Starting a new job can be overwhelming. New hires need to become familiar with new colleagues, processes, and technology, but having a professional roadmap for what is expected of them can significantly ease that burden.
When everything is unfamiliar at a new organization, it can be difficult to recognize if you’re performing well and set goals for future growth.
That’s where a 30-60-90 plan comes into play. By setting achievable goals for the first 30, 60, and 90 days of a new hire’s time at the company, you can create objective standards for both the employee and their managers to use to measure progress.
The best plans have a short list (3-5 per month) of SMART goals. A SMART goal is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. These qualities are important because they’ll help you avoid setting overly ambitious or vague goals that will ultimately cause frustration rather than boost confidence.
You don’t want to overwhelm new hires with a long list of tasks, but instead, create a roadmap that will guide them toward settling into their new role and growing their skillset.
Who Should Write a 30-60-90 Plan?
A 30-60-90 plan can be created by the new employee themself, their manager or supervisors, or a combination of the two.
Involving new hires in the plan can leverage buy-in from both employees and managers and also give them a chance to work together to achieve personal and organizational goals.
On the other hand, new employees might not know exactly what a successful first few months in the organization will look like. They might be more motivated if they are assured that the goals set before them will move them steadily along a path to success.
There are unique benefits to both of these approaches, so a combination of the two will often provide the best results. For example, managers might meet with new hires to discuss a shared vision for their first few months of employment and together agree on the objectives of the plan.
Whatever method you use to draft a 30-60-90 plan, success won’t come from just a list of goals on the page. Therefore, be sure to provide all relevant information and resources that will help new hires accomplish those goals, such as identifying key stakeholders and establishing communication channels.
What Are The Benefits of a 30-60-90 Plan?
A 30-60-90 plan offers several benefits for new employees and organizations. This strategic outline can help establish clear goals and expectations for the employee’s first 30, 60, and 90 days on the job.
By providing a roadmap for success, a 30-60-90 plan will help employees focus on the most important aspects of their role, prioritize tasks, and accelerate their learning and skill development.
The plan serves as a basis for evaluating performance, facilitating communication, and ensuring alignment between the employee and their manager or team members. It can also enhance employee engagement and motivation by providing a sense of direction and purpose.
Additionally, a thoughtful 30-60-90 plan aids in faster integration into the organization and fosters accountability by setting specific targets and timelines. Overall, a 30-60-90 plan streamlines the onboarding process, supports growth, and contributes to the overall success of both the new employee and the organization.
How To Create a 30-60-90 Plan
Let’s dive into how to begin crafting a 30-60-90 plan. The first 30 days will mostly involve bringing new employees up to speed and completing their orientation.
After their first month, introduce more long-term goals that will continue encouraging new employees to acclimate and grow their skill set. Finally, the third month is the time to indicate what high performance will look like for their employment at your organization.
The First 30 Days
The first 30 days of a new hire’s employment include their orientation and onboarding process. Depending on the industry and role, this might even take up the majority of the month.
Be sure to set clear goals and expectations, but allow ample time for the new hire to get comfortable navigating their role and acclimating to company culture and values — including getting to know their colleagues.
Set three to five SMART goals to motivate new hires to continue to improve during their first month. To keep expectations realistic, you could even include the goal of identifying future training and development needs that they’d like to work on in the coming months.
The Next 30 Days
The second month is the time to deepen new hires’ understanding of their roles and responsibilities. Set goals that encourage them to take on more complex tasks and projects as well as seek feedback and incorporate it into their performances.
Connectivity to other employees within the organization can improve morale and productivity, so the second month’s goals should also encourage new hires to build a broader network within the organization.
This is also a good time to explore opportunities for growth and advancement, such as possible training or mentoring programs that can help new hires establish a firm foothold in the company and begin to grow their careers.
The Final 30 Days
The final 30 days are the time for the new employee to demonstrate their increased independence and competence. Set goals that facilitate them taking ownership of projects and initiatives, as well as beginning to align their personal goals with broader organizational ones.
As new hires transition to an increased level of responsibility, ensure they have all the resources they need to succeed and encourage them to seek help for any lingering issues or uncertainties.
Let’s look at an example of a newly hired salesperson’s 30-60-90 plan, and the progression it lays out for their growth and development in their new role. Notice that each month contains a short list of SMART goals, setting the salesperson up for success.
This example is written from the perspective of the new hire, but another option is for managers to create the plan as a form of instruction manual for new hires to use to navigate their first few months at the organization.
In the first 30 days of my new role as a salesperson, my primary focus will be on familiarizing myself with the company’s products, pricing, and value proposition. I will also dedicate time to understanding the target market, customer profiles, and competitive landscape.
Through shadowing experienced sales representatives and building relationships with my colleagues, I aim to learn successful selling techniques and establish a strong foundation within the sales team.
Additionally, I will begin engaging with existing clients to understand their needs and establish rapport. Finally, I will develop a prospecting plan and identify potential leads to pursue in the coming months.
Moving into the 60-day phase, I will focus on building a robust pipeline of leads by actively prospecting and qualifying potential customers. I will conduct thorough research on target accounts, identifying key decision-makers and understanding their pain points.
Ongoing training and professional development will be a priority to enhance my selling skills. I will start scheduling and conducting sales meetings and presentations with qualified prospects, working closely with the marketing team to align messaging and support lead-generation efforts.
By this point, I also hope to establish a system for tracking and managing sales opportunities in the CRM system and strive to close the first few sales deals, meeting or exceeding the assigned sales targets.
As I enter the 90-day phase, my focus will shift toward nurturing and expanding relationships with existing clients while identifying opportunities for upselling or cross-selling.
I will continue to develop and deliver tailored proposals and solutions to address customer needs. Collaboration with the sales team will be important for sharing best practices, insights, and successes.
Attending industry events, trade shows, and networking opportunities will provide avenues for expanding my professional network and generating new leads. Regular evaluation of the effectiveness of sales strategies will guide necessary adjustments.
Ultimately, I aim to achieve consistent sales performance, meeting or exceeding quarterly sales targets. At the end of this phase, I will provide a comprehensive report outlining achievements, challenges, and recommendations for future sales success.
Assessing and Adjusting the Plan
A 30-60-90 plan works best when it is dynamic. Each month, review progress and accomplishments with new hires and adjust the upcoming month’s goals if necessary.
To develop a clear picture of how new hires are faring, gather feedback from supervisors and colleagues and collaborate with them to identify strengths and areas for improvement.
Remember that the goal of a 30-60-90 plan is to provide your employees with a roadmap to navigate their first few months at the organization. Therefore, if new hires or managers set unattainable goals, it may cause unnecessary frustration or discouragement.
Instead, work with employees to set goals that facilitate learning and skill development and speed up the process of new hires becoming productive.
A company’s success depends on the alignment of individual performance goals with the organization’s broader objectives. Sometimes, helping new hires settle into their roles and begin working toward those same objectives can be a confusing or long process.
A 30-60-90 plan can help employees and supervisors envision a clear path from orientation to successful contribution to the organization’s productivity.
Though it will look slightly different between different industries and different employees, creating an ideal timeline and set of achievable goals can help track progress, recognize areas of strength, and identify areas of improvement.
30-60-90 Plan FAQs
Why is a 30-60-90 plan important for new hires?
No matter the industry, starting a new job can be an overwhelming experience. Not only do new hires need to acclimate to a new setting, meet a new team, and get up to speed on relevant technologies, but they also need to begin demonstrating their worth in a new role. A 30-60-90 plan provides a clear roadmap and direction for new hires, helping them align their efforts with organizational objectives and expectations. Setting tangible goals can help them understand their roles, build relationships, gain necessary skills, and contribute effectively to the team.
Who should be involved in developing the plan?
The new hire’s manager or supervisor is typically responsible for developing the plan, but it’s also beneficial to involve other key stakeholders such as team members, HR, and senior leaders to ensure alignment with organizational goals and resources. Depending on your company, asking new hires to participate in developing those goals can give them a sense of initiative and speed up the onboarding process.
How do I gather the necessary information for the plan?
Developing a 30-60-90 plan begins with determining what success will look like in the new hire’s position. Start by reviewing the new hire’s job description, responsibilities, and performance expectations, and then brainstorm achievable goals that will serve as stepping stones toward those broader objectives. This process can be aided by engaging in conversations with key stakeholders to gain insights into the team’s objectives and any specific challenges or projects the new hire will be involved in.
What should be included in each phase of the plan?
In the first 30 days, focus on orientation, learning the company culture, and building relationships. In the next 30 days, provide more complex tasks, opportunities for growth, and feedback mechanisms. In the final 30 days, emphasize taking ownership, contributing to team goals, and reflecting on achievements.
How should the plan be communicated to the new hire?
If you choose to develop the 30-60-90 plan without the new hire’s involvement, schedule a meeting with them to discuss the plan in detail and ensure they understand their goals and the resources they can use to achieve them. Explain the purpose, goals, and expectations of each phase, and allow for open dialogue to address any questions or concerns and ensure the new hire understands their role in achieving the outlined objectives. On the other hand, if you choose to develop the plan with the new employee, open discussion will be an integral part of the entire process.
Can the plan be adjusted?
It’s very important to maintain flexibility throughout the course of the first three months. Be willing to make adjustments based on the new hire’s progress, feedback, and changing business needs. Stay on top of what’s working and what might need to be revisited by scheduling regular check-ins and performance discussions.
How should the plan be evaluated at the end of the 90 days?
At the end of the 90 days, evaluate the new hire’s performance against the goals and objectives set in the plan. Seek feedback from the new hire, their supervisor, and other stakeholders to assess their overall progress and impact, and use this evaluation to guide further development and goal setting. Though you don’t need to set and monitor specific goals after the 30-60-90 day plan is complete, encourage new hires to continue following this practice for themselves.
Are there any resources or templates available for creating a 30-60-90 plan?
Yes, there are many resources and templates available online that can serve as a starting point for developing a 30-60-90 plan. After you’ve done some brainstorming about success in the new hire’s role, you can use these resources and customize them to align with your organization’s specific needs and objectives.
How can I support the new hire in executing the plan?
To support a new hire in following a 30-60-90 plan, clear communication is key. Explain the plan’s purpose, goals, and tasks that need to be accomplished within each timeframe, and provide the necessary resources, materials, and training to help them succeed. In many cases, assigning a mentor or buddy who can offer guidance and support can make a significant difference in a new hire acclimating to their new role. Schedule regular check-ins to discuss progress and address any concerns, and encourage collaboration with team members and recognize their achievements. Constructive feedback and support are essential throughout the plan’s duration to empower the new hire to navigate the plan effectively, integrate into the organization, and achieve success in their role.