How to create a 30-60-90 day onboarding plan for your new hires

October 27, 2020
min read
Table of Contents
Starting a new job is super exciting, but it also can be overwhelming for your new hire. New joiners need to become acquainted with their new colleagues and company culture, they are tasked with a new set of responsibilities, and need to learn work procedures and regulations — all at the same time!

As a company, you want your new employee to feel welcome and supported during their first days on the job. A strong onboarding process  can improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%, says research by Glassdoor. The best onboarding programs enable new hires to succeed by giving them the right tools, help to build connections, and set realistic expectations and clear milestones. 

As part of your onboarding program, a 30-60-90 day plan empowers you to lay out a clear course of action for your new hire during the first months.

Setting up a 30-60-90 day plan helps you:

  • Create focus for your new hire’s first 90 days on the job ensuring their daily actions will be productive
  • Goal-setting for the first 90 days to integrate your new hire quickly and smoothly into the organization
  • Set your new hire up for success: supervisors will see that they’re capable of self-management and achieving goals

In this blog, we will show you step-by-step how to create a 30-60-90 day plan for your new employees. To make it even easier for you, we created a handy template which you can customize for your organization, team, or new hire’s role.  Read on or go directly to the template.

What is a 30-60-90 day plan?

You can think of a 30-60-90 day plan as a new employees’ North Star, guiding them in the right direction throughout the first three months on the job. It helps them maximize work output in the first 90 days of their new position aligned with company-driven goals.

By defining focus, and concrete, manageable goals at each phase of the onboarding plan, you can make the new employee orientation smoother and quicker.


The milestones give clarity to your new hires into what’s expected of them in their first weeks. By splitting the plan into separate parts, you keep the onboarding structured and manageable instead of your new hires feeling overwhelmed with information, learning goals, and performance reviews.

The plan not only helps them perform, but it also lets the manager focus on coaching and have one-on-ones with a clear set of objectives and expectations, and ultimately help new employees succeed.

Before we start… we added pre-boarding!

At Appical, we believe onboarding starts before the first day of work. Pre-boarding is a perfect time to prepare your new hire for the job and empowers building a connection and engagement between the new hire, your company, and its culture.

That’s why we’ve added -30 days to the template. And keep in mind +90 days is just an indication: the length of the onboarding process will vary from industry, company, team, and specific job. Use whatever time targets make the most sense to your organization!

How to create a -30, 30, 60, 90 day plan?


1. Define your focus

You’ve hired a great talent to contribute to your team and company goals, but your new hire can’t do everything within the first few months. Therefore, set realistic expectations. Start by identifying the top three focus points for the role and outline the steps to get there. 

Typically, the focus in the weeks before the first working day are all about preparation. The first 30 days of a new job are about learning, discovery, and orientation. The second month is about planning and beginning to contribute, and the third is about execution and taking initiative, maybe even changing the status quo.

Your new hire’s specific monthly focus might vary based on their role and the company, however. Try to create the most personal onboarding experience as possible.

2. Define your goals

Okay, now you’re clear on the high-level focus points or priorities. Let’s determine the connected goals for your new hire’s position for the -30, 30, 60, and 90 day phases. If it’s helpful, break the goals into categories like learning, performance, and personal goals.

  • Learning goals: To set these, think about what knowledge and skills your new hire needs to become successful? What kind of behavior is expected from them? How can he/she best absorb and acquire that information and those abilities?

  • Performance goals: These are concrete things your new hires need to accomplish or complete as part of their new role. Determine what your new hire needs to achieve in X days?

  • Personal goals: These goals are about your new hire getting to know their colleagues and getting comfortable with the company or team. Who are the key people your new hire needs and wants to build relationships with?

These goals should always be as SMART as possible: 

  • Specific, 
  • Measurable, 
  • Attainable, 
  • Realistic, and 
  • Time-Bound.

For example, instead of “I want to get a promotion”, a SMART goal would be: “I will earn a promotion to senior sales representative by completing the required training modules in the upcoming four months and applying for the role at the end of next year.”

3. Create metrics

What does success look like in your company, and how do you measure it? For each goal, determine employee performance metrics to track how well your new hire is performing.

There are various kinds of metrics: they will likely be different for each of your goals. Metrics are often quantifiable (KPI’s, revenue, appointments, page views, etc.), and could be combined with goals that might have more qualitative metrics, like milestones or positive customer feedback. However, try to make even qualitative metrics measurable—for instance, the number of five-star reviews your new hire receives.

4. Create action items

Look at the goals by type and date. Create a list of action items that can be used to determine whether your new hire has met their goals. These should be measurable and achievable.

5. Put everything together in a template or platform

Integrate your -30, 30, 60, 90 day plan in your onboarding program, or preferably, your digital onboarding platform to keep it updated easily and track your new hire’s progress and task completion.

During the first week, make time to talk through your new hire’s plan and learn about their personal goals and objectives. Work together to modify and develop the -30, 30, 60, 90 day plan. This ensures that your new hire understands the expectations and is excited about the work. 

New hires bring along a fresh perspective to your company, so let the -30, 30, 60, 90 day plan serve as a roadmap. New hires should still have the freedom to execute using their creativity and expertise – that’s why you hired them, right?

For a manager, it’s crucial to check-in regularly on the progress and provide positive feedback at every milestone during onboarding to keep your new hire motivated. 😄

Download our free template

Not sure what a -30, 30, 60, 90 day plan looks like? Download our free template and we'll help you get started!

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