Acclimatizing your new hire with a 90-Day Onboarding Plan
Table of Contents

Key Highlights 

  • A 90-day onboarding plan acclimates new hires with your company policies, goals, and teamwork.
  • It also allows them to learn using different software and tools and adjust their expectations.
  • The plan also enables them to get the right support and guidance, which would empower them to showcase and use their skills productively from day one.


If you watch movies and have seen the 2006 movie The Devil wears Prada, you will know that it is about a newly graduated journalist working in a high-end fashion magazine. One of the scenes of the movie shows the main character, Andrea Sachs’ first day at work, where she gets reprimanded by her boss, i.e., Miranda Priestly, for making a minor mistake. 

Now, while getting reprimanded by your boss can happen to any employee, when something like that happens on the first day, it shows that there was a gap in the onboarding process. 

Different companies have different company cultures. This is why HR teams and recruiters need to focus on having an onboarding process that would allow them to acclimate employees to their roles and responsibilities within the organization.

With a strong onboarding process, you not only engage your employees but also increase retention, reduce turnover and associated expenses, and ensure better employee commitment to the organization. 

What is a 90-day Onboarding Plan? 

A 90-day onboarding plan is a framework that you create to acclimate and educate new employees and team members in the first 90 days of their joining the company. This onboarding plan helps the new employees to be familiar with the company’s policies, goals, and even workplace culture. It also helps the HR teams and recruiters to check off all the essential items required for a consistent onboarding process within the organization. 

Benefits of a 90-day Onboarding Plan

Having the right onboarding plan can provide you with multiple benefits. Most important of all, it creates a strong employee experience, better employee engagement, and employee retention. It also increases productivity within the organization and makes it easier to find better talent, and encourages better social bonding and interpersonal connection.

It also makes it crystal clear for the new hires to know how they need to proceed and what is expected of them. Having the right plan also ensures that all the training programs are properly arranged to allow each new employee to work on their skills and talent at their convenience. 

Components of a 90-day Onboarding Plan 

#1 Establishing Goals and Objectives

Setting goals and objectives right from the first day ensures that your new hires have clarity about their expectations, responsibilities, and processes. This is important because you need to ensure that everyone’s expectations are met and that you and the new hires are on the same page right from day one.  This would also include letting new hires know more about company policies related to dress codes, time off, and even working remotely. 

Establishing goals and objectives would allow new employees to make better decisions that are aligned and compatible with accepted business practices. 

#2 Onboarding Goals for 30 days, 60 Days, and 90 Days

It is important that you have smoother onboarding, and therefore you need to further divide onboarding goals into 30 days, 60 days, and 90 days. 

The first 90 days can be intimidating for new hires. Hence, it is vital for HR teams and recruiters to help team members check off essential items to help them adjust to the new work environment. 

Generally, in the 30-60-90 day plan template, the first month involves training the new hires to know more about company policies, team structure, and core job responsibilities. The second month’s plan is all about taking up new tasks to practice and make mistakes and learn from them. In the third month, new hires are expected to master their skills and meet job expectations and achieve long-term goals. 

#3 Enable cultural immersion 

It is also important for HR teams and recruiters to provide enough opportunities for the new hires to learn about the company’s mission and other details. Different individuals have different ways of learning. 

Hence, you need to look for various ways to provide information to new hires. This would include various files and documents that they can read from, audio files that they can listen to, or videos about company culture and various awards and milestones. 

You can also provide them with a link to the company’s social media to let them find out more about the company’s growth and history and current achievements, and market share. 

#4 Identifying Resources and Connections

Utilizing the resources and connections the right way is also one of the important components of the onboarding plan. This would include appointing the right mentor, which would make things easier for the new hires. 

Also, this should include handing over some of the important documents that new hires can use to know more about company processes, HR policies, and other reports. Organizing a site visit and allowing new employees to meet with the various managers and department heads would also be a great way to create social bonding.

#5 Creating Performance Reviews

Doing a 90-day performance review is a good way to evaluate and analyze employees’ performance throughout the onboarding process. This is important because it allows you to know that the new hires are fit for their roles and can help you reduce turnover rates. 

Also, conducting these performance reviews sends a message to the new hires that you are interested in helping them achieve their goals and enhance engagement. Secondly, recruiting managers can evaluate new hires and rectify their performance deficiencies in time to ensure better performance in the long run.

#6 Developing Mentorship Programs

Many employers today prefer to develop mentoring programs that make things easier for them. Developing mentorship programs would allow new hires to work along with their mentors, who would offer advice and support to make the onboarding process seamless and smooth. 

Transfer of knowledge is one of the benefits of developing these programs, where new hires will have firsthand experience and will receive more knowledge about the company culture and job responsibilities. 

Apart from this, it also increases retention rates and improves productivity as new hires are trained to get better at their skills in the onboarding time frame. It also connects the new workforce with the existing one making them feel comfortable and working together. 

Steps to Create an Effective 90-Day Onboarding Plan 

#1 Analyze the New Hire’s Job Role

When you are hiring an individual for a certain task, you want to ensure that you evaluate the new hire’s job role. This is essential to make the right choices because you want to know how that new hire will contribute to the productivity of the organization. Hence, you need to ask yourself why you are hiring this individual and what skills and talent he or she will bring to resolve certain issues. You can ask them more during the interview process, and that should make things easier and clear for you. 

#2 Introduce the Company Culture and Processes

In the initial days of the onboarding process, you need to ensure that the new hires are clear about the company culture and company policies. This would make the right start for the new employees and provide them with enough time to acclimate to the new work environment. 

Introducing the company culture via online videos and social media accounts of the company would make this process convenient, as new hires can view those videos and get to know more about the company they will be working in.

#3 Develop Individual Goals and Expectations

When you are developing a 30-60-90 plan, you also need to focus on how you can develop individual goals and expectations. New hires sometimes are nervous about how they will settle into the new organization. However, when you provide them with the purpose, they have clarity on what they need to work on. 

Also, you can set the right expectations in the initial 30 days that would help them understand how they can catch up and learn about the new company that they work in.

#4 Set Up Regular Check-ins with the Hiring Manager and Teammates

While you might have an effective 30-60-90 day plan, it is likely things might not go as you expect. Hence, you must set up regular check-ins with the hiring manager and teammates that would allow you to know and reset your goals. 

With regular monitoring and check-ins, you can ensure that you know the exact status of your onboarding plan. With regular updates and feedback, you can create better onboarding plans in the future as you know what to expect.

#5 Utilize Onboarding Templates to Streamline Processes

Having a 30-60-90 day plan template would make sense and allow you to have complete control over how things will move forward. Using the template would allow you to make an outline and use this framework to create an onboarding plan for every new hire you onboard. This would also save you time and ensure that you have a consistent way of onboarding new hires within the organization. 

#6 Implement Performance Goals, Milestones, and Measurements

While creating a 30-60-90 plan, you also need to focus on how you can implement various ways to measure the performance and achievements of the new hire. This is important because you want to know how new hires would contribute to the company’s productivity. 

Also, you need to measure how your onboarding program is helping the new employees to achieve their goals and put their skills to use in the right way. 

#7 Incorporate Professional Development Opportunities into the Plan

While you are creating your onboarding plan, you also need to incorporate professional development opportunities for new hires. This would allow them to grow as employees and focus on their learning goals. 

Also, you can make use of specific metrics and track their progress which would allow you to know if the new employees can develop and make use of the opportunities that are provided. 

#8 Design Employee Engagement Activities for Maximum Retention Rates

While you are incorporating a 90-day onboarding plan, you also need to look out for employee engagement activities that can increase retention rates. For instance, you can provide them with SMART goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. This would provide them with the stepping stones and ensure that they are engaged throughout the onboarding process.

#9 Address Any Questions or Issues During the Onboarding Plan

Many new hires will have questions and doubts during the onboarding process. Hence, it is vital to address their questions or resolve the issues as quickly as possible. In certain cases, you will find that some employees will easily meet all the goals and responsibilities while some will have issues. Hence, you need to maintain a friendly approach toward the new employees and help them out with whatever concerns and questions they have. 

30-60-90 Day Onboarding Checklist 

#1 Onboarding Checklist for the first 30 Days

  • Introduction with your team and other teams
  • Settling into a new workspace
  • Lunch with manager/Head of Departments
  • Introduction to the company’s history, values, mission 
  • Introduction with other employees in the organization
  • Reviewing role and responsibilities 
  • Reviewing work style with the manager
  • Set up one-on-one
  • Understanding KPIs and Milestones
  • Learn about the company’s products and services
  • Set up accounts and passwords for software and tools
  • Learn software and tools to be used
  • Assign a Milestone project
  • Reviewing a Milestone project

#2 Onboarding Checklist for 60 Days

  • Being comfortable working with other employees
  • Identify knowledge gaps
  • Participate in necessary discussions and weekly meetings
  • Take long-term responsibilities
  • Creating strategies to fulfill responsibilities
  • Feedback from the manager and head of departments
  • Assign a Milestone project
  • Reviewing a Milestone project

#3 Onboarding Checklist for 90 Days

  • Comfortable working independently on tasks and projects
  • Comfortable using software or any tools needed to use
  • Ensuring knowledge gaps are filled
  • Assuring KPIs are met
  • Comfortable working with other employees and managers
  • Provide solutions in weekly meetings proactively
  • Establish trust with other employees
  • Complete a 90-day performance review


Having the right onboarding plan is a great way to provide a better employee experience to new hires. However, for this, you need to have clarity on how these employees will achieve and what goals they have to accomplish. 

Also, the onboarding plan must provide new hires with a seamless transition into the company and help them understand their roles and responsibilities, and make them productive and efficient.

FAQs on 90 day Onboarding Plan for New Hires 

What are the key components of an effective 90-day onboarding plan for new hires?

An effective 90-day onboarding plan includes clear goals and expectations, regular check-ins, and opportunities for new hires to integrate with the team. It should also provide access to resources, training, and mentorship to support employee growth and development.

How can a structured 90-day onboarding plan improve employee engagement and retention?

A structured 90-day onboarding plan ensures that new hires feel welcomed, supported, and valued from day one. This helps to increase engagement, job satisfaction, and long-term commitment to the organization, ultimately reducing turnover rates.

What role do managers and team members play in the success of a 90-day onboarding plan?

Managers and team members play a critical role in welcoming new hires, providing guidance, and helping them assimilate into the company culture. Their involvement in the onboarding process fosters a supportive environment and sets the foundation for productive working relationships.

How should a 90-day onboarding plan be adapted to different roles or departments within the organization?

Tailoring a 90-day onboarding plan to specific roles or departments involves identifying unique needs, goals, and expectations. Customizing the plan ensures new hires receive relevant training, resources, and support to excel in their specific roles.

What are the best practices for tracking and measuring the success of a 90-day onboarding plan?

To effectively track and measure the success of a 90-day onboarding plan, establish clear metrics and benchmarks, such as performance goals, satisfaction surveys, and retention rates. Regularly review progress with new hires through check-ins and feedback sessions. Evaluate the onboarding process by gathering insights from both new employees and their managers. Use this data to continuously improve and adapt your onboarding plan to better meet the needs of new hires and the organization.

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