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Rock it Remotely: Your 30-60-90 Day Plan for New Managers

Change and new opportunities are exciting, especially for new managers. However, according to a Forbes.com article on workplace trends, 80% of managers reported that a leadership change could affect the stress level of employees. Stress in the workplace often comes from the anxiety of the unknown. That's why it's critical to lessen the number of unknown factors when transitioning into a new role. The way you can do this is with a solid 30-60-90-day plan for new managers. In this article, we'll cover how to structure your plan, which areas to prioritize, and tips on how to make the process hassle free for you and your team. After reading this article, you should be able to answer with confidence: What should a new manager do in the first 90 days?

What is a good 30-60-90 day plan for new managers?

Commonly, a 30-60-90 day plan for new managers refers to a strategy document that includes your goals and specific action items for the first three months in a new position. The plan serves as the roadmap to help you focus on the most important things and includes how you're going to measure your success at the end of the 90 days. For entrepreneurs who have just started their own business, this is also referred to as a 90-day business plan.

A good way to structure your 30-60-90 day action plan is to divide it into three sections:

  • Learning - Learn as much as possible—from the company's main objectives to the team's current status and challenges.
  • Contributing - Contribute using your existing skills to help your team achieve its most urgent and critical goals.
  • Leading - You'll have more experience and confidence to plan your main strategies and start executing them with your team.

Days 1 to 30

What should a new manager do in the first 30 days? You should be focused on learning the basics. Without learning the basics, such as the company's mission and vision, organizational structure, the product, and the customers, you won't be able to truly understand how to contribute and lead in the best and most efficient way.

Priority

Learn about the biggest problem that your team is facing and how you can make a small change towards improving it. While no one expects you to make earth-shattering changes in the early days, it's crucial to show your leadership skills. For example, as a new marketing manager, can you suggest ways to lower the cost of the Facebook Ads campaign, while at the same time, making sure to be respectful of the team member who is working hard on the existing campaign? You don't want them to feel like you're undermining their efforts.

Sample To-Do List

✅ Watch product videos

✅ Read customer reviews

✅ 1-1 Call with Upper Management

✅ 1-1 Call with your team

✅ Learn how to navigate the company's wiki

✅ Learn the remote communication tools and processes

Pro Tip

Ask the HR Manager if he or she already has an existing 30-60-90 day plan for managers. You're not copying the previous manager's plan; you only need it to understand the structure of how to write your own.

And if they don't have one, you can volunteer to share yours, so your company can turn it into a template for when they will be onboarding other managers. You're already showing leadership even if you're just in the learning phase!

Meeting Templates to Help you in the First 30 Days:

Your first 30 days will likely be filled with meetings, whether they be synchronous or asynchronous ones. You can save a lot of time and energy by preparing your meetings with a customizable template.

Here are a few meeting templates that may come in handy:

Days 30-60

Hooray, you've reached day 31, and it's going to be more action-packed moving forward. You'll still have to learn a few things, especially if the company isn't as organized as you'd hope, but from now on, you can start taking action and measuring your efforts.

Priority

Contribute with a quick win for the team. Choose an issue that you have uncovered during the first 30 days and create a two-week plan to execute it. For example, you may have learned that your team is experiencing meeting fatigue. You can craft a plan to change daily standup calls to an asynchronous check-in for the next two weeks and see if that helps boost the team's mood and productivity.

Sample To-Do List

✅ Prioritize which projects need your attention

✅ Coordinate with the team to optimize existing processes

✅ Identify goals and identify whether the current resources are enough to achieve them

✅ If your team is understaffed or doesn't have adequate resources, create an action plan to address the situation

✅ Summarize Days 1 to 60 and plan your third month

Pro Tip

Document everything. And more importantly, measure all of your activities. For example, if you've replaced daily standup calls with an asynchronous check-in, how will you measure the team's productivity after the two-week experiment? You might also need this document once you reach the 90th day. In most companies, it is also the end of your probation period. When you have all the documents and the numbers, you'll be able to share these as concrete examples of what you've accomplished.

Meeting Templates to Help You During Days 30-60:

Here are a few Complish templates that can help you write your meeting agenda.  You can use the same templates to hold asynchronous discussions instead of a Zoom call too.

Days 60-90

When you're learning how to ride a bike, you'll most likely have training wheels until you can completely learn to balance by yourself. For the last leg of your onboarding as a new manager, your training wheels should be completely off.

If you're the first manager that the company hired, your CEO most likely acted as the previous manager and was the main decision-maker. This time, you'll take the leadership fully and make decisions for your team. This means that you'll take care of everything:  planning, managing, hiring, tracking all of your results, and ensuring that everything is aligned with the company's main objectives.

Priority

Make sure to have a plan for the next quarter. This time, you're no longer making a 30-60-90-day plan for yourself. You're making it for everyone. Additionally, it would help if you worked on the roadmap and KPIs for your team. You might also want to conduct a retrospective meeting for the last quarter, so you can keep improving on the next quarter.

Sample To-Do List

✅ Performance Review Meeting with HR

✅ Plan the roadmap for the next quarter

✅ Establish KPIs or OKRs for your team

✅ Eliminate processes that don't work and replace them with optimized ones

✅ Improve communication tools and processes

Pro Tip

Take the time to review everything you've done since Day 1. While it's important to execute your strategies, reflecting on your journey is just as important. What were your expectations for the first 90 days? What are the most important things that you've learned? Which skills do you need to continue building, and which areas are you most confident in?

Meeting Templates to Help You in Days 60-90:

Free 30-60-90 Day Plan Template for New Managers

A 30-60-90-day template for new managers may come in all shapes and sizes. It could be complex with multiple tiers of action items.  Or it could be simple, listing only the most important items. It really depends on your organizational style.

Let's discuss a few 30-60-90-day plans for new managers examples in this section using the Complish Discussions feature. The Discussion feature allows you to create a structured plan with to-do lists that can easily be shared with other teammates.

If you were to ask me, "What would you do in the first 30 60 and 90 days as a supervisor and why?" Here's how my plan would look like:

free-30-60-90-day-plan-template-for-new-managers
A few years ago, I was promoted from a content writer to marketing manager. I wish I had this plan! My tip: keep your plan simple, so anyone viewing the document instantly knows what you're focusing on. I usually keep another to-do list that breaks down each task for myself.

Other things that you can include in your template are:

  • Learning Goals - When learning a new marketing tool, which features should you prioritize? As a manager, maybe you only need to learn the analytics feature.
  • Initiative Goals - For example, if you got hired to handle a specific project, such as managing the blog, the main initiative would be to update the design and content of the blog.
  • Performance Goals - These are quantifiable goals. Using the above example, a good quantifiable goal would be the total number of blog posts you will be updating.
  • Personal Goals - Establish a good working relationship with the content writers could be one of your personal goals.

30-60-90 Day Plan for New Managers Examples of Sales & HR Roles

30-60-90 Day Plan for New Sales Managers

Essentially, the structure for the 30 60 90 day plan for new sales managers' is relatively the same. The main difference would be adding a different set of initiatives or performance goals. This position is highly numbers-driven and most times extremely urgent. For example, a priority in the first 30 days would be to go over the sales pipeline and identify the most critical opportunities that could boost the company's revenue.

Meeting Templates for Sales Managers:

30-60-90 Day Plan for New HR Managers

An HR manager might focus more on building relationships with the management on improving the remote work culture, especially if the company recently transitioned to a remote operation.

Meeting Templates for HR Managers:

Change can be hard and overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be as long as you have a concrete plan and a team that supports you. Of course, plans often change, which is why using the right tools to keep you and your team organized is vital. The first 30 60 90 days for new managers are critical; the worst that you can do is spend most of it in pointless meetings.