90 Day Review

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What is a 90-day review?

A 90-day review is an appraisal that managers and HR professionals conduct 90 days after hiring a new employee or transferring an existing worker to a different position. A 90-day review's main objective is to gauge an employee's overall performance and goal progress, as well as evaluate your onboarding and training processes for future new hires.

Reviewing an employee 90 days after settling into their role is beneficial as the elapsed time allows you to conduct a brief evaluation and pinpoint areas for potential improvement or to address employee concerns.

What is covered in a 90-day review?

A 90-day review plan should cover an employee's roles, impact, and desired outcomes. Suppose the individual in question is a junior sales representative. In that case, their review should ascertain if they've reduced customer churn, lowered customer acquisition costs, increased customer lifetime value, etc.

With a 90-day plan template, a manager or HR personnel can quickly fill in all the details they need to conduct a successful review, including an employee's key tasks and how their efforts support the organization's objectives.

Benefits of a 90-day review

Conducting a 90-day review allows new hires to:

  • Share their onboarding experience: Onboarding ensures new hires feel welcomed, supported, and adequately prepared for their jobs. But the process can be flawed at times. During a 90-day review, new employees can tell you about their onboarding experience - what worked and what may need further improvement, enabling HR to make the necessary improvements.
  • Share concerns and seek guidance: New employees often face numerous challenges, including information overloads or an inability to fit into the organizational culture. A 90-day review allows employees to voice such concerns and seek guidance.  
  • Request feedback: When employees get feedback from managers and HR professionals, they can use the insights to perform better in their respective roles. 
90-Day Review HR Tips

HR considerations for a 90-day review

During a 90-day review, HR or managers should:

1. Prioritize fairness and consistency

A 90-day review isn't just about a new hire; it also touches on an organization's future performance. As such, HR professionals should ensure that the entire process is conducted fairly. That way, the organization can reap several benefits from the appraisal, including increased employee confidence, engagement, and retention rates.

2. Document the reviews

HR professionals should document employee performance reviews. Documentation provides qualitative feedback, guidelines, and numerical data that new hires can use to perform better at their roles and prepare for the next review period.

While documenting reviews, HR professionals and managers should highlight performance indicators and achievements. They should also summarize the entire appraisal and remember to include key outcomes.

3. Help managers provide constructive feedback to new hires

Sometimes, managers can provide vague or unclear feedback that demotivates employees. Also, they may ask workers to stop doing something or change their approach without stating the reasons. 

HR professionals can mediate during a 90-day review and ensure that new hires receive constructive criticism and feedback from the managers.

4. Ensure the review revolves around the right questions

A 90-day review should be based on several important questions, including:

  • Is the new hire progressing as expected?
  • Are new employees getting adequate support?
  • Has a new hire exhibited any red-flag behaviors?
  • Should new employees attend additional training?
  • Does a specific worker show managerial abilities?

Managers and HR professionals should ensure their appraisals cover these and other relevant questions.

Steps to take after the 90-day review

After a 90-day review, managers and HR should:

  1. Revisit notes and discuss shared comments
  2. Prepare a detailed course of action based on the appraisal's outcomes
  3. Check if set goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely (SMART)
  4. Brainstorm plans that recognize employees' strengths and foster growth
  5. Help employees identify their talents and choose the best career paths
  6. Avail professional development opportunities to employees
  7. Did the hiring team take fitting candidates?
  8. Does the onboarding process need to be adjusted?

HR tips for minimizing bias during 90-day reviews

Different biases can undermine a 90-day review, including excessive leniency, unwarranted severity, and opportunity biases. To avoid such complications, managers and HR professionals should:

  • Develop evaluation structures with clear guidelines
  • Ensure they are familiar with employee roles and goals before an appraisal
  • Track employee performance using analytics
  • Gather input from different entities who work with a specific employee, including their clients and colleagues
  • Encourage new hires to share any negative experiences during the appraisal

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