February 22nd, 2022 | Sterling

Creating a 30/60/90 Day Plan for Onboarding

Employer welcoming new recruit to the organisation with a handshake as part of onboarding

Onboarding is the final stage in the hiring process. This stage includes sending the offer letter, providing employment background screening, onboarding paperwork, and first day activities. But, onboarding a new employee shouldn’t end when the paperwork is completed. It should be a part of a strategic plan to help the new employee excel in their new position. 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for at least 3 years after experiencing a great onboarding experience.

Onboarding is a critical part of creating a great candidate experience for a new employee. When onboarding goes well, the benefits from increased employee engagement directly impacts organisational success. Employees who go through an effective onboarding program become more productive quicker. Organisations with an established onboarding process experience 54% greater new hire productivity leading to better performance. Employees who go through a more focused and detailed welcoming experience are more likely to be enthusiastic about their organisation and ultimately can become brand ambassadors. This translates to an organisation’s bottom-line and tangible results in higher productivity.

One way to increase employee engagement for a new employee is to implement a 30/60/90 Day Plan. A 30/60/90 Day Plan is a strategic outline of the job expectations for the new employee over the first 90 days. The plan clearly communicates training, culture, and expectations to the employee allowing them to easily transition from a “newbie” to a full-on contributor to the team and company.

What is a 30/60/90 Day New Hire Plan?

The 30/60/90 Day plan is a transparent roadmap for the new hire to let them know how to navigate their first 90 days. The plan should have specific goals, dates, and whom to work with to accomplish these objectives. Having a plan will help new hires have a smoother transition to using company tools, understanding the company processes, and understanding their expectations. Breaking down a new hire’s learning process into 30-day increments allows the employee to focus on learning certain skills at certain times. The first 30 days are the most intensive with training on product and company tools, as well as learning the company culture. As the days progress, processes become more fluid and the employee becomes more independent.

Creating A New Hire 30/60/90 Day Plan

Onboarding goes beyond the first day. Official onboarding programs can run anywhere from one week to 90 days or even longer. It is important to remember that learning on the job can continue throughout one’s career so, in a sense, onboarding is never really completed. The basics are set up during the first 90 days, but workers will continue to develop their skillset throughout their tenure at the company. A 30/60/90 Day Plan gives the new employee a roadmap for success.

30 Days

The first 30 days is all about learning everything from where the office supplies are kept to what the company sells to what the new employee’s responsibilities will be. Some key fundamentals to set for a new hire’s first 30 days are:

  • Get to know the company culture
  • Learn company-specific platforms, intranet systems, and complete company-specific training classes
  • Learn about the company’s products and clients
  • Hold weekly one on ones with manager
  • Meet the members of the team
  • Start working on projects
  • Build a career development plan with specific goals, metrics, and KPIs.

60 Days

The second month of employment should focus more on collaboration and taking on more responsibilities. Training usually is ongoing throughout an employee’s time at a company, but more intense training usually takes place within the first month. The employee will now use the training from the first 30 days to start implementing that knowledge. Important goals for the 60 day checkpoint are:

  • Collaborate with other teams while starting to “contribute to the conversation” more often
  • Identify issues or pain points with the roles and develop plans to address and fix the issues
  • Set up a regular meeting schedule with teams and manager going forward
  • Get feedback from manager on progress

90 Days

The last 30 days of the plan is all about independence. As the employee starts taking on more responsibilities and working on bigger projects, they need to be more accountable for their work. The last month of the 90 Day Plan includes the following:

  • Start working independently on projects
  • Become more accountable for their work
  • Be proactive and become more involved in the company
  • Touch base with manager for feedback about goals/metrics/KPIs going forward

Great Onboarding Leads to Ongoing Employee Engagement

Implementing a 30/60/90 Day Plan will help to increase employee engagement while making sure the new employee understands their responsibilities and expectations from the first day. Companies with highly engaged workers have higher rates of customer satisfaction and fewer errors.

Could candidate communication play a key role through the recruitment process right up to onboarding and beyond? Learn how in our Sterling Live session, with Sterling’s Tim Stokes and Ceridian’s Wendy Muirhead.


This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.