Employee onboarding is one word for what may feel like a thousand steps. It's the last stage of your hiring process, starting with an offer letter and following through with paperwork and first-day activities.
But it doesn't end there. It's easy to think that onboarding ends after week one.
The best onboarding programs are implemented over a period of time. Each phase serves its own purpose and works to help integrate your new hire with the company, its processes and the role they'll play.
Here are some stats to show why this is so important.
A Glassdoor study shows that organizations with a strong onboarding process are likely to improve new hire retention by 82 percent and productivity by 70 percent. Also, 69 percent of employees say they'd stay at a company for at least three years if they had an amazing onboarding experience. A great onboarding program has a ripple effect — new hires who experience an effective process become more productive and are actively engaged — which ultimately impacts an organization’s success.
And one way to increase employee engagement for a new hire from the start is by implementing a 30-60-90 Day Plan.
A 30-60-90 Day Plan strategically outlines the new employee’s job expectations over the first 90 days. This plan communicates important variables like employee training, company culture and work expectations. Basically, it's a cheat sheet for what to expect that allows the new employee to easily and quickly transition from being a “newbie” to a fully-fledged employee.
What is a 30-60-90 Day Plan?
The first 90 days can be very intimidating for a new hire. In fact, those first few months are so important that they can impact whether or not an employee chooses to stay.
When a new hire joins an organization, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by loads of information and the effort of trying to juggle new responsibilities, tools or software, the working in a new time zone, the company’s culture and rules, team expectations ... and even everyone's name.
Now, this is where the 30-60-90 Day Plan comes into play.
When you provide your new hires with enough guidance and expectations, you're giving them steps to take and a reliable map to follow.
Simply put, a 30-60-90 Day Plan is a new hire's guide to navigating the onboarding process. Think of it as a transparent blueprint that helps your new employees figure out where to go and who to ask. The 30-60-90 Day Plan should be as specific as possible. Include goals, dates and other assignees when applicable. It outlines their new roles and familiarizes them with the company policies, learning goals and work processes.
Scribe Top Tip: Outline the major milestones of the Plan before they start and then flesh it out together to empower your new employee to take action.
What is the goal of a 30-60-90 Day Plan, you might ask? It’s very simple! It should help the new employee clearly understand what’s expected of them, their milestones and other deliverables within the first 90 days.
In this article, we'll examine the major components of a 30-60-90 Day Plan and its major benefits.
What does a 30-60-90 Day Plan look like?
As mentioned above, the first 90 days are critical to a new hire’s success and their decision to continue with the company. When done right, onboarding can transform a new hire into a star employee.
The major components of a 30-60-90 Day Plan look like this:
The first 30 days involve learning about the company and job-specific training. At this stage, you want to ensure that the new employee knows as much as possible about the company’s mission, vision, purpose, goals (and metrics to track them), culture, policies, responsibilities and team structure.
As a direct manager or HR Representative, some of the major goals to set for a new hire here include:
- Learning about the company’s origin.
- Learning about the company culture.
- Learning about the company’s products, services and customers.
- Learning company-specific platforms and completing company-specific training.
- Holding weekly 1:1s with managers.
- Meeting their new team members.
- Working on projects.
- Building a career development plan incorporated with specific goals, metrics and KPIs.
The next 30 days are for the new hire to implement what they’ve learned so far. It’s important to note that while this is a key learning period for them, it’s also an avenue for them to make mistakes, learn on the job and grow too.
Some of the major goals to set at this stage are:
- Collaboration with other teams while beginning to contribute to conversations more often.
- Setting up regular meeting schedules with teams and managers.
- Identifying issues or pain points in their roles; plus creating a plan to fix the issues.
- Getting feedback from their managers regarding their progress.
This is the new hire’s third month of employment and the time when they’d begun mastering the intricacies of their new roles.
This stage also indicates that they can start achieving the SMART goals outlined in the 30-60-90 Day plan. Also, they should be able to meet the expectations you’ve set for them, and be accountable for their work.
Expectations for the new hire in the 90 Day plan include:
- Working independently on projects.
- Become more accountable for the work they produce.
- Schedule meetings with their managers to gain feedback about goals, metrics, and KPIs.
- Become more proactive and involved with the company.
The purpose of the 30-60-90 Day plan is to make every new employee feel welcomed into the company and understand the responsibilities attached to their roles.
At Scribe, we recommend that while a 30-60-90 Day plan might have some similar themes for all new hires (such as company policies, culture and resources), many parts of the plan would be tailored to their roles and responsibilities.
Key terms in a 30-60-90 Day Plan
When setting goals for the first 30-60-90 days, we recommend mixing performance goals, learning goals and growth goals for onboarding your new hire. Here are some important terms to include in your 30-60-90 day onboarding plan.
Learning Goals: These goals focus on learning about the company’s origin, culture, job responsibilities, and company software or tools.
Growth Goals: Set by your new hire, growth goals focus on ways that your new employee would establish themselves as contributing members of their teams and the company.
Performance Goals: They are milestones of KPIs that should be met to indicate that your new hire is succeeding in their new role. Many performance goals usually exceed 90 days.
Personal Goals: These are goals that would help a new hire grow personally and professionally. Personal goals can also help new hires feel like they are a part of the community (organization), and are more than just a name on a list.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): They are quantifiable goals that show a new hire is doing a good job. Most KPIs are number-based and ultimately impact the company’s bottom line.
Milestones: Milestones are qualitative goals that indicate whether a new employee is doing a great job or not. Receiving glowing customer reviews, submitting a major deliverable before the deadline, or becoming familiar with a company’s product or services can make for great milestones.
30-60-90 Day Plan General Template
Here's a templated 30-60-90 plan for a product manager. While this is technically role-specific, most of the points are universal, in particular regarding:
- Employee access and company overviews.
- Training sessions, materials, process outlines, etc.
- Setting goals and tracking them.
Are you ready to kickstart your 30-60-90 Day Plan? Here are some key points to remember.
Your plan not only ensures ongoing engagement — it strengthens your employee's competence and confidence in their role each day.
Keep the following tips in mind as you create the 30-60-90 Day Plan for your new hires:
- Set goals throughout the period of time, with specific milestones set for certain days.
- The goals should be a mix of learning goals, performance goals, and growth goals (You can also add personal goals to the mix).
- Ensure the goals are both qualitative and quantitative. Understand that it can be hard for new hires to hit their KPIs since they are new to their jobs.
- Most importantly, always remember that onboarding isn't just about learning and performing a job. It’s also about creating long-lasting relationships and impressions that would help your new hires acclimatize to the company quickly, and instill a sense of confidence in them to carry out their responsibilities.
Want to better support new hires? Download Scribe for free to create instant step-by-step guides that support them throughout their training and ongoing development.