a better onboarding experience and ensures they feel ready for their new role while acclimating to their new company culture.
More specifically, a 30-60-90 day plan outlines objectives for both you as a manager and your new hire to ensure success and longevity.
Research has found that new hires with a strong onboarding process were 18 times more likely to feel highly committed to the organization. Moreover, 91% of those who received effective onboarding feel strongly connected to their work, and 89% feel integrated into the work culture.
Many companies focus on setting goals to visit after the first 90 days when sectioning it out can be an easier way to set and monitor onboarding tasks. A 30-60-90 day plan can help deliver effective onboarding by strategically breaking up the onboarding time into three significant milestones.
The first 30 days should be all about learning the new position, getting to know the team, and understanding how their role helps the company’s bottom line.
The second 30 days is when your new employee starts to input ideas for improving processes. In this segment, it’s time to explore where your new hire can take the role as they start taking on more of the workload.
The final 30 days should be used to put long-term goals in place, finalize your training, and allow the new hire to hit the ground running.
Splitting up the first 90 days into chunks helps onboarding feel less overwhelming and ensures your new employee has a roadmap for success in their new role.
Why a 30-60-90 day plan is key to successful remote onboarding
Apart from improving employee retention, which is a selling point on its own, there are many reasons why a 30-60-90 day plan can be one of the best onboarding strategies—especially for remote teams.
When your employees are figuring out remote company culture, having a structured onboarding plan helps them settle into their role faster and improve employee satisfaction.
This is because it tackles a common problem experienced by new hires: overwhelm.
The structure breaks down responsibilities, workflows, tasks, and communication expectations into bite-sized, digestible learning objectives. Each period allows for implementation and feedback loops before moving on to the next phase.
The 30-60-90 day plan can also prevent burnout. New hires often feel pressured to take on a lot of work in their first few weeks, so setting expectations for a gentle start will help control their initial workload.
In addition, help new hires manage their time and encourage a healthy work-life balance by promoting asynchronous work right from the start.
Discuss everyone’s schedules so they know when colleagues are likely to be available (and when to expect responses). This is ideal for teams working across time zones or with varying priorities. It also signals that new hires have some autonomy in their work and communication.
Starting a new job can be stressful and nerve-wracking, but a positive onboarding experience can be a gamechanger for everyone on your team. And as their new manager, you want to facilitate that positive experience.
What your 30-60-90 day plan should look like
There’s no one-size-fits-all for onboarding, but this 30-60-90 day plan template can help you find the best process for your company. Pay attention to how each 30-day segment is broken up so you can set goals for your new hires.
The first 30 days: Learning to walk
As we mentioned before, the first month is introductory. While you can start handing some work off to the new hire, you don’t want to overload them before they’re ready.
Cover the basics
Start the first few days with team introductions and ease your new hire into their primary job roles. Throughout the first week, work on walking them through all of their new responsibilities so they know what’s expected of them on a day-to-day basis.
Create documents or dashboards with tools like Almanac or Notion, training videos with Yac, and boards with your project management tool. Do this before posting the job listing, so you’re prepared for onboarding.
Keeping an onboarding handbook online allows for asynchronous training, freeing up managers’ time while new hires absorb the information. Async is a great way to share video tutorials, allow for considered feedback, and flag discussion points, all without disrupting schedules with meetings (but we’ll get into this more later on).
Share team processes
Every team does things differently, so you’ll need to walk new hires through your team’s day-to-day operations. However, be open to suggestions from the new employee for improvement. (We’ll talk more about this in the second 30 days.)
Go over how your team manages projects and collaborates on different tasks. But you also want to put a heavy emphasis on communication guidelines.
Teams that focus on asynchronous communication will likely already have policies on how and when to communicate. Start introducing this early by using asynchronous communication methods to check in on the new hire’s progress and share feedback at appropriate intervals.
For example, if your new hire is struggling with the project management system, they can send an async voice message to their manager. The manager can then share a video walkthrough in their own time that the new hire can refer back to whenever they need a refresher.
Provide all relevant internal materials and tool logins
Share key information like logins on day one, so your new employee can get their bearings with the tools your team uses. Create a “cheat sheet” with their specific logins, or consider a program like LastPass or Dashlane to store them.
Use Yac to record training videos or walk new hires through what they’ll need to read at a high level. You can even annotate your screen recording to draw attention to certain elements, making for the perfect asynchronous training material.
We love it when teams partner Yac with other tools. One way to do this is to record a screen-share demonstration of each process your new hire will likely need to know about.
Then, send a Scribe link with each Yac video that walks new hires through each step. This way, they have access to the process multiple ways.
Get to know the company’s customer base and USPs
This step is imperative if your new hire is working on your sales or marketing team, but understanding the target market is a good idea no matter what team they’re joining.
Take content creation. If your new hire has any part in creating content about your product, they’ll need a solid understanding of the customer, including how the market talks about it.
Understanding the company’s unique differentiators also serves to absorb the new hire into the company culture. Knowing where the company stands on big issues in the field (and the world) helps them put its values at the core of their work.
If your new hire is in charge of web design, for example, you need to make sure every page they create reflects company tone and values. House these important concepts in your company wiki.
Start training the new hire in their role
The final step of the first 30 days, after your new hire has spent time getting acclimated and meeting everyone they’ll work closely with, is to start training for their day-to-day tasks.
Asynchronous communication is key here. Leaders can send audio messages and screen share tutorials and how-tos or share feedback and answer questions without tying themselves down to the new hire’s schedule.
Provide learning goals for each week in the first 30 days so your new hire understands what’s expected of them and how long they have to master each of their new tasks.
If the new hire is a sales rep, their goals and learning points could be signing into your CRM, getting to know your customer segments, and setting up their first call list, for example.
At 60 days: Picking up speed
Now that you’ve had your new hire with the company for a month, they’re starting to get the hang of things. In fact, they may even have some ideas on how to make improvements.
In this onboarding phase, it’s time to loosen the reins a little and help your new team member feel more comfortable offering suggestions or testing ideas. It’s also a great time to begin helping them set personal goals for their future at your company.
Improve existing processes
There are two ways to approach this step: improving processes (like communication) with your new hire and letting your new hire step in and start improving processes with their ideas.
First, take some time to review how efficient communication has been during the first 30 days and pinpoint areas for improvement.
Perhaps you had several synchronous check-in meetings with your new hire. Going forward, swap these out for asynchronous discussions and eventually phase out your one-on-ones. The idea is to help them work autonomously quickly instead of relying on feedback for too long.
Next, let your new hire dip their toes in the water by trying out some of their ideas for improving processes. Make sure your team is open to it, and hold discussions about the new initiative or changes via asynchronous meetings (where participants discuss a topic in their own time).
Strategize for personal growth within the company
By now, you’ll have an idea of the new hires' strengths and weaknesses. With these in mind, work together to build a personal roadmap to meet new objectives over the next three to six months.
Ask if they have any goals that they want to achieve. Perhaps you have a new graphic designer that wants to learn more about typography, or maybe your new project manager wants to get involved with social media.
Creating a strategy for growth within the company and the potential to move up the ladder helps create a sense of belonging and purpose.
Throughout this time, encourage async questions and feedback. Make a note to also check in via voice message once in a while to see how they’re tracking toward their objectives. If they need more support to reach their goals, you’ll want to implement it sooner rather than later.
If you get the impression that your new hire is struggling to reach goals despite support, a synchronous meeting might be needed to work through sensitive performance-related subjects.
In the case that your new hire doesn’t appear to be a great fit, try finding another position for them at your company. We practice “firing slowly” at Yac and have sometimes found people are a great fit culturally but aren’t the best-suited person for the hired position. We can usually find a place for them somewhere else where their talents can really shine.
Ramp up the workload
You’ve likely taken it easy with task distribution while the new hire acclimatizes. Now that they’re used to your workflows, project management systems, and tasks, it’s time to get the ball rolling.
Start introducing more roles and responsibilities throughout the second 30 days, especially as they become more comfortable with the tasks they learned in the first 30 days.
Now it’s time to ease off the supervision throttle and see how they get on with taking more responsibility. Use tools like Yac to exchange questions and feedback.
At 90 days: And they’re off!
Now we’re in the home stretch: the final 30 days until their first 90 days are complete, and they’re considered officially onboarded.
At this point, your new employee should be getting used to the company’s mission and their role in it. They should be introducing new ideas for improvement, taking care of their day-to-day tasks, and settling in nicely.
At this point, you just need to put in the finishing touches, create a plan for the future, and set standards for the employee’s performance. Providing overall feedback at the end of the 90 days is another great idea for ensuring success in their role.
Plan for the future
Assuming that the new hire is fitting in well from both a productivity and culture perspective, it’s time to build on the roadmap we mentioned and start planning for the future.
Where would you like to see this employee within the company in X months?
Even better, ask them the same question. You can work together to create SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound) that align with where your employee sees themselves in one, three, or five years.
To make this exercise something useful and not just a box ticked in HR, store the goals discussed here somewhere you can refer back to during performance reviews (like HubSpot’s Google Sheet). This way, you can check in once in a while to see if your employee is tracking toward where they want to be.
Introduce new ideas and initiatives
Consider sharing more responsibility with the employee. If they’ve excelled at every task you’ve given them, perhaps they can handle taking the lead.
Put together an action plan for their first big project to help them succeed. Look out for whether they take the initiative or wait for instructions. What solutions are they bringing forward?
How new hires act when they’re stakeholders of their own project gives leaders an inside look at whether they’ll excel in the company in the long term (i.e. scouting their potential for leadership).
Set performance standards
Now well into their stride, your new employee will have basic standards to adhere to and exceed. Make sure there is a mutual understanding of what is expected of them in terms of:
- Communication (i.e. who do they need to inform when they do something)
- Availability (to respond to asynchronous audio and video messages)
- Productivity & output
Create performance goals so your new hire has milestones to hit as they continue working with your company. Doing this with all your direct reports is a great way to keep the momentum going.
Hold a performance review at the end of the first 90 days, then work on goal-setting for the next year. Each year, you can check back in and keep track of certain metrics to make sure each of your team members stays on target.
Putting a heavy focus on your onboarding plan helps ensure employee satisfaction in the long run. And a 30-60-90 day plan is a great way to make that happen.
If you’re looking for the right tools for putting a successful 30-60-90 day plan together for your next new hire, check out Yac to help your team record training videos, send voice messages, and onboard asynchronously.