Your 30-60-90-day plan as a new manager

30 60 90 day action plan for new managers

Landed a new manager position? Congratulations! Here's how to plan for your first days in the role.

Starting a new job as an engineering manager can be overwhelming. In between onboarding and getting to know your direct reports, you need to familiarize yourself with the tech stack, tooling, operations, and rhythm of the business. A 30-60-90-day plan can set you up for success in your new job. Here’s how to write one for a smooth transition.

What is a 30-60-90-day plan?

A 30-60-90-day plan is a tool for new managers or managers new to their role to gain clarity of what’s expected from them. It allows you to identify the largest challenges, and set goals. It serves as a guide, a resource, and a checklist. It’s a key part of a robust onboarding process. It’s a reminder of priorities, and defines what you plan to accomplish in the time frame.

When I moved from managing the JavaScript Cloud Advocacy team at Microsoft to managing multiple teams, drafting a 30-60-90-day plan helped me think about priorities, set realistic time-bound expectations, and identify the highest priorities for myself and my teams. I used it as a checklist for my goals, as well as who to meet with.

Six tips for making a 30-60-90-day plan

1. think big picture.

Start by identifying your big goals for the first three months, then break it down into manageable tasks for each month. Reflect on your overall priorities and identify why the company hired you. Does your team have specific long-term goals? Is there anything particularly important that senior leadership wants to see?

Start with what’s important for you. Think about the steps it’ll take to set yourself on track to be successful in the role long-term. Identify how short-term goals feed into the bigger picture.

2. Set smart goals

In each stage of your strategy plan, your goals should be SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. Try to be concise with your plan. Instead of, “Meet many product stakeholders”, try, “Schedule 5 initial 1:1s with product stakeholders in the first 30 days”, and “Set up 3 regular 1:1s with stakeholders outside of my organization within 60 days”. This way, you can measure your progress.

3. Be a sponge

Ask your manager and stakeholders what you can tackle in the first 90 days that will allow you to hit the ground running, as well as make a significant impact in the organization. Ask many questions about the company, culture, goals, and challenges. Soak up as much information as you can. Read existing strategy documents like annual road maps or objectives and key results (OKRs). Understanding existing OKRs is a great way to get a better sense of the current status of direction of different teams. Try to get your hands on ORKs for your team, your larger org, and cross-functional partner teams.

4. Meet, meet, meet

Relationships are crucial for leaders. Meet with your peers (the direct reports of your manager), coworkers with a similar role to you, anybody you’ll work with regularly outside your organization, and, if possible, the previous manager of your team. Ask many questions to understand the big picture. In each meeting, learn about the other person’s role in the company and get to know them as a person. Look them up on LinkedIn before the meeting. Maybe you have a shared interest to connect on a more personal level. I recommend listening as much as possible when you’re new, but also having a light agenda prepared, so these first meetings go more smoothly.

5. Be flexible

Remember, the 30-60-90 plan is less of a strict plan and more a general direction. The thinking and reflecting that goes into the creation of the plan is valuable in itself. Regularly check into your plan and be flexible to adjust it.

6. Level set expectations with your manager

It’s important to discuss your 30-60-90-day plan with your direct manager. Ask them to point out gaps and tasks that should be deprioritized. This helps to establish a shared understanding of expectations for your role, and clarifies short- and long-term goals.

An example 30-60-90 plan

Here’s a sample plan that you can adapt to your own position. Every role and company is unique, so don’t expect to use this plan exactly as it is, but it should make it easier than starting with a blank piece of paper.

Highest priority goals

Biggest challenges

Dates: July 1–July 31, 2022 Highest-priority goal(s): Understand current challenges of the team Actions:

Dates: August 1–August 31, 2022 Highest priority goal(s): Establish professional connections with the team Actions:

Dates: September 1–September 30, 2022 Highest priority goal(s): Build cross-team collaboration Actions:


While an exact 30-60-90-day plan is almost never possible for an engineering manager, it’s important to begin a new job with goals. You might not check off everything on your plan, and you might complete some items earlier than expected. But the plan will be a useful tool for developing a strategy and aligning with your manager. Good luck!

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30 60 90 day action plan for new managers

30 60 90 Plan For Managers: a Beginner’s Guide

30 60 90 Plan For Managers: a Beginner’s Guide

New managers deal with a lot of emotions as they just join the company. They are excited to change the world of the organization they are working in, they are bursting with improvement and optimization ideas, they are eager to prove themselves and show how good of a manager they are.

At the same time, there is a lot of stress and uncertainty associated with a new job, especially a fresh management position, such as anxiety, imposter syndrome, stress, fear of failure.

One of the proven ways to support new managers in this tricky time is the 30 60 90 day plan .

It is a technique that helps structure the first crucial quarter in the company. It is sort of an action plan that guides managers through what needs to be paid attention to within the first 30 days, then the second and third months of employment.

Tip: All new managers can benefit from learning about different management styles . Some of them are better, and some of them are worse. Ultimately, each style has a lesson or two that can be taught to every one of us.

The key goals of the plan are to help the individual achieve the most within the timeframe and make a good impression on the team and the senior management. It helps stay focused, set the goals, work towards them, and, ultimately, succeed.

What is a 30 60 90 day plan?

The 30 60 90 day plan is a guideline for the first three months of the manager’s employment that can go along with the usual new hire training. It is usually created on the last stage of the interview process or in the first few weeks of employment.

30 60 90 Day Plan for managers

The plan acts as a new employee’s north star that helps them reach main onboarding milestones and feel confident with their new job by the end of the third month. It also makes sure that the new manager’s goals align with what the company strives to achieve.

The plan drops down the 3 months into little sprints with actionable goals and targets, guaranteeing future success.

Some of the main goals of the 30 60 90 day plan include:

The three key elements of focus in the 30 60 90 day plan are the 3 Ps:

The three key elements of focus in the 30 60 90 day plan

The plan is practiced by thousands of people allowing them to jump into a completely foreign environment and emerge as a fully functioning managers by the end of the onboarding period.

Tip: Starting a new job is always hard, especially with a leadership position. The stress can easily throw you off, so to get back in shape or to stay in control, it’s good to keep in touch with someone who can listen to you and mentor you a little bit. Alternatively, there are many useful resources online, such as tips for learning faster , articles on how successful people plan their days , and all about managing a remote team . Keep your mind busy with consuming new information to be less distracted by stress and anxiety in the new role.

First 30 days

The first 30 days are for adjusting to the new role’s learning curve, making impressions, and getting to know the team and the environment.

The main task for this period is to build healthy communication and develop relationships with the team.

Building relationships can be tricky in the office setting. If you are not sure where to start, here are some topic ideas that we recommend covering during your first catch-ups:

Pro-tip: don’t be too serious all the time. Joking and casual chats help relax into the conversation and have a genuine talk. If you’re not sure how to ease up, check out our list of icebreakers that work great for online and in-person meetings.

The second goal is absorbing all information and vibes. Ask everyone to share their feedback, current issues, insight into some patterns within the company. Observe the team’s work style and the company’s culture code. Read between the lines, listen to how people talk about specific things to catch the subliminal messages.

The third goal is to make a small change to build trust and credibility with the team and to show your management that you are making progress. We recommend making a change associated with feedback or complaint you received from somebody in the team.

Gently challenge the current status quo. Bring in the new perspective, question established beliefs, and your own team’s processes.

Gently challenge the current status quo

At the same time, don’t rush getting to execution and decision-making. You will have all the time of the world later to be a manager at your new job, but now your focus should be on different things.

30 to 60 days

The second period of the 30 60 90 day plan is the time to dig deeper and become more active. By the end of the second month, the new manager should have a vision and a preliminary plan of action.

During this time, it is recommended to run evaluations (for example, SWOT) and analyze the team’s existing strategy to strengthen the understanding of the current situation within the team and organization as a whole.

Make another change – big or small – associated with something that you’ve uncovered within the second 30 days. Show the team and your boss that you are not just messing around, asking questions, and playing with business techniques, but there is a purpose to everything you do and everyone receives value from it.

By the end of the period, you should have proven to the team and your management that you can contribute to the overall success and you are ready to start making and implementing decisions.

Also, it is during the second month that you should determine the top goals to knock out this year. We recommend using Bordio’s free to-do list as a single point for all your goals (big and small), as well as observations.

How to write goals during your second month in the company

Everybody’s goal planning process looks different. Here are a few tips to help you deal with the process efficiently and effectively.

1. Identify the businesses’ key needs and targets and keep them in mind. Look at the annual targets and goals that are shared with you. But also consider things like the company’s mission.

2. Assign all goals to different categories:

It is vital to be growing on a professional and personal level together, not just focusing on business for 6 months, and then switching it up.

3. Prioritize the goals and classify them across the next 12 months. How do you prioritize? Look at:

Prioritize the goals and classify them across the next 12 months

Tip: Don’t wait for too long to act on the goals you defined. Use Bordio’s calendar planner online to create first tasks and time blocks to work on the targets that you’ve set up for yourself and the team.

4. Estimate what kind of resources and how many of them your goals will require. Remember to get resource approval to complete your plans before you start executing them.

By the way, if you’d like to learn more about goal setting and other productive habits, check out the Productivity Tips Everyone Needs to Adopt article on our blog.

60 to 90 days

The final part of the 30 60 90 day plan is all about finalizing what was started earlier and making the last adjustments to personal goals and professional plans.

At this point, the new manager needs to put the final touches on the analysis they’ve started earlier. Put everyone’s commentary and insight together, add your perceptions now after you’ve been with the company for a while. By the end of this exercise, there should be a list of tasks that have to be sorted.

Here, we recommend using the impact analysis to prioritize all tasks in a way that encourages you to concentrate on work that takes the least effort and generates the most reward, slowly moving towards more complicated and least rewarding activities.

Impact analysis resembles the Eisenhower matrix but it uses slightly different criteria: level of impact and ease of completion. For example, a task can have a high impact and take little effort to complete, or have a high impact and be difficult to complete.

Impact analysis resembles the Eisenhower matrix

Now is also the time to be more active during meetings, and to start making more decisions and suggesting new ideas to elevate the working process and help the team achieve their targets.

Tip: Check out the guide on maintaining and boosting accountability in the hybrid team with tips that are also applicable to the fully remote or in-office teams.

By the end of the 90 days period, you should have already established yourself as a leader who is respected and trusted.

All the boxes should be ticked:

Bonus tip 1: For extra credit from your hiring manager, or to ease your onboarding, include a pre-start section to your 30 60 90 day plan.

There, you can plan for getting acquainted with company guides or handbooks, documentation, industry nuances before starting the new job. It is also good to run your own competitive research to make sure you get the most objective view on where the company stands in the market. This bit of extra time dedicated to researching and learning can help ease the anxiety and stress of the first days immensely.

Additionally, you will demonstrate your commitment and serious intentions about the job. But please don’t spend too much time on that as, after all, you have not yet officially started working and your personal time is very valuable too.

Bonus tip 2: Set up your own performance metrics.

Your company no doubt has an onboarding and a professional development plan for you. But those plans rarely match your personal goals 100%. So, if you want to make sure you are moving in the right direction long-term, set up your own KPIs in addition to the company’s key performance metrics. Create regular check-ins in your weekly planner online to track your progress. Whether you share your personal goals with the management or not is completely up to you.

Final thoughts on 30 60 90 plan For managers

A new job creates just as much fear as it does excitement. Yet, with a structured plan in place, new managers can power through this stressful time and have great results in the end.

A good 30 60 90 day plan can do wonders for a new manager’s adaptation in the organization. It helps run a smooth transition from a new team member to an important component of the company and a key contributor to its success.

The plan itself is not set in stone and can be changed and altered to meet one’s specific situation and requirements. The key to having a successful plan is to make it gradual. Yes, time is money and there is always so much to do, but the smart 30 60 90 day plan will ensure a comfortable pace that allows healthy immersing into the new environment.

The right software can make a huge difference in this process, so if you are looking for a single tool for personal and professional goals, then Bordio’s daily planner might be just for you.

The right software can make a huge difference in this process

Bordio allows separation between work and personal projects, has a convenient calendar view with timers and time blocks to assist with the planning and execution of the tasks. The waiting list is a perfect place for all ideas that you want to bring to life but didn’t schedule yet. Bordio is perfect for productive work and staying on top of all your goals, plans, and deadlines.

30 60 90 day action plan for new managers

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A Guide for New Managers: Your 30-60-90 Day Plan for Team Development

Taylor Varco

As a leader on a new team, you have new challenges ahead that not only pertain to business results but also with building trust and establishing credibility. Your first few months are a great opportunity to make your mark, set yourself up to influence your team, and command respect of other managers in the organization. Using a 30-60-90 day plan breaks up your numerous goals into smaller, actionable, items to be sure your first months as a manager lay the groundwork to make the most impact as a leader. 

First 30 Days: Discovery & Ramp up  

Focus on: people, culture, and getting up to speed on the job at hand.  

During this time you should try to connect with as many people as you can, especially those on your team. Find out what their professional strengths are, their goals, and a little about their personal life. In conjunction, you should immerse yourself into the company culture. Have a full understanding of any company strategic plans, while living and breathing their core values. You should be promoting the culture and re-establishing everyone’s belief in the direction the organization is going. 

In addition, the leadership team will expect you to become productive quickly.  

Ramp up Checklist

-Join as many meetings as possible; absorb everything - Get an understanding of your budget and conduct a comprehensive review - Set up introductions with significant customers and vendors - Meet with strategic partners that work with your department - Take note of your team’s individual assignments and performance 

Second 30 Days: Build your Brand & Implement Process  

Focus on: taking your discovery data, analyzing it, and putting action behind it.  

As you are absorbing information and laying the culture foundation among your team, you should start to understand how things operate and begin to form a plan on how to improve. Take this time to focus on training, simplifying procedures, improving process, and finding other efficiencies that will establish yourself as a consistent and reliable source. 

Your success as a manager will often be measured by your impact on the team, both developmentally and productively. 

Implementation Checklist  

- Dig into the issues you hear about and ask the hard questions - Conduct a weekly team meeting, run by a consistent agenda  - Create both team and individual production goals for each month or quarter - Hold your team members accountable with weekly check-ins on their goal progress - Document all best practices and processes for key team activities - Replace any existing tools your team has deemed as unusable 

Final 30 Days: Find Profitability & Sustain Growth  

Focus on: keeping your established groundwork and pursuing strategic growth opportunities.  

You have a firm grasp on your team dynamics and established processes in place. Once you’ve identified success at the base-level, it’s time to find areas of growth. Start with the work that’s been done thus far and build out from there. That doesn’t mean you should forget about continuing to enforce culture and process, it means you’re building up more value to bring to the company. 

Your CEO will expect you to have your team fully productive and understand your future growth plan. 

Growth & Sustainability Checklist  

- Develop a team hiring plan (based on your budget recommendation)  - Present clear goals and results to upper management on a consistent basis (monthly, quarterly, etc. - Contribute to the broader company strategy in executive team meetings - Explore leveraging marketing in unique ways to grow your sector of business - Collaborate with key stakeholders in other departments on a new growth project Have a clear vision and plan for your team moving forward

After 90 days the “training wheels” are off and you should be operating at a normal capacity of your role. Using this 30-60-90 day will help you get there and position yourself for success with others in the organization. 

The Best 30-60-90 Day Plan for Your New Job [Template + Example]

Clifford Chi

Published: December 29, 2022

Worry often comes along with the excitement of a new job. What if you can't adapt to new people, processes, and team-wide dynamics quickly enough to make a great impression?

introducing the new employee as part of their 30-60-90 day plan

Fortunately, there's a way to organize and prioritize your time and tasks, helping you seamlessly adapt to your new environment: The 30-60-90 day plan. Creating and following an effective plan enables you to soak in as much information as possible, master your core job responsibilities, and make a lasting impact on your new team.

In this post, we'll cover everything you need to know about building the best 30-60-90 day plan for your new job.

 Download Now: Sales Training & Onboarding Template [Free Tool]

30-60-90 Day Plan

A 30-60-90 day plan lays out a clear course of action for a new employee during the first 30, 60, and 90 days of their new job. By setting concrete goals and a vision for one's abilities at each stage of the plan, you can make the transition into a new organization smooth and empowering.

Learning the nuances of your new role in less than three months won't be easy. But crafting a strong 30-60-90 day plan is your best bet for accelerating your development and adapting to your new work environment as quickly as possible.

There are two situations where you'd write a 30-60-90 day plan: during the final stages of an interview process and during the first week of the job itself. Here's how each type can be executed:

30-60-90 Day Plan for Interview

Some hiring managers ask candidates to think about and explain their potential 30-60-90 day plan as a new hire. They want to see if they can organize their time, prioritize the tasks they'd likely take on, and strategize an approach to the job description.

For a new hire, a well thought-out 30-60-90 day plan is a great way to help the hiring manager visualize you in the role and differentiate yourself from all other candidates.

Of course, it can be difficult to outline your goals for yourself before you accept a new job. So, how are you supposed to know what those goals are? Start with the job description. Normally, open job listings have separate sections for a job's responsibilities and a job's qualifications. Work to find commonalities in these two sections, and how you might turn them into goals for yourself staggered over the course of three months.

For example, if a job requires three years of experience in Google Analytics, and the responsibilities include tracking the company's website performance every month, use these points to develop an action plan explaining how you'll learn the company's key performance metrics (first 30 days), strengthen the company's performance in these metrics (next 30 days), and then lead the team toward a better Google Analytics strategy (last 30 days).

30-60-90 Day Plan for New Job

The second situation where you'd write a 30-60-90 day plan is during the first week of a new job. If you're the hiring manager, this plan will allow you to learn how the new employee operates, address any of their concerns or preconceived notions about the role, and ultimately help them succeed.

If you're starting a new job, and are not asked to craft a 30-60-90 day plan during the first week of that job, it's still a good idea to write one for yourself. A new job can feel like a completely foreign environment during the first few months, and having a plan in place can make it feel more like home.

Even though 90 days is the standard grace period for new employees to learn the ropes, it's also the best time to make a great first impression.

How long should a 30-60-90 day plan be?

While there's no set length for a 30-60-90 day plan, it should include information about onboarding and training, set goals that you're expected to hit by the end of each phase, and all the people to meet and resources to review in support of those goals. This can result in a document that's 3-8 pages long, depending on formatting.

The purpose of your plan is to help you transition into your new role, but it should also be a catalyst for your career development. Instead of just guiding you over your job's learning curve, the goals outlined in your plan should push you to perform up to your potential and raise your bar for success at every stage.

Free 30/60/90 Day Onboarding Template

Fill out the form to get the template., parts of a 30-60-90 day plan.

An effective 30-60-90 day plan consists of three larger phases — one for days 1-30, one for days 31-60, and one for days 61-90.

Each phase has its own goal. For example, the goal in the first 30 days is to learn as much as possible about your new job. The next 30 focus on using learned skills to contribute, and the last 30 are about demonstrating skill mastery with metrics and taking the lead on new challenges.

Each phase also contains components that help define goals and describe desired outcomes. These parts include:

The primer is a general overview of what you hope to achieve during the current 30-day period. It's worth sitting down with your manager to pinpoint a primer that's in line with both your goals and desired company outcomes.

The theme is a quick-hitter sentence or statement that sums up your goals for the period. For example, your theme might be "find new opportunities", "take initiative," or "be a sponge."

Learning Goals

Learning goals focus on skills you want to learn or improve to drive better outcomes at your job. For example, if you're responsible for creating website content at your company, you might want to learn new HTML or CSS skills .

Performance Goals

Performance goals speak to specific metrics that demonstrate improvement. These might include making one more content post per week or reducing the number of revisions required by management.

Initiative Goals

Initiative goals are about thinking outside the box to discover other ways you can contribute. This might mean asking your manager about taking ownership of new website changes or upgrades with a specific deadline in mind.

Personal Goals

Personal goals focus on company culture — are there ways you can improve relationships with your team members or demonstrate your willingness to contribute?

30-60-90 day plan

This shows that you care about their opinion and trust their expertise while getting unique perspectives from multiple vantage points in the organization. Plus, if you start hearing some of the same points from multiple team members, you'll be able to identify the biggest pains, equipping you to make the highest impact changes.

Identify the A players on the team.

An A player is a member of your team that goes above and beyond what's expected in their role. While not every employee will be an A player, you'll want to ensure that critical roles and teams have at least one A player to lead, inspire, and strengthen camaraderie.

From there, you can figure out the existing gaps in staffing and training, whether it's team members who need a lot of guidance and must be coached up to performance or empty roles that need to be filled altogether.

Create goals based on what you've learned.

When you are interviewing or shortly after you're hired, you'll get a feel for the types of pains that the executive team has and the objectives in mind for bringing you on.

Once you have more context about how the organization works, you can take this vision and translate it into concrete, measurable goals that will take your department to the next level.

Diagnose process issues.

Companies of all sizes run into operational issues as they implement processes that are efficient and work at scale. Sometimes, when an executive team isn't aligned with middle management, processes can become unwieldy.

Learn why things are done the way they are and then figure out if there are workarounds you can implement to streamline operations. Perhaps it's as simple as eliminating bottlenecks or adding automation to certain functions.

Put together and implement a hiring plan.

You know your A and B players, and you hopefully have a plan to retain, invest in, and mentor them. However, you'll likely come across gaps that you need to fill and positions that need to be created to eliminate bottlenecks. From there, you'll want to create a hiring plan to execute, both for short-term, middle-term, and long-term needs.

Effect changes in operations.

Speaking of bottlenecks, your final 30 days of your plan should be focusing on the areas of the business that can achieve the results the fastest. Once you've identified these, you can focus on removing these roadblocks to start hitting goals and achieving higher performance.

Contribute to broader company goals.

As a member of the executive team, you'll also be looped in one high-level company initiatives, and the other executives of the company will be relying on you to contribute your deep discipline, expertise, and experience.

Be ready to lean in on executive meetings and contribute to the vision and strategy of the organization as it moves forward.

example of high level goals to meet during first 30-60-90 days for new executives

To write challenging yet feasible performance goals, you need to:

Understand your team's goals.

Try to understand the purpose behind your team's goals. It'll give you more insight into why you and your team should achieve them, motivating you to work as hard as possible to meet those goals.

Identify top priorities.

By connecting your personal responsibilities to your team's goals, you'll know exactly how to align your tasks with the needs of the team, which keeps you accountable and compels you to help your team achieve their goals.

Define specific progress measurements.

Tracking your progress helps you gauge your performance and rate of improvement. To see how you're doing, set up weekly meetings with your manager to ask her what she thinks of your work and track the improvement of your own performance metrics, like the growth of your blog posts' average views or the amount of qualified leads your eBooks generate.

Reaching your performance goals isn't the only path toward future success in your new role, though. You also need to study the ins and outs of your team and company, take initiative, and develop relationships with coworkers — all things that a lot of new hires underestimate the importance of.

Consider setting the following types of goals during each stage of your 30-60-90 day plan:

  • Learning Goals How will you absorb as much information as possible about your company, team, and role?
  • Initiative Goals - What will you do to stand out?
  • Personal Goals - How will you integrate with your company and team?

Aiming to achieve these types of goals will help you hit the ground running in all the right areas of your job. And if you stick to your plan, you'll notice you'll be able to spend less time learning and more time executing.

30-60-90 Day Plan Template

free editable 30 60 90 Day Plan Template, Blog Image

Download Your Free Template

HubSpot's 30-60-90 day plan template includes space for all key elements of your plan — primers, themes, and goals — making it easy for both you and your manager to see exactly where you are in the plan, what comes next, and how things are going so far.

While our template is a great starting point, it's worth cross-referencing this high-level plan with a more detailed description of your goals and desired outcomes to ensure you're aligned with company expectations.

30-60-90 Day Plan Example

Using our template, we've created a quick 30-60-90 plan example for new employees.

Many new hires are eager to impress, so they dive head-first into their work or try to make suggestions about their team's process with limited experience in how their new team operates. But have patience.

Understanding your company's vision and your team's existing strategy is crucial for producing high-quality work and actually making an impact. If you don't know the purpose behind your role or the optimal way to perform, you'll risk missing the mark and your early efforts won't pay off the way you expect them to.

It's always better to over-prepare than under-prepare. And it's okay to take time to learn the ropes — it pays huge dividends in the long run. In the first 30 days of your employment, your priority is to be a sponge and soak in as much information as possible. Once you do that, you can then try to improve more specific parts of your team's work style.

Theme: Be a Sponge

  • Study my company's mission, vision, and overarching strategy.
  • Read my company's culture code to learn more about our company culture and why we implement it.
  • Read the customer persona and target audience overview to truly understand who our customers are, their pain points, and how our product and content can help them.
  • Meet with my team's director to learn about how meeting our goals will help our business grow.
  • Read up on our team's new SEO strategy, editorial process, and traffic goals.
  • Learn how to use the SEO Insights Report to plan and structure blog posts.
  • Review my team's pillar-cluster model overview and understand how to match posts to clusters.
  • Meet with my manager to learn more about her expectations.
  • Complete new hire training and pass the test with a 90% or higher.
  • Be able to write 3 blog posts per week.
  • Run the Facebook Instant Article experiment that my manager recommended me to do.
  • Grab coffee with everyone on my team, so I can get to know them on a professional and personal level.

By the end of your first 60 days, you should ramp up your workload, start overachieving, and make a name for yourself on your team.

To do this, start speaking up more at meetings. Don't be afraid to share your ideas about improving your team's processes. This shows you're quickly conquering the learning curve and recognizing some flaws that your colleagues might have overlooked. You still have a fresh perspective on the company, so your insight is invaluable.

Theme: Be a Contributor

  • Learn how to optimize a new post from scratch based on both the SEO Insights Report and my own competitive research.
  • Read every other marketing team's wiki page to learn about other marketing initiatives and how our entire department works together to grow our business.
  • Deep dive into my company's product roadmap and strategy to fully grasp our mission and vision.
  • Be able to write 5 blog posts per week.
  • Be down to one cycle of edits per post.
  • Understand how to edit a guest post -- clean up at least one rough draft.
  • Share content strategy ideas at my team's monthly meeting and ask if I can spearhead the project to boost blog traffic.
  • Ask my manager if I can oversee Facebook messenger and Slack distribution strategy.
  • Meet with my colleagues on other teams to learn about their marketing initiatives and develop relationships outside of my team.

By the end of your first three months, you should have a firm grasp of your role, feel confident about your abilities, and be on the cusp of making a breakthrough contribution to your team. Instead of reacting to problems that pop up at random, be proactive and spearhead a new initiative for your team.

You should also be cognizant of how you can collaborate with other teams to improve your own team's processes. By taking on some new projects outside of your main role, you'll start turning some heads and catch the attention of the department at large.

Theme: Be a Leader

30-60-90 day plan template example: marketing new hire

Making the Most of Your First Months

The first few months at a new job are critical in answering key questions: Is the company a good fit? Can you meet (and exceed) expectations? What does your long-term career plan look like?

Building a robust 30-60-90 day plan can take some of the pressure off by providing a framework for success that combines big ideas with specific goals to help drive success.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in April 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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Use this template to set up a 30/60/90 day sales training and onboarding plan.

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The 30-60-90 Day Management Plan: A Template for Success

young leader writing their 30 60 90 day management plan

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Nearly half of leadership transitions fail . This isn’t unlike hearing that half of all marriages end in divorce; usually, a bitter taste is left in the mouths of the manager, organisation and direct report after a failed transition, and interest in doing it again is negligent. 

The 30-60-90-day management plan is a framework for the first three months in a new managerial role. It helps set managers up to succeed with a step-by-step plan that links personal goal-setting to business strategy. 

How to write one, what to include and a 30-60-90 day management plan template are all included in this article.  

what is a 30 60 90 day management planv

What is a 30-60-90 day management plan?

The 30-60-90 day management plan outlines what a new manager hopes to achieve in their first 30, 60 and 90 days in their role. It serves as a plan of action with short-term performance goals aimed at making their onboarding smooth but impactful. 

Why is a 30-60-90 day management plan important?  

A 30-60-90 day plan acts as a safeguard against new job anxiety at best and poor performance at worst. It also creates a more deliberate entry point for your transition, mapping impact beyond the job description. 

For many organisations, this is what they’re looking for in a leader or manager. You are the conduit between strategy and performance. Failing to connect with your team and effectively translate business goals to everyday work can mean getting a lashing from both sides. It’s a flow on effect with the following not-so-desirable milestones. 

impacts of unsuccessful leadership transitions

That’s the worst case scenario. The good news is that a 30-60-90 day management plan foresees the challenges many first-time managers face . 

The trap of a 30-60-90 day plan  

90 days is usually the standard probation or grace period for a new role (and it can even stretch to 180 beyond executive levels). But reaching full productivity in your first three months shouldn’t be the end goal. 

McKinsey found that 92% of external hires and 72% of internal hires take more than 90 days to get to full speed. A 90-day management transition should be focused on taking stock and action in a handful of areas, not all of them. 

Don’t fall into the trap of planning to hit ridiculous goals. It only sets you up to fail and shows the higher ups you can’t effectively strategise. Michael Watkins, author of The First 90 Days , says that the time period is simply critical for setting good habits and making efficient and effective use of your time —not to achieve everything you possibly can as a leader in 90 days. The world will keep turning on Day 91. 

leadership transition pitfalls to avoid

When to write a 30-60-90 day management plan  

There are two instances where you may create or be asked to create a 30-60-90 day plan. 

The first is for an interview. You’d use it show understanding of the role, organisation and its strategy. Look at it like you’re telling the story of what you’d achieve in the role: How do your qualifications and the requirements for the role align? If there are gaps, explain how you’ll use those first few months to bridge. It’s often also on the candidate to present this plan in an interview, so consider how you’d weave it into the conversation. 

The second is during the first week in the role. The hiring manager might map it out for the employee, but it shows proactivity if you create one yourself. 

Best practices for a 30-60-90 day management plan  

Your plan will be your own, but there are some ways to get the most of the learning phase of your new job. 

Look at the bigger picture  

This is where you build credibility. If you’re an external hire, you’re likely starting from zero. Even stepping from IC to people leader will mean you have to prove yourself. Understanding the forces at play beyond your role will enable you to make more strategic goals.  

Consider the personal challenges of the role, like: 

And know what pain point you are addressing for the organisation. 

Set clear, measurable goals  

A new job is not just about you. You are trying to help your team achieve their goals. If you make your personal goals reflective of their outcomes, you’ll win more respect and make more of an impact. The company’s key performance metrics will also help you set your own performance metrics. 

The SMART goal is useful here. Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound milestones keep you true to the team’s existing strategy when setting goals. “Better Google Analytics strategy” isn’t a SMART goal, but “Within the first 60 days, identify top call-to-actions and implement them across top 10 ranking webpages” is. You can better measure success at the end of the 30-60-90 day plan this way, too. 

If all else fails, Michael Watkins recommends focusing on technical, cultural and political learnings. 

Be flexible  

You should assume that the dynamics of the role, team and business environment may hinder goal realisation. For example: A team member may unexpectedly leave just a few weeks into your new role. Their replacement will have to be allowed time to get up to speed, which may impact the resources you have for a goal. Adaptability is a function of strategic thinking, which is in turn a crucial leadership skill . 

Part of adaptability is allowing for course correction—and also coming to terms with the fact you aren’t going to change the world in 90 days. (See The trap of a 30-60-90 day plan above again.) 

How to write your 30-60-90 day plan  

Think of it as month-long sprints. Not sprints as in marathons, sprints as in project management. Sprint planning defines what needs to be done and how it will be achieved in a certain timeframe. 

So, break your plan down by its name: 30, 60 and 90 days.  

First 30 days  

Consider your first month as a new manager about building relationships and learning tactical knowledge. This is about lessening a new role’s learning curve. 

Your best course of action is conversation. A new team will likely have just as much fear as you, which makes one on ones a great way to get to know your team on both a professional and personal level. Weekly catch ups help uncover the team’s work style; some will enjoy blunt feedback while others prefer to be over-explained. 

Even if you’ve assumed a role with familiar faces, you’ll need to understand how your own team’s processes are carried out so you can better strategically support them. There may be latent problems that could turn into future fires.  

At the very least, you want to identify the core activities that create value. Hard data is also useful here. Financial and operational reports, customer sentiments and employee surveys create patterns in company culture and behaviour. 

30 – 60 days  

Now is when you can start to apply what you’ve learned and aim for those easy wins. Start thinking operationally; any initiatives you set for yourself in this time should be more strategic than the scene-setting goals in the first month. Say you gathered that the marketing team don’t have a central source of information, but you see a chance to make their knowledge transfer more efficient with a central wiki.  

Setting goals that benefit others—not just company goals—is a good way to show your commitment as team lead. As long as you’re not challenging the status quo, you can secure influence. 

60 – 90 days

Around about now is when you reach a break-even point. Look at your original KPIs. How is the marketing team’s wiki paying off? What proportion of time are they spending searching for information now? What tools have you implemented to understand their usage of the site? 

At this point, you should also know what your personal and the team’s development needs are going forward. You should have identified your high potentials and who needs some coaching. Highlighting skills gaps shows you are looking to eliminate bottlenecks to the company’s mission. Schedule a check in with your manager at the end of the 90 days to discuss your progress and training needs.  

30-60-90 day management plan template  

You can structure your plan in almost anyway you like. Our free template includes four key elements for a complete action: 

Key takeaways  

There are many unknowns associated with stepping into a new leadership position, whether you’ve had experience in management before or not. What if you can’t adapt fast? If you’re starting in a new organisation, how does BAU differ to previous cultures? How does one transition into managing their former peers? 

A 30-60-90 day plan is the workaround. It acts as a framework for success in a new manager role, outlining the goals that will have an impact beyond core job responsibilities.  

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30 60 90 day action plan for new managers

Table of Contents

Building a business takes a ton of time and preparation; therefore, company owners need to have a plan before performing their organization's growth activities.

Throughout decades, many plans, styles, and methodologies have been implemented into business management , and rightfully so. A master plan can help organizations create efficient team collaboration within the work environment and reach their revenue expectations sooner.

Etner the 30 60-90 day plan for managers.

What Is a Leadership 30 60 90 Day Plan for Managers?

What Is a Leadership 30 60 90 Day Plan for Managers

A 30 60 90 day plan for managers is an outline that showcases what a new manager hopes to achieve in the first 30, 60, and 90 days in their new role. Making a difference in an enterprise requires that new managers brainstorm how they can impact the organization and create short-term goals.

For example, the first month might involve building new relationships with other employees and learning how various business processes work. In the second month, new managers might focus on launching a new project or taking over an existing one. For the third month, long-term plans with the company are made, and feedback from the team is analyzed.

A 30 60 90 day manager plan varies depending on the employee's hope for the future and the leadership role they are in. Supervisors or employers are generally the ones that approve a 30 60 90 day plan for new managers.

With an in-depth 30 60 90 plan, new managers show their employers that they are creating positive influences in the work environment and they understand what's expected of them.

Why Is a 30 60 90 Plan for Managers Important?

A 30 60 90 day plan for managers helps professionals adjust to their leadership role because they have clearly defined goals. Depending on the company, managers have many responsibilities, and their employers may expect them to deliver results timeously.

Creating a list of goals can help new managers get a grip on tasks they need to handle while working towards their objectives. This allows them to measure their progress and optimize processes to improve their outcomes.

The table below highlights additional reasons a 30 60 90 day plan for managers is favorable.

Key Elements of a Manager 30 60 90 Plan

Key Elements of a Manager 30 60 90 Plan

A manager's 30-60 90 day plan should be customized based on their position. For instance, a new manager in a mid-level position will have an entirely different strategy than a new business owner or high-level executive.

A 30 60 90 day plan for managers has nuances that differ from plans created by individual contributors. Experience, expectations, work goals, and job responsibilities are the types of considerations that are added to these types of programs.

However, when a 30 60 90 day plan for managers is established, there are generally four critical elements considered, including:

Let's break down these attributes to give you a better understanding of each one.

Company Culture, Mission, and the Purpose of Work

New managers and employees must comprehend their purpose in an organization.

Things don't "click" in most scenarios within 30 to 90 days. However, starting early on, it is crucial to connect the company's visions and employee expectations.

According to a recent Forbes article , the number one driver in the workplace is purpose. Once employees find meaning in their work, their desire to stay at an organization increases.

Businesses must recognize the role that purpose plays in the workplace. If employees understand their part in the organization's mission and purpose, a company may begin to expand exponentially.

To-Do List or New Hire Checklist

When a new person joins an organization, multiple tasks are required. For instance, the staff members may have to upload personal credentials or enroll with a 401K or other benefits.

A 30 60 90 day plan for managers is an excellent way to communicate this information to new employees and ensure that these tasks are completed. HR and administrative activities needing completion in the first few months are handled while the manager monitors the employee's progress.

New hire checklists or to-do lists are great mediums for new managers to show their superiors that they care about the process.

Go to Information and Resources

The business world is a space that is constantly changing. In this new digital age, a lot of information is evolving daily.

For example, do your employees prefer to work remotely or with the hybrid model? How do managers ask for time off or deal with expense reports? What culture programs or employee resource groups doesn't the organization have?

A 30 60 90 day plan for managers is the perfect way to determine answers to these questions while ensuring your employees have all the resources they need. Having excellent resources and references with comprehensive information helps staff members become more self-sufficient and give managers peace of mind.

Concrete Goals and Expectations

Every 30, 60, and 90 plan for managers should have concrete goals and clear expectations. As a professional, communication with employees must be concise and direct. For example, a clearly outlined document or presentation informs the staff of the manager's expectations.

The foundation of a working relationship is formed with employees' expectations. As part of a 30 60 90 day plan for managers, employees should be included to provide their expectations and concerns. The table below outlines an example of how goals and objectives should be set for a manager.

With effective internal team communication, it becomes manageable achieving company goals. Managers should learn how to resolve conflict with employees, their preferred communication and work style, and better understand who they are in general. This goes a long way in getting managers and employees on the same page.

Effective team collaboration means that companies can achieve their goals faster, and staff members know their expectations.

How to Create a 30 60 90 Manager Plan

How to Create a 30 60 90 Manager Plan

Creating a 30 60 90 day manager plan is vital if professionals want to succeed in their organization. The steps below showcase how to develop a 30 60 90 day program for managers in a new position.

Determine Employer Expectations

Employees are expected to meet employer expectations as a standard when they join a company. Determining how to accomplish job responsibilities should be included in a 30 60 90 day plan for managers.

If you need ideas for the 30 60 90 day plan for managers' outline, it may be helpful to reread the job description. Supervisors appreciate it when managers incorporate knowledge concerning their position into their strategy, showing that they are planning to take action.

Envision the Ideal Outcome

Circumstances after short-term goals have been achieved illustrate the ideal outcome. These goals may include but are not limited to the following:

Additional examples could include organization goals like designing a mobile app to drive more accessible client information while attaching it to the personal goal of improving the manager's technical skills with mobile devices.

Including both goals in a 30 60 90 day plan for managers can help build self-confidence and satisfy the employer.

Set Milestones for Every Phase

Milestones help managers monitor and track short-term goals in their 30 60 90 day plan, which can be utilized to analyze progress while the professional adjusts to their new managerial position. Each stage of their 30 60 90 day plan can help specific milestones, depending on what's required during that period.

Arranging goals or milestones allows an organization to flow more easily toward its long-term expectations. For example, milestones in the first 30 days may lead to a second goal that must be achieved in the next 60 days.

Ensure milestones are measurable and specific so that it is easy to see if they've been accomplished after each phase of the 30 60 90 day plan for managers.

Create Instructions for Reaching Managerial Goals

The ideal results can only be executed with a concise list of instructions on achieving them. Each milestone in a 30 60 90 day plan for managers requires that guidance and resources are included.

A realistic deadline should form the basis of these instructions. For example, the 30-day phase may include hosting team building meetings, where this activity may not be appropriate for the 90-day stage of the plan. Considering adding the name of the following people or tasks involved in the 30 60 90 day plan for managers:

With succinct instructions, team members and managers have a clear understanding of what's required of them in their respective positions.

Main Goals of a 30 60 90 Day Plan for New Managers

Main Goals of a 30 60 90 Day Plan for New Managers

There are many goals new managers can establish in their 30 60 90 day plan. Let's look at the primary purposes of a 30 60 90 day plan for new managers to gain more knowledge of how this strategy works.

Getting to Know the Team

In the work environment, team collaboration is quickly becoming the way of the future. When team members are on good terms and on the same page, it makes achieving company goals more manageable.

The first 30 days of a 30 60 90 day plan for managers should include getting to know the team. Arrange team meetings or outdoor activities with employees so they get to know each other better.

This will not only boost confidence among employees but create a strong bond between both managers and staff members.

Making the Right First Impression

First impressions last, and the same is true when someone fills the role of a new manager. With a 30 60 90 day plan, managers can show their employers that they mean business and take their position seriously.

Positioning Yourself as a Leader

You've been hired. Now, it is time to position yourself as a leader so that employers can see your dedication to the role. There is nothing worse than someone unprepared and struggling to align with a company's mission.

Defining the Future Scope of Work

Understanding what is expected of you and the employees you manage is one of the primary goals of a 30 60 90 day plan for managers. A 30 60 90 day sales plan can be developed to include the following:

These are just a few basic examples of how a 30 60 90 day plan can help measure the scope of work for the future.

Benefits of a 30 60 90 Day Plan for New Managers

Benefits of a 30 60 90 Day Plan for New Managers

A 30 60 90 day plan for new managers can assist in many of the activities required after a new hire. Here are six additional benefits to consider when implementing a 30 60 90 day leadership plan.

Productivity Optimization

Having an itemized list of expectations is a great way to make employees feel less pressured and limits productivity hindering. It also helps to keep managers and staff members on the same page, supporting team goals in the interim.

Clear Expectations Are Established

Nothing is more precise than a written document with employee expectations mentioned on it. Managers can also add a checkbox to their 30 60 90 day plan to confirm when each task is completed.

Clear goals can be challenging to establish, especially when someone is starting at a company. However, a 30 60 90 day plan for managers can help you set clear expectations and grow alongside your team.

Goal Setting Becomes More Streamlined

A 30-60-90 day plan for managers may include more mundane or administrative tasks.

For example, managers may be required to upload new staff information into the company's HR system. The functions needed to achieve the main milestone include reviewing necessary documents and policies or creating email signatures for new employees.

These minor activities can be broken down in the outline to make the final goal less daunting.

New Job Jitters May Be Alleviated

Starting a new job can be nerve-wracking without a solid understanding of what is expected of you. A 30 60 90 day leadership plan prepares new managers for the coming months through a detailed outline and allows them to know what needs to be done and when.

New managers looking for confidence and momentum in the workplace may benefit significantly from constructing one of these plans.

Empowers Employees to Self-Manage Their Work

Some managers want to micromanage their employees through projects. This can cause a heap of unnecessary stress and can also hinder the growth of the worker's confidence.

Giving staff members the ability to self-manage their job is a huge confidence booster that business owners are beginning to realize.

High-impact work and priorities are also a primary focus of managers. Hence, it's not reasonable to guide each person through everything they need to do or know when it comes to onboarding new employees.

If this had to be done, it would be wasting a lot of time.

The empowerment of employees can occur with the help of a 30, 60 90 days plan for managers. By leveraging this strategy, staff members can build schedules and focus on what matters most. These individuals will now have a roadmap of where they are headed, but how they achieve these results is up to them.

It Serves As a Priority Reminder

Managing priorities works in conjunction with self-management. Workloads gradually increase as new managers become acclimated to their position.

However, a 30 60 90 day plan for managers can help remind them of what is expected. When employees and managers arrange their priorities effectively, it makes achieving goals simpler and boosts overall productivity.

3 Tips for 30 60 90 Day Plan for New Managers

Tips for 30 60 90 Day Plan for New Managers

Each 30 60 90 day plan for managers needs to be personalized to meet the requirements of the individual. Keep these tips in mind when constructing 30 60 90 day plans, and they'll ensure that you're set up for success.

Encourage Professional Development

Some positions require that employees work on their professional development. For example, employees in the technical writing field may need to understand the inner workings of the software they're writing about.

Schedule early sales training sessions in a 30 60 90 day plan so that everyone on the team is up to date with the latest knowledge on your products or services.

Set SMART Goals

SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. These criteria can assist in setting goals and accomplishing them within a particular timeframe while measuring the results.

There are four primary functions for implementing SMART goals:

Influential leaders understand that setting goals are crucial to maintaining a successful team. Incorporate SMART goals into your 30 60 90 day plan for managers and watch your results improve.

Follow Up on Project Progress

Checking how well employees perform can help maintain a standard across the board. This should be a top priority as a manager, especially if the team has started a new project or is finishing up an existing one.

From here, managers can report to the supervisor or make employees aware of any changes that may be required.

30-60-90 Day Plan Examples for Managers

Days 1 to 30.

Days 31 - 60

Days 61 - 90

30 60 90 Day Plan for Managers - Conclusion

30 60 90 Day Plan for Managers

A 30 60 90 day plan for managers is one of the best ways to show employers that you mean business. Combining your 30 60 90 day plan with a CRM assists in team delegation and confirming when employees are done with specific tasks.

Managers wanting to increase their chances of success in the workplace need to devise a plan and work with supervisors and employees to accomplish company goals. Monitoring progress can help managers keep track of employees' progress and reach targets sooner.

CRMs like Ringy have been helping business owners and new managers improve productivity by streamlining workflow.

Request a demo to find out what all the fuss is about.

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What is a 30-60-90 day plan?

6 benefits of a 30-60-90 day plan, when to use a 30-60-90 day plan, what to include in a 30-60-90 day plan, 30-60-90 day plan template for managers, 9 tips for creating a 30-60-90 day plan.

"The more I help out, the more successful I become. But I measure success in what it has done for the people around me. That is the real accolade." Adam Grant, organizational psychologist and BetterUp Science Board Advisor 

When it comes to setting your people up for success, a little help goes a long way. How are you setting up your workforce to reach its full potential ? 

Well, if you ask any leader, a lot of it comes down to helping your employees think strategically from the start. It’s beyond finishing a project, solving a problem, or completing the menial, day-to-day tasks.

Of course, the day-to-day duties help to get work done. But it’s also helping your employees connect their day-to-day to the larger purpose of work . Why does that purpose matter? How does their work connect to the organization’s goals, mission, or purpose? 

When I first started at BetterUp, my manager shared a fully fleshed-out spreadsheet and Google document as part of my 30-60-90 day plan. In these resources, there were targets to hit, milestones to reach, and tasks to complete. 

But more importantly than the line items was the sentiment: the strategy behind the 30-60-90 day plan helped to set me up for success. It was that extra mile to help out a new hire that allowed me to onboard successfully to my new role. And it was the help I needed to see the larger vision of how my work connected to organizational success , even if I didn’t fully know it yet. 

When we think about helping others around us be successful, having a plan is critical. In fact, 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they had a good onboarding experience.

Having a roadmap for the first three months can help your employees acclimate to the company culture. It'll also help them ramp up to the role and meaningfully connect with others — and ultimately lead to better performance.  

Sure, the plan might change. After all, we’re in a rapidly changing world where plans are often etched in pencil instead of stamped in pen. But if you’re hiring new employees or onboarding teammates, it’s important to give your workforce a sense of where you want to see them go. 

In this post, we’ll walk through what makes a good 30-60-90 day plan. We’ll also talk about the benefits of a good plan — and even give a template example to help you help your employees. 

Download The Connection Crisis: Why community matters in the new world of work

First, let’s understand what defines a 30-60-90 day plan. The 30-60-90 plan is a key part of a robust onboarding process . And in remote and hybrid work environments, the onboarding process is more important than ever. It’s critical that in these early days of onboarding, you’re building culture and connection with your new employees. 

A 30-60-90 day plan is a document or resource that outlines the goals and strategies for a new employee within the first 90 days. It serves as a guide, a resource, and a checklist for your new hires.

When a new employee joins your organization, there’s likely a stage of information overload. In the onboarding process, the employee absorbs a lot of information. They might be networking and setting up coffee chats with other employees. They’re probably in a good chunk of training sessions and other sorts of new hire workshops. 

Depending on how your organization runs the onboarding process, your employees are likely trying to ramp up in their new roles. At the same time, they're also soaking in everything they can about the organization. All while your employees are acclimating to the new role, they’re also making connections. Or, at least, they should be.

In short: it’s a lot. It can feel overwhelming to retain all the information a new hire receives. Sometimes, it can lead to confusion or misalignment on overall goals. 

But with a 30-60-90 day plan, you’re able to clearly outline the expectations you have for your employee. As a manager, it’s a useful resource and tool to help keep the onboarding process on track. It can also serve as an accountability tool, one where you can ensure your employees are meeting your expectations. 

Let’s talk more about what benefits come with a clearly outlined 30-60-90 day plan. 


There are plenty of benefits to a 30-60-90 day plan, for both the employer and the employee. Here are six of our favorite benefits to consider. 

It sets clear expectations 

It can help alleviate the new job jitters 

It empowers employees to self-manage their work , it serves as a reminder of priorities , it helps optimize productivity .

Ashley Ballard, social media manager, BetterUp, shared why a 30-60-90 day helped their productivity in the first three months of work. 

“I'm someone who benefits from an itemized list of expectations so that I’m not hindering my productivity by feeling anxious about my work product. It also keeps everyone on the same page about the meaning behind your role and how you will directly support team goals.” Ashley Ballard, social media manager  

As you’ll notice in some of these benefits of a 30-60-90 day plan, there’s a lot of overlap in what makes an employee productive. For Ashley, it’s clear expectations, alignment on the role, and clear communication about the priorities at hand. One could argue that all the benefits of a 30-60-90 day plan can contribute to overall increased productivity . 

It doesn’t get much clearer than getting a document of expectations in written form. At BetterUp, our 30-60-90 day plans come with a “checkbox” field to notch once you’ve completed the task at hand. 

Clear expectations can be hard to set, especially at the nebulous start of someone’s employment in a new role. But with a 30-60-90 day plan, you’re able to clearly outline your expectations as a manager. 

It helps with goal setting 

On my 30-60-90 day plan, I had a list of more administrative or mundane tasks. For example, I needed to upload my information into our HR management system. I needed to review the necessary policies and documents. I needed to set my email signature with the appropriate information. 

But it also outlined higher-level objectives. As a marketer and writer, I needed to learn the BetterUp voice, tone, and perspective. My manager clearly outlined blogs and resources that I could read, practice assignments that I could take on, and even some videos to watch. In fact, one of my goals was to write a blog within 30 days. 

Many of the new hire checklist items served as foundational tasks to get to me my goal. And by providing me with all the information at once, I could more easily connect the dots to the “why” behind some of the work I was receiving, too. 

Have you ever started a new job and not really know what you’re supposed to do with yourself? 

In my last job, I attended a half-day new hire orientation . I still remember going back to my desk upstairs, meeting my new manager, sitting down, and logging into my computer. I played around with my systems and got myself set up on my laptop. But after about an hour, I found myself spinning my chair around to my new boss and asking if I could help with anything. 

Frankly, I had no idea what I was supposed to be doing with myself. I felt that instant anxiety of not contributing anything meaningful, even though it was just my first day. 

There’s a lot of inherent pressure, stress, and anxiety that comes with starting a new job. New job anxiety is totally normal. It happens to all of us.

No matter how great we felt through the hiring process , on top of the world with our offer letter, as the new kid you can feel at loose ends pretty quickly. You waste time in self-doubt or doing unimportant tasks to look busy and loose confidence and momentum. But one way to help alleviate the jitters your employees are feeling is by giving them a plan. 

Ashley Strahm, content marketing manager, BetterUp, shared why she finds having set milestones in place can help reduce anxiety . 

“I’ve come to experience onboarding as a time where folks are the most hungry, curious, enthusiastic, and eager to please. Having a plan with milestones from the outset means that none of the initial emotions that come with starting a new job overwhelm or cause scattered or inefficient outreach — and anxiety about performance."  Ashley Strahm, content marketing manager

Without a 30-60-90 day plan, you couldn’t possibly have made the connections or digested the right resources to help quell those productivity nerves. And without it, you risk a big loss. Those early days are when new hires have the freshest eyes. It’s the best and most optimal opportunity to ask your new hires to observe and provide feedback. 

I’ve never heard of a manager that wants to hold their employees’ hands through every project. Sure, there are micromanagers who like to stay close to their employees’ work. 

But at BetterUp, we’re big believers in giving employees autonomy to self-manage their work. We talk about this in the context of some of our high-impact behaviors: extreme ownership, bias toward action, craftspersonship, and work to learn. 


Managers also need their time to focus on high-impact work and priorities. So when it comes to onboarding a new employee, it’s not plausible to walk your new hire through everything they need to know. And if you were to do so, it certainly wouldn't set them up for success. 

A 30-60-90 day plan empowers your employees to self-manage their work. By leveraging a 30-60-90 day plan as part of your onboarding strategy, you’re giving your employees autonomy to build their own schedules. It helps give them the roadmap but how they get to the final destination is up to them. 

Hand-in-hand with self-management comes managing priorities. We all know that work is busy. As your employees become more acclimated to the role, it’s likely their workload is gradually increasing. 

But with a 30-60-90 day plan, your employees are reminded of their priorities. And it’s on your employees to manage their priorities effectively, which is a good life and work muscle to flex. 

So, you might be wondering when to use a 30-60-90 day plan. When is it most effective? What situations will it have the most impact? Let’s dig in. 

30-60-90 day plan for an interview 

Job seekers, this is for you. If you want to knock the socks off a potential employer, consider putting together a 30-60-90 day plan for your interview. Even if it’s just an informational interview , you can show how you’d approach your first 90 days on the job. 

For example, let’s say you’re interviewing for a sales position. From the job description and from your informational interview, you know what markets you’ll be focused on. You also know about some target accounts and have a good sense of the industry.

While you might not know exactly what you are going to be doing, you have a good idea. You’ve worked in software sales for a while, enough to know how to approach breaking into a new market. 

So, you decide to come up with a proposed 30-60-90 day plan. You put together a rough sketch in a Google sheet about what you would focus on in your new role . 

30-60-90 day plan for a new job

More commonly, 30-60-90 day plans are used in the onboarding process. This is useful for both hiring managers and employees. For example, at BetterUp, I received my 30-60-90 day plan on my first day of employment. It helped to set expectations about what I would be focused on for the next three months. 

But some companies also use 30-60-90 day plans for things like performance reviews or even lateral moves within the organization. You can also use 30-60-90 day plans for project-based initiatives. 

First, it’s important to understand that 30-60-90 day plans should be personalized based on the employee. For example, a new employee in an entry-level position will probably have a radically different plan than that of a new executive. 

And 30-60-90 day plans for managers are going to look different than plans for individual contributors. There are nuances to these sorts of plans because of job responsibilities, work goals , expectations, and experience. 

But generally speaking, we can outline four key components of a 30-60-90 day plan. 

Expectations and concrete goals 

Go-to resources and information .

Every 30-60-90 day plan should have clear expectations and concrete goals. As a manager, it’s important to clearly communicate the expectations you have for your employees. For example, my manager has created a couple of documents that very clearly outline the expectations of her employees. 

Oftentimes, expectations serve as the foundation for your working relationships. As part of my 30-60-90 day plan, my manager also asked about my expectations. In a lot of ways, it’s a two-way street.

I filled out a document that outlined my preferred working style, my communication style, and how I  resolve conflict . It helped both parties to essentially get a good sense of how the other works. 

Along the same vein of expectations are goals. My manager expressed some clear goals that she wanted me to reach within my first 90 days. But I also had the opportunity to think about my own personal goals and what I wanted to accomplish.

Together, we iterated on the plan to come up with an action plan. Some of these goals can ladder up to other big milestones that you’d like to have your employees reach along the way. 


The world of work is a complex one. Especially in today’s day and age, there’s a lot of information that’s probably changing rapidly. 

For example, is your workforce hybrid or remote? What sort of COVID-19 guidelines are in place? How do you submit your expense reports or ask for time off? What systems does your organization use for benefits ? What employee resource groups or culture programs does your organization have? 

A 30-60-90 day plan is a good one-stop-shop for all the resources your new hire will need. It’s a great reference and resources with a wealth of information (and can help your employee become more self-sufficient, too). 

New hire checklist or to-do list 

When an employee joins a company, there are a lot of “tasks” that need to be done. For example, I needed to enroll in my benefits and 401K. I needed to upload my personal contact information into our human resources management system. I needed to upload my Slack photo and put my preferred pronouns on my email signature and Slack profile. 

A 30-60-90 day plan is a great place for all of the one-off tasks that every new hire needs to complete. It also helps keep your employees on track with all the administrative and HR tasks needed within the first couple of months of employment. 

Company mission, culture, and purpose of work 

Last but certainly not least, your employees need to understand the purpose of work. This likely won’t “click” fully in the first 30 (or even 90) days. But it’s important to start drawing connections between their work and the company’s vision early on. 

In a recent Forbes article, Great Place to Work® released new data around employee retention . One of the top drivers? Purpose. In fact, employees at top-rated workplaces in the US reported that if they feel their work has a purpose , their intent to stay at said companies triples.

Don’t dismiss the role that purpose plays in your organization. At BetterUp, we’re on a mission to help everyone everywhere live with greater purpose, clarity, and passion . This can only happen if employees understand their purpose and the role of their work in the company’s mission. 

We’ve created a free draft 30-60-90 day plan template to use for managers. Access the draft template and start using it today. 

Download the 30-60-90 day template

30-60-90 day plan for interviews

As mentioned earlier, there are some situations where an employee may prepare a 30-60-90 day plan as part of an interview. Or, perhaps as part of your company’s hiring process, you ask job applicants to put together their plans. 

With these elements, you’ll be sure the candidate is ready to hit the ground running. Here are some key components you should look for in a job applicant’s 30-60-90 day plan: 

Of course, your 30-60-90 day play is going to be catered to each individual. We’re all human with different responsibilities needed. Keep these nine tips in mind as you put together your 30-60-90 day plans. 

You can always work with a coach to help outline what might be needed in your 30-60-90 day plan. A coach will have a wealth of experience in the field and an objective, third-party perspective. With guidance from BetterUp, you can ensure you’re setting up your people for success.


Madeline Miles

Madeline is a writer, communicator, and storyteller who is passionate about using words to help drive positive change. She holds a bachelor's in English Creative Writing and Communication Studies and lives in Denver, Colorado. In her spare time, she's usually somewhere outside (preferably in the mountains) — and enjoys poetry and fiction.

Hiring manager vs. recruiter: the differences and how to talk to each

Why salary negotiation is the next skill you need to master, the power of professional learning communities, developing individual contributors: your secret weapon for growth, books to grow with in 2022, lateral moves: 4 signs you're ready to go sideways, how to make a presentation interactive and exciting, the importance of being an ethical leader and how to become one, 6 virtual interview tips: all about the remote interview process, similar articles, employee onboarding: how a great start leads to great results, how to create a work plan (with template), how to create the perfect onboarding checklist for new hire employees, write a performance improvement plan (pip) that really works, your 6-step guide on how to make an action plan for management, the secret to developing managers that help your business thrive, what is an action plan how to become a real-life action hero, ace your first day on the job with 15 confidence-building tips, strategic plan vs. work plan: what's the difference, stay connected with betterup, get our newsletter, event invites, plus product insights and research..

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