New leadership job? You need a 30-60-90-day plan

30 60 90 day plan

Starting a new role often comes with feelings of nervousness, or perhaps even some level of anxiety. A change of this nature can be stressful. And, when it comes to shifts in leadership, the stress felt isn’t necessarily limited to the person stepping into the new position.

Some research has shown that team members or employees also feel an impact on their stress levels when a new leader, either a direct manager or someone more senior, takes the reins.

The point is, there is a ripple effect when a new leader steps in – and if you’re the one who’s going to be filling those shoes, you no doubt want to make sure that the impact (on team members, coworkers, and the organization) is a positive one, and that you’re able to effectively manage your own adjustment and growth.

How? Quite simply – with a plan. One of the most effective ways of transitioning into a new role is with a 30-60-90-day plan.

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

This plan is a structured overview of the goals you’d like to achieve within the first, second and third month of employment, respectively. It’s a roadmap that clearly indicates the route that will be taken to begin the integration process in your new role.

The 30-60-90-day plan is often presented during the final stages of the interview process. It’s a fantastic tool to show the hiring organization that you have a clearly defined strategy for the first three months on the job.

Even if this strategy isn’t a requirement during the interview phase, it’s a great way of detailing an action plan for your own benefit, and for the sake of your team or the employees that will be under your leadership. Having this outline eases the transition and gives you a sense of direction in a period that can be very overwhelming.

What does this plan look like in practice?

The general consensus on a 30-60-90-day plan is that it should involve a process of absorbing, contributing and then leading.

The first month: making your way to the 30-day mark

During the first 30 days, you want to take in as much information as possible. You’ll want to spend time observing, learning and understanding everything, including:

  • Strategic objectives
  • Mission and vision
  • Company culture
  • What the company expects from you
  • Processes and procedures
  • Customers and clients
  • Competitors

It’s also an important time to start building professional relationships with your colleagues.

The second month: building up towards the 60-day mark

Once you’ve found your bearings, it’s time to start digging deeper into your involvement. It’s the point at which you really want to start showcasing your strengths and building your personal brand by contributing. On a practical level, that entails:

  • Focusing less on training and more on practical tasks, professional interactions and customer satisfaction
  • Increasing your workload
  • Speaking up in meetings and contributing to conversations
  • Sharing your ideas
  • Evaluating current procedures and changes
  • Suggesting ways to improve your team’s processes
  • Brainstorming methods to contribute to the company’s growth

The third month: taking bold steps towards the 90-day mark

By the third month in your new position, you should have experienced a good deal of growth in your confidence – both in your role and in your abilities. At this point, you should be taking proactive steps in your leadership capacity. It’s time to start:

  • Making significant contributions to your team
  • Transforming and optimizing processes that need attention
  • Implementing new strategies or leading new initiatives
  • Participating in meetings
  • Getting involved in company initiatives and broadening your horizons
  • Addressing your mistakes
  • Acknowledging your growth and progress

For more guidance, download a free 30-60-90 day plan template designed by HubSpot here.

What are the benefits of following a 30-60-90-day plan?

It’s tempting to dive straight into the thick of things when starting in a new role, in the effort to save time, to feel productive and start making a good impression as soon as possible.

But, taking a strategic approach and allowing yourself the room to grow into your role with a 30-60-90-day plan may have the following benefits:

  • If presented during the interview phase, it demonstrates that you’re serious about the position, that you’ve done your research and that you’re committed to becoming a part of the organization
  • It’s a showcase of your abilities as a leader and the potential you have to make a positive impact as part of the organization
  • When commencing the job, it helps you to understand the requirements of the role and how you can meet those practically
  • It’s a great way of showcasing your strengths to the organization and to your team, helping build trust in your leadership
  • This type of plan gives you a form of structure which helps ease the stress often associated with starting a new role
  • Having a concrete list of objectives gives you clear direction and a benchmark to measure your progress against

The first 90 days are critical. In one of our recent blogs, we discussed how new hires, promoted employees and transitioners benefitted from receiving a copy of The First 90 Days by Michael D. Watkins and discussing this on a monthly basis at in ‘lunch and learn’ sessions. Ultimately, a 30-60-90-day plan has the potential to complement a company’s integration efforts, boosting retention and offering you the opportunity for long-term growth at that company.

How vi by Aderant helps leaders stick to their plan

We know that it takes time for new employees to become a part of an organization’s cultural fiber. With our software, organizations can make sure that no new hire falls through the cracks, giving leaders the opportunity to successfully carry out their 30-60-90-day plan.

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