Congratulations on starting a new role of HR leader, HR Head or an HR Business Partner recently! But what all should you do right now to guarantee success? Here’s our expert curated 30 60 90 day plan for HR success. What’s your plan? This is probably the first question you will get asked. I have written a detailed blog answering all your questions on this topic.
Starting a new job is never easy, especially when you’re the only HR employee at a start-up. All eyes will be on you. People will notice the smallest of things you do.
But you don’t need to worry, because this blog will help you prepare yourself well. I have included,
- Why is it important to have a 30 60 90 day plan for an HR head?
- What are the main responsibilities to be carried out as an HR head at a start-up?
- How do you prepare yourself for your first day as an HR leader?
- How to approach the first 30 days in your new role?
- What should your first 60 days with the start-up look like?
- How to plan your third month as an HR leader?
- Things to keep in mind throughout the first 90 days
- What to avoid as you begin a new role at a start-up
Why is it important to have a 30 60 90 day plan for an HR head?
It is these 90 days that will show everyone at the company whether you are suitable for the role or not. This first impression is extremely important. You need to prove yourself as trustworthy and capable enough to manage in the new role.
This is your chance to create a strong foundation for yourself within the company and hence get the chance to develop and grow to the best of your ability. These first 3 months will set the tone for your experiences and work in the organization. While being a good fit for the role is extremely important, during these initial months, it is also important that you showcase your ability to work well with the founder as well as other employees.
You will also be noticed by everyone. Just like you are trying to figure out how to work well with everyone, they too are probably trying to figure out how to work with you. They too want to understand if the new HR will be easy to work with.
First 90 days are critical. By the end of 60 days, one usually becomes a veteran in fast growth organisation so from there its about building credibility and showing results. This can happen only by having a steep learning curve in first 60 days especially in current remote work scenario. Introducing oneself, talking to people at multiple levels, looking at business numbers, structure, budgets, people numbers is a good place for me to start. Gives me the pulse.
Towards the end of first month, I share my plan , invite inputs and start showing results on some quick wins.Charu Purohit, Nykaa, Head Rewards, Top 40 under 40 HRs in India
What are the responsibilities to be carried out as an HR head at a start-up?
Very often people associate HR with a corporate structure that will end up threatening their start-up’s culture. However, every start-up no matter how small has some HR function or the other, be it payroll management, recruitment or even employee training and development. If you are starting off as an HR head and have no clue what has to be done, here’s a list of HR responsibilities that should be a part of your job.
- Recruitment- This was previously done by the founder. Now, you will have to take over or sit in for the interviews and manage all onboarding tasks as well
- Employee engagement – Left unchecked, the environment of a start-up can soon become negative and toxic hindering productivity. It is your job to ensure that the company maintains its work culture and keep employees happy
- Training and developing employees- This may not seem like a very big responsibility, however in a start-up, growth can be accelerated even further with an occasional training session
- Payroll management- This task can get tedious but it is also one of the most important HR functions
- Recognize the need for policies- within the organization without hampering the start-up culture
Now that you know the functions of HR in a start-up, let us move on to why having a 30 60 90 day plan is important.
How do you prepare yourself for your first day as an HR leader?
You’re probably going to be nervous for that first day, not knowing what to expect in a new place of work. But there are a few things you could do to prepare yourself for day one.
Firstly, read up as much as possible about the company. Go through their website and check out the content uploaded on their social media channels. All this will give you a basic understanding of the culture of the company.
Secondly, you should figure out a way to get to know the different teams or departments within the start-up. Once you know this, you won’t be completely clueless when you reach the office.
Thirdly, you also need to start reviewing various HR software available to you well in advance. These will help you make a good impression in the company and also simplify your work drastically.
You may have also received a certain amount of onboarding material, including an employee handbook or some kind of resources giving you information about the company. Go through it thoroughly. There’s nothing worse than showing up without going through the basic reference material and being absolutely clueless about everything.
Finally, have a view on the future of HR and what are the shifts happening in people management.
You should make sure that your find the time to have a sit down with the founder on the very first day. Clear out any doubts that you may have regarding the information you have gone through before starting the day. Also, try meeting the key employees, ones that will have to work with on a daily basis. Get to know the kind of work they do and how they function as individual professionals.
Download the 30-60-90 day plan template for the new HR leader
How to approach the first 30 days in your new role?
I have already spoken about the importance of having a proper 30 60 90 day plan for an HR head. So now, I’m going to dive right into what you should be doing during the first 30 days.
Meet as many people as possible
It is needless to say that your main role as an HR professional is to be there for you people, your employees. In order to do that, you need to know your people. Get to know everyone in the organization over the course of the first month, especially people who are in key roles or team leads. This shouldn’t be too difficult if you’re at a start-up. Study the hierarchy within the organization, the teams that work together and also the different external stakeholders (investors).
Most importantly, be attentive. It’s amazing how much you can pick up about people just by paying attention to small details. The way people behave after dealing with clients or their productivity levels after they’ve come back from a long weekend. While all these observations may seem redundant, they will help you drastically in the long run when you start looking at framing policies etc.
Develop credibility early
When you’re new in a company, people need to know they can trust you. It takes time to build that trust. The founder of the start-up needs to know that they can trust you with all types of employee-related decisions. But such trust needs to be nurtured from the very beginning.
Show the other employees that your HR knowledge is sound and that the points of view you bring to the table are important. Having said that, don’t come across as hard to work with or very opinionated. Appreciate everyone’s point of view.
You could also create an extremely positive impression by talking to people in the company about HR tech and how it can transform a workspace to a huge extent. Also, by doing this, when you adopt an hr software, employees will already be mentally prepared for it, making the transition that much easier.
Find out everything about the business
When I say this, I mean, by the end of the first month, you should be able to answer questions like
- How does our company make money?
- What are all the features of the product we sell?
- Have I incorporated details about the business in my plans for the company?
- Have I had any direct experience with the product?
- Does the company already use an HRMS i.e. an HR software?
You having any knowledge about the business will only prove to other employees that HR is a valuable business partner and will benefit the business in the long run.
Adopt an HRMS, if your start-up doesn’t already use one
The full form of HRMS is Human Resources Management System. AI in HR plays a huge role in today’s day and age. It can help you drastically. It will help you automate and hence streamline all your jobs. Some of the many benefits of adopting an HRMS are
- Streamline payroll systems
- Generate payslips online with the help of the HRMS
- Screen candidates to help in recruiting
- Automate job offer letters generally
- Saves time. It will allow you to shift your focus from tedious tasks you might have more strategic decision making. This is important, especially in start-ups.
- Simplified onboarding with the help of AI
- Training and development with the help of artificial intelligence can help you provide each employee with a more personalized experience.
These are just some of the many benefits of adopting an HRMS. But how will you manage to transform all HR activities onto an HR software? Business transformation because of technology can be tricky. It’s up to you to choose the right software that bests suits the company you work for. Get started for free at Asanify.
Learn about the company’s culture, structure, vision and mission
A company’s work culture drives how teams and people within these teams interact and work together. A positive culture helps increase productivity to a large extent. As the only HR employee in your organization, it becomes your responsibility to ensure that the work environment remains positive and promotes teamwork. You need to be able to critique the employees and encourage them to do better at all times. More importantly, you need to do all this in tandem with the company’s overall vision and goals.
Ask as many questions as possible
Now is your chance to ask as many questions as possible, no matter how stupid they may sound. After all, the only stupid questions you are the ones you didn’t ask. The first 30 days in the organization are a learning period for you and the best way to learn quickly is to keep asking questions.
If you notice something that is being done a particular way and think you can get it done in a better way, question the approach. Being a new employee, you can really bring a whole new and fresh perspective towards things. Maybe no one has thought about doing that task in a better way because they’re so used to doing it in a particular way.
Review employee surveys that were done in the last few months
If there were any employee reports and surveys done in the last few months, reviewing them will give you a brief understanding of how employees feel about the company and work. This will also give you an understanding of what policies could be implemented in the company.
What should your first 60 days with the start-up look like?
During this time, you should let your opinions emerge more. Try applying whatever you learnt and absorbed in the first month. Look for things you can improve or things that need fine-tuning.
Seek concrete feedback from your founder for your first month
Asking the founder of the start-up for feedback will really help understand how you’ve done in the last month, obviously. But also it’ll give you an idea if you have been living up to his or her expectations. You will also understand if you need to change your way of working or the next part of your 30 60 90 day plan accordingly.
Continue building relations with other employees
In the first month, you spent time getting to know the team leads, but now it’s time to understand the other employees as well. At this point, maybe you could organise one on one meetings with each member of the company. This will allow you and the employee to get to know each other for starters, but also will give you the opportunity to understand their skill level, motivators etc. as well.
You could also send out an employee survey of your own at this point, to get an overall understanding of all the employees.
Get some early wins
Remember in the previous section I spoke about asking as many questions as possible? I also said to notice things that you think need immediate change. For example, maybe you think you could improve productivity by starting an award and recognition system. It’s not a very big step, but it could go a long way in improving employee motivation and productivity. A small win like this will garner the respect and trust of other employees as well.
This was just one simple example, but small changes like this will show your employees that you are here to make a positive change. However, you will only be able to make changes like this if you know the current scenario of the company.
Understand the company’s current policies
By now, you should have started understanding what policies are enforced in the start-up. Try getting a deeper understanding of the policies that are already in place. Read up about them and see if you could modify them in some way.
Identify key areas or policies you’d like to change in the coming months
At this point, you could also come up with some policies of your own. Brainstorm with the founder of your company. At this stage, you just need to ideate and think of potential areas that could be changed or potential policies to implement. Maybe your start-up doesn’t have a proper leave policy in place or maybe you realise there is no cybersecurity policy. For fast-growing companies, a robust hiring policy may be required. Because of the pandemic, you may need to create a work from home policy. When your team returns to work, you may need to create a relocation policy. Think about how you could implement such policies or even HR software. Find a way to get the employees are on board as well.
Keep a check on your personal values and priorities
It is very easy to lose sight of who you are in a new place. Make sure that while you are grasping as much as you can of this new place, you stay true to yourself. Don’t overburden yourself just because you need to make a good impression.
How to plan your third month as an HR leader?
By now you would have spent 2 whole months in a new place of work. Great going! By now you should try to focus on shifting your time from the learning space to contribute more to the company. You also have a great understanding of the policies, work teams and employees. So, your next steps should include
Seek concrete feedback for your 2nd month in the company
Just like you did after the first month, you should also get constructive feedback after your 2nd month with the company. You can do so by speaking to the founder or even other senior employees.
Come up with strategic long-term goals
During the 2nd month, we researched the policies or other factors that we could improve in the company. Now is the time to make step-by-step plans to implement these changes. These policies could be based on anything from a maternity leave policy or even an improvement on the work from home policy that you have. It needs to be something you believe in and think will benefit the company in the long run.
If the start-up is growing at a quick pace, put a recruitment plan in place
If the number of employees at the start-up is growing fast, you will eventually need more people on your HR team. You need to make a hiring policy not just for other departments, but also for an HR department so that once there are many employees to manage, all the workload doesn’t fall only on you. Consider using an ATS (applicant tracking system) when you start hiring.
Develop a system to track your own work
While keeping track of everyone else’s productivity levels, it can become difficult to manage your own tasks. When I say your own tasks I mean, policies that you started working on but got caught with other work and forgot about it. The use of a project management system can help keep track of your work tremendously. A project management tool can even help track the productivity levels of the other employees as well.
Create a seamless performance management system
As an HR it is your responsibility to ensure that the contributions of the people in your company are measured fairly and transparently. Conduct a performance review once every few months to make sure productivity levels are high. A great proven framework is a Balanced Scorecard. OKRs are also used especially in startups to monitor critical metrics.
Things to keep in mind throughout the first 90 days
There are a few things you need to keep in mind throughout your first 90 days. I have listed them below.
- Understand where you fit in with the other members of the organization.
- Ensure that your suggestions and changes are in line with who you are as a person and also in line with the company’s goals
- Learning the ‘lingo’ or work attitude
- The definition of success according to all the stakeholders and overall the organization’s definition of success.
- Set the right examples. Remember that all the employees will be watching every step you make. Lead by example- the right examples, and always remain on the ethical side of things.
- Have frequent conversations with senior members of the company. Ask them what they think of your work.
What to avoid as you begin a new role at a start-up
Below I have listed things that you shouldn’t do as an HR head. It’ll come across to other employees negatively and won’t put you in a very good light. The whole point of a 30 60 90 day plan for an HR head is to ensure the opposite. So do not
- Disregard rules and regulations of the company at any point in time
- Fall back into your old company’s way of doing things or assume that things are done in the same way as your previous company (with respect to culture or work styles)
- Be disrespectful or demeaning towards any employees while critiquing them for anything.
- Focus on building relations only with senior employees and not others
- Set un-realistic standards for yourself or your employees
- Act without thought or consulting with the founder (especially in the first couple of months)
To summarize briefly, I think the first month should focus on learning about the company as much as possible, asking as many questions as possible and getting to know the people. While all this continues into the next 30 days of your new role, the 2nd month should focus on bringing about small changes, understanding company policies etc. By the time you enter the third month, you should be contributing to the company a lot more as compared to the time spent on learning.
While formulating a 30 60 90 day plan, it is important to take into consideration the company’s culture. While there is no fixed structure, you should ensure that the first month focuses largely on learnings much as possible, the 2nd month is a mix of learning and contributing. By the third month, you should be contributing to the company a lot more with your points of view and ability to work as an HR
A 30 60 90 day plan is a plan that helps people taking on new roles to formulate a way to begin their new role. It involves a plan for the first 30 days then the 2nd and 3rd month of working in an organization. It helps people create a strong foothold in the company and get accustomed to the new company culture and work.
It is extremely important to have a 30 60 90 day plan because the first few months in any organization can set the tone for the time you work in that company. It helps you set a good impression on your employees and specific goals and objectives show your employer that you are a good fit for the job.
Not to be considered as tax, legal, financial or HR advice. Regulations change over time so please consult a lawyer, accountant or Labour Law expert for specific guidance.