Typically, the first 30 days are about learning, the next 30 are about contributing, and the final 30 are about reaching independence (or leading, depending on the role). An effective written plan states concrete goals for each time phase, and ends with the final goals of the position (which essentially will be to independently execute their job description).
As a manager, you will have a corresponding document with your own goals to support the new hire: for example, finding an appropriate project for them to own at the 30-day mark, or delegating a significant responsibility at the 60-day mark. In a remote context, it’s important for both sides to have a clear expectation of the job, and of what success looks like.
HubSpot has excellent templates for 30-60-90 day plans, for both new hires and their managers.
Brené Brown’s “Painting Done”
Brené Brown’s work and research in Dare To Lead shows that organizations that have clear expectations also foster higher levels of vulnerability, trust, and connection. The motto “clear is kind” is one of the most important things a manager of remote workers can remember. When Brown mentions “clear,” she speaks of a highly descriptive activity—“painting done”:*
“Painting done means not just assigning a task, but explaining the reason—clarifying how the end product will be used.
“Providing color and context—the purpose, not just the mechanics.
“Sharing the reason for a task helps uncover stealth expectations and stealth intentions, cultivates commitment and contribution, and facilitates growth and learning.”
Remote workers, like all workers, will fail if they don’t have the clarity and context they need to execute a task and succeed in their role. This is true of all roles, but in a remote setting where context is more easily lost, it’s a particular risk. A short-term investment in thorough onboarding can make a major difference in how productive a new remote worker is as a long-term teammate.