Rethinking 30, 60, 90 Day Milestones for Connection, Belonging & Contribution

Mark Lewis
June 11, 2023

Traditional Onboarding: The 30-60-90 Day Method

When new employees join an organisation, the traditional onboarding process is often focused on a series of time-based milestones - 30, 60, 90 days, and so on. While there is value in this approach, it may not fully address the actual goals for a new employee's onboarding experience, especially in today's flexible work environments.

Human-Centric Milestones: The Future of Onboarding

As an alternative to time-based milestones, we could focus on key human-centric milestones that employees will naturally be seeking to achieve.

A New Era: Nurturing Goals, Valuing Connection, and Encouraging Contribution

CONNECTION: The first few weeks in a new job should be geared towards understanding the network of team members a new employee will need to work with to get their job done. We could mark the first milestone as a successful 'Connection' with team members, their manager, and the organisation's values. It is these relationships that form the foundations for achieving much of today’s work.

BELONGING: The next milestone could be a sense of 'Belonging' - feeling a part of the team. Building relationships with peers, understanding the culture, how you fit into the larger picture and being comfortable with sharing ideas, suggestions and opinions.

CONTRIBUTION is about adding value - delivering on outcomes associated with the role, improving processes, and positively influencing the team culture.

The effectiveness of an onboarding experience to support these goals can be measured with pulse questions at various checkpoints to understand if the human-centric milestones are being achieved.

This approach is about nurturing the employee's goals, not just monitoring progress. Aim to create workplaces that value ‘connection’, promote a sense of ‘belonging’, and encourage ‘contribution’ right from day one. The 30-60-90 day milestones still have their place, but let's flip the focus to more human-centric milestones.

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