The First 90 Days for New Hires

Author: Christina Puleo Published: August 2022

The first 90 days are crucial for building employees up and establishing your expectations. But onboarding staff members can be difficult to keep track of, especially if there are multiple hires starting at the same time.

With proper planning and resources, your next three months will be a rewarding experience for you and your team!

Break Down the Days

Instead of viewing your 90-day plan as one big task, break it up into thirds. What you wish to accomplish by day 30 will be different from day 90’s goals. As Disha Gupta puts it:

  • Day 1 - 30 = Learn

  • Day 30 - 60 = Practice What You Learn

  • Day 60 - 90 = Meet Expectations

For example, when you train someone to make a sandwich:

  • Learn

    • Show employee the recipe and how to assemble it

  • Practice

    • Let employee make sandwiches for customers and help as needed

  • Meet Expectations

    • Monitor employee’s work from a distance but allow them to thrive on their own

This is a simplified plan, but it should help prevent burnout in yourself and your new employee.

Get Detailed

This is where specific goals for the allotted onboarding period are set. Gupta notes that there are three main types of measurable goals:

  • Learning Goals

  • Performance Goals

  • Personal Goals

Each goal will be altered to each employee’s position. For example, an Administrative Assistant’s plan might look like this:

  • Learning Goals

    • How to Use [computer program] to Process Work Orders

      • Stay in Contact with Customer / Department

  • Performance Goals

    • Successfully Complete a Work Order

      • Move Completed Work Order to Correct Filing System

  • Personal Goals

    • Get to Know Co-Workers in Other Departments

      • Know Who to Transfer Different Work Orders To

Most measurable goals use the SMART plan to stay organized, but regardless of the method, it’s important to be as specific as possible. How quickly do you want the employee to accomplish each goal? Is this time frame flexible? Are these goals realistic?

Continuously checking in with your new hire and the departments they work with will ensure that the plan stays on track, and adjustments can be made if problems arise.

Stay Organized

The onboarding process is easier if you focus on one employee at a time, but this isn’t feasible for most companies. Work to create a 90-Day Template for new hires to refer back to. This could include:

  • A Brief Welcome Message

  • Quick Links for Important / Common Tasks

  • Team Member Contacts & Roles

  • A First Day / Week Checklist

  • Milestones and How to Reach Them

This sheet can comfort employees and help them learn. It may even answer their questions before they contact you about them. With this, you know they are given the tools they need to tackle their new position.

The basic outline in section one can be adjusted depending on the complexity of the role and your expectations of a new hire based on their experience. It’s also not limited to 90 days. The timeline you have for your team is more important than following the ‘rules’ of onboarding.

Our company founder, Aldin Beslagic, tells employers, “If a new hire is struggling, don’t blame them for not getting the criteria. Be patient and ask yourself what you can do to help them understand what you are asking of them.”

Be the supervisor you needed when you began your first job!