As soon as an employee joins an organization, the HR managers start with the onboarding process to equip the employee with the job role, necessary tools, security measures, process and product training, and mission, vision, and goal of the organization. These practices usually last for 2-3 days, and the employee is inducted into a team.
Usually, HR then meets with the employee during the review process after a year or during an exigency. During this period, an employee might develop concerns and issues that should be addressed to avoid any conflict.
With years of experience and research, hiring managers have started to understand the importance of holistic employee development and how it can impact the achievement of organizational goals. The pandemic-led challenges have instigated an array of changes for organizations to balance out with their current process and develop talent that can bring better results.
The great resignation has completely overthrown the traditional practices of employee nurturing. The emphasis now is on retaining the newly inducted employees through practices like learning and development, skill enhancement, employee engagement, and conducting frequent reviews.
As per a report by Glassdoor, it takes around eight months for a new employee to get fully onboarded. Much research has shown the importance of nurturing and creating a good employee experience for the first 90 days of an employee’s journey. The best way to achieve this is by conducting frequent employee reviews that are focused on the employee’s overall experience in the organization.
The practice of conducting employee reviews is not new to organizations, but the latest development encompasses 30-60-90-day reviews. It involves checking in on employees to understand their concerns and provide them with enough support to get accustomed to the organizational culture and values. Because of the recent shift to hybrid work models and rapidly changing business practices, it has become more important that organizations create a strategy to conduct frequent reviews.
Conducting 30-60-90 day reviews helps employees in understanding the culture, business practices, team structures, short-term and long-term organizational goals, and expectations from them as per their job roles. During the initial period of employment, employee productivity usually lingers around 25%. At this stage, a human resource manager should work on getting an employee acquainted with the process and tools, rather than emphasizing increasing their productivity.
For employers, it gives them the opportunity to identify any gaps in employee onboarding and development and provides a platform to share their expectations with employees. They can also initiate corrective actions to address employee concerns and delegate resources for employee development. Managers can also discuss the performance of employees on various parameters and offer them constructive feedback to enhance their performance.
What are 30-60-90 Day Reviews?
30-60-90 day reviews are an employee engagement and development strategy opted by various organizations for newly inducted employees. The process involves checking in with employees frequently and developing a standard practice to conduct reviews during the first 30, 60, and 90 days of an employee’s tenure in the organization.
During the reviews, managers can share their feedback with the employees and reflect upon their performance during the review period. This helps in laying down a path for performance tracking and aligning employee goals with organizational objectives. Moreover, it also gives new hires an opportunity to discuss their career objectives and ambitions with their managers. Hence, these strategic reviews help in the learning and development initiatives of employees and carve out a career path based on their skill sets and organizational requirements.
30-60-90 day reviews help in laying out a standard procedure for employees to measure their performance against the set benchmark. This helps leaders and managers recognize the best talent and reward them for their excellence. It also leads to the development of action plans for employees with low performance and engagement. Moreover, during the annual appraisal process, managers can refer to the documented reviews and measure improvements and employee performance against the goals set up during the review period.
The added advantage of conducting 30-60-90 reviews is the measurement of the engagement level of the newly hired employees in the organization. Employee engagement is one of the most important aspects of retaining and nurturing talent. Through an effective and strategic review process, organizations can create an action plan for increasing employee engagement and productivity. Furthermore, it aids in reducing the turnover of the newly recruited employees.
Statistics on 30-60-90-Day Reviews
Let us look at some statistics regarding employee onboarding practices, employee reviews, and engagement.
The graph highlights the length of onboarding programs in North America. (Source: statista.com)
Just over 12% of employees believe that their employers did a great job while onboarding new employees (Source: Gallup2)
69% of employees are more likely to stay in the organization for three years if they have had a great onboarding experience. (Source3 SHRM)
58% of new employees with structured onboarding experience are likely to stay after three years in the organization.
Over 50% of new hires leave their jobs in the first 18 months of their employment (Source: SHRM4)
As per a study conducted by the Center for American Progress, the cost of losing a highly trained employee is 213% of their salary (Source5: AmericanProgress.org)
A report shows that only 29% of employees know whether their performance is up to the mark and just 50% of employees know if they are doing well in their job roles. (Source6: Leadership)
A survey conducted on 3,500 workers showed that employees who check in weekly with their managers are 5x less likely to be disengaged. (Source7: Workhuman)
Only 14% of employees feel that their performance reviews inspire them to improvise on their work. (Source8: Gallup)
A study found that 44% of employees feel more engaged when their managers hold regular review meetings with them. (Source9: Gallup)
The above statistics are a good indicator of the importance of having a good employee experience for new as well as existing employees. It is therefore important to have frequent reviews to overcome any challenges faced by employees. Let us now discuss the importance of 30-60-90-day reviews in the initial phase of an employee’s journey.
Importance of 30-60-90 Day Reviews
The pandemic has caused a massive shift from traditional work setups to working from home or hybrid work environments. Most new employees are being onboarded virtually, and they miss the opportunity to physically interact with the team and human resource managers. In such a scenario, it is increasingly difficult to understand the problems and concerns of the new hires. Therefore, to overcome this barrier, it is imperative to have a review mechanism that provides a platform for employees to have a discussion with managers.
Having a structured 30-60-90 day review process helps in checking in on employees at a fixed interval and giving them feedback on their performance. Let us discuss why it is important for organizations to have a review process in place.
Opportunity to Identify Gaps in the Onboarding Process
Employee onboarding is the first impression of an employer towards its employees. A report by Glassdoor states that strong onboarding practices can increase employee retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%. Therefore, it is important to support new employees in the initial 90 days of their employment.
Organizations with better onboarding practices utilize tools and technology to equip employees to succeed in their new positions. Furthermore, emphasizing assimilation and fostering employee socialization can boost employee confidence in the organization.
Employers can identify gaps in their onboarding process by having an employee review at the end of the first 30 days of employment. It is an opportunity to understand why the employee felt disengaged and left out during the onboarding process. Additionally, managers can also initiate a formal mentoring program to help employees acquire the skills required for task accomplishment.
Moreover, it helps employees build connections with other employees in different departments. Conducting reviews also helps in understanding the mental health of employees and creating measures for overall employee well-being.
Once the gaps in the process are identified, organizations can initiate corrective actions to improve the overall employee experience. For example, employee engagement and social connection can be improved by physically or virtually introducing employees to different team members and starting a buddy system for new hires. Formal mentoring and coaching sessions can be conducted for employee development and skill enhancement.
A Benchmark for Measuring Employee Performance
In addition to having a great onboarding experience, it is important to set up a benchmark for measuring the performance of new employees. As per a research, the productivity of employees in the first 90 days of employment increases as they adapt to the company culture and understand the various aspects of performance. In order to gauge and measure employee performance, managers must initiate 30-60-90 day reviews.
Managers can set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) goals for employees and measure performance based on goal achievement. By having various checkpoints, it becomes easier to align employees towards organizational goals and provide them with guidance for improving their performance. In addition, employees are also aware of the performance standards they are expected to achieve in order to create a strong foundation in the organization. Having a realistic timeframe helps with the smooth transition of new employees into the organization.
Building a Foundation for Employer-Employee Relationships
Conducting reviews goes a long way toward establishing a strong foundation for the employer-employee relationship. That’s why employee bonding and relationship building are rated as one of the most important aspects of engagement, productivity, and retention. 30-60-90 day reviews not only help managers reflect upon employee performance but also create a two-way communication channel to develop a connection with new hires.
Social connectivity is quintessential for employee engagement and development, especially for new employees. Therefore, human resource managers should collaborate with leaders to develop a well-defined review plan that supports social connectivity over multiple platforms. Fostering connections and relationships are equally important for employees working from home and from the office. Therefore, leveraging virtual tools to conduct reviews can help resolve the challenges of geographically dispersed employees.
Understanding Employee Wellbeing & Mental Health
Employee well-being and mental health have gained prominence with the adoption of a hybrid work culture. The lack of human connectivity and social connections is a predominant factor in debilitating mental health. Mental health issues become a pressing issue when employees start feeling distant and neglected by their employers. Even for new employees, addressing personal challenges they encounter at the workplace or because of the business modus operandi is critically important.
Conducting reviews at frequent intervals can help managers keep track of employee well-being and mental health. Furthermore, fostering a supportive culture and encouraging employees to share their problems during reviews can help in identifying any underlying concerns. While conducting reviews, managers can assure employees that their mental health is of prime importance to organizations. Such activities help in assuring employees that they are being cared for.
Benefits of 30-60-90 Day Reviews
A report11 by Gallup on “How Millennials want to work and live”, highlights that 44% of employees feel more engaged when their managers hold regular review meetings with them. In contrast, only 20% of employees who do not meet their managers frequently are engaged.
The above statistics highlight the importance of conducting frequent reviews for employee engagement. By prudently implementing a 30-60-90 day review plan, organizations can transform their employees into a dynamic and self-driven workforce.
The benefits of conducting reviews extend to all the stakeholders involved in the organization. Let us understand how the application of 30-60-90 day reviews benefits both employees and employers.
Benefits For Employees
Employees can take advantage of the 30-60-90 day reviews and leverage the knowledge grasped during the process to improvise on their performance. Check out the list of benefits for employees below.
Personal and Professional Development
Conducting reviews in the initial phase of an employee’s journey goes a long way in their personal and professional development. During reviews, managers can highlight the strong and weak areas of employees and suggest a learning path for them to enhance their skills and productivity. In addition, employees can also discuss plans for their career progression with the managers. It helps them in envisioning their future roles in the organization.
The reviews are of great help in identifying personal development gaps that could lead to low performance by an employee. An extensive 30-60-90 day review plan also suggests interpersonal areas of an employee to improve upon.
Asking for Support
Every organization tries to foster a supportive environment for its employees. But not everyone can achieve it because of the challenges put forward by culture, hierarchy, and personal inhibitions of employees. One of the ways to achieve higher organizational efficiency is to have a respectable and supportive culture that allows employees to reach out for help.
Employee reviews give an opportunity to new employees to ask for support from their managers. Based on the discussion, managers can initiate mentoring and coaching sessions, 1:1s with employees, and other activities deemed necessary for employee support.
Boosts Employee Morale and Motivation
A self-driven and motivated workforce is the strongest asset of an organization. Finding suitable and dynamic employees requires hard work from the human resources department. But developing them into a performance-driven and committed workforce is far more challenging.
Employees are skeptical about the organization during their first 90 days of employment. In this phase, they are unsure about the culture and business environment, and require more than just formal training to assimilate into the organization.
Conducting planned and strategic reviews helps in boosting employee confidence and motivation. Frequent check-ins and 1:1s organized by managers make employees feel supported and cared for, which ultimately sets them in the right direction.
Benefits For Employers
Employee reviews directly impact the performance of employees and, thereby, the organization’s output. A well-structured and strategically laid-out review plan can benefit the organization in the following ways:
Reducing Employee Turnover
As per the statistics12, over one-third of all new hires leave within the first six months of their tenure. This is irrespective of the job role and position being offered by the organization.
The great resignation has further added to the woes of human resource managers. They are now battling with the problems of finding new talent and ensuring they stay committed for a long period of time. To contain the premature exit of employees, it is crucial for organizations to consider strategic ways to convert them into long-term employees.
Using 30-60-90 day reviews helps in understanding the challenges faced by employees and finding strategic solutions to them. Managers can pick up early warning signs during the review process and can take preemptive action to contain attrition. It may include training and incentive programs for employees. A well thought out 30-60-90 day review process can reduce employee turnover at all levels of the organization.
Increasing Employee Engagement
Employee engagement is one of the most important traits of a performance-driven organization. Engaged employees are likely to stay for a longer period in the organization and are more oriented towards business goals. Employee engagement is an organizational strategy that helps in achieving higher levels of performance, better retention, and better quality of work.
One of the benefits of conducting 30-60-90 reviews is that it increases employee engagement. Frequent reviews help employees understand their performance gaps and provide them with learning opportunities. Furthermore, managers can better assess the skills of new hires and align them to the respective projects where they can best utilize their skill sets.
Metrics for Performance Measurement
Employee reviews are a great way to assess the performance of new hires. Every employee has a unique set of skills and competencies, and utilizing them effectively is the key to increasing organizational efficiency. By measuring performance at regular intervals, managers can ascertain that employees are on the right track. It also helps in comprehending any challenges that are undermining the performance of employees.
Reports and data created at the time of conducting 30-60-90 day reviews help in recognizing the efforts of employees. Additionally, it is also used to identify low performing employees and help them improve.
Reward and Recognition
SurveyMonkey conducted a survey13 with over 1,500 employed Americans to find out how recognition at their organization helps them. Following were the key highlights of the survey:
Around 82% of the employees felt that recognition is linked to happiness in the workplace.
Over 32% of surveyed employees felt that recognition improves the way their colleagues interact with them.
Public recognition, according to 68% of employees, increases their chances of getting a raise or promotion.
These above statistics highlight how important recognition is for employees. A reward and recognition platform supports employees in achieving their highest potential and thereby increasing organizational efficiency.
30-60-90 day reviews are a great way to identify potential employees and reward them suitably for their efforts. Effective utilization of such a review mechanism can help in building a skilled, performance-driven, and happy workforce that is ready to go the extra mile to achieve organizational goals.
Identify Training Needs
Learning capabilities and aptitude are different for every employee. Even after going through the initial level of training and induction, there might be scenarios where an employee needs more support. To handle such challenges, it is important to organize reviews where employees can share their concerns regarding performance. Therefore, managers should create an open channel of communication during reviews that helps employees clearly state any obstacles in their learning process.
Performance metrics, such as quality of work, customer centricity, and productivity level collected during 30-60-90 day reviews help in identifying employees with training needs. Managers can create a training plan to improve the performance of such employees.
If multiple employees are struggling in the same learning areas, then it can be because of the wrong practices and systems being followed for the onboarding process. Such issues can be handled by identifying the loopholes in the system and initiating corrective actions.
The entire process of the performance management system revolves around employee development. Such development plans have to be built in collaboration with employees. It ensures that their skills, competencies, and expectations are taken into consideration while planning the activities.
A successful employee development plan involves conducting reviews to understand the current performance level of employees and setting SMART goals to help them achieve better results. Managers usually inculcate employee development initiatives while creating a 30-60-90 day reviews plan. It offers a constructive and flexible way of reviewing new employees’ performance and motivating them to achieve more. 30-60-90 day reviews are a holistic approach to employee development.
How to Create a 30-60-90 Day Review Plan?
Creating a review plan requires collaboration from multiple departments. Human resource managers must inform the team leaders/managers regarding the onboarding of new employees and arrange sessions to discuss the review plan. The process is highly dependent on the job position and role of the employee joining the organization.
By undertaking the below discussed best practices, human resource managers can create an effective 30-60-90 day review plan.
Setting Realistic Expectations
The time spent between sharing a job post and getting someone onboarded can be too overwhelming for the organization. At this time, managers can be tempted to get a new employee rolling and take up the responsibilities for which they were hired. Instead of pushing them to a quick start and passing on innumerable duties, it is preferable to let them gradually transition into the organizational culture. Undertaking 30-60-90 day reviews helps managers understand employee strengths and weaknesses and strategically place them in projects.
To set the course in action, managers can select two or three prime responsibilities/goals for the new hires and explain to them the process to achieve them. Setting realistic, quantifiable, and focused goals should be the foundation of conducting reviews.
Creating Milestones to Measure Performance
The first 90 days of an employee’s journey are full of twists and turns. In this period, they are assimilating into the organizational culture and understanding the intricacies of the new business environment. Furthermore, if they are working from home, it is comparatively difficult to understand the tools and technologies.
Setting milestones while conducting the reviews helps managers measure the performance of employees. Additionally, it ensures support and collaboration in the initial days of employees.
Highlighting accomplishments and achievements of milestones is equally important in the review process. Positive feedback in the initial phase goes a long way in building employee confidence and boosting productivity. Similarly, providing constructive feedback for performance improvement is equally important.
Therefore, managers must set milestones and measure performance to provide employees with clear and open feedback for improvement.
Collaborating With New Hires
New employees join the organization with some specific vision, expectations, and mindset. Even the business environment and culture can be new to them. In such a scenario, it is important to understand the personal goals and objectives of employees and help them align with the organizational goals.
In the first few weeks after joining, managers should talk to employees and try to comprehend their learning objectives. Based on the inputs collected from them, managers can modify the 30-60-90 day review plan. It will ensure that employees’ expectations and personal goals are also included in the plan.
It is also an opportunity to inculcate collaboration and teamwork while designing the review plan. The fresh perspective of new employees helps in bringing dynamism and strategicness to the review plan.
As the employees are getting accustomed to their new roles and responsibilities, it is important for managers to check in with them frequently in the initial days of their joining. It gives employees an opportunity to talk about their concerns and suggest any improvements to the current processes. Therefore, either organizing a daily catch up or weekly 1:1s will steer the employees in the right direction.
Through regular check-ins, managers can track the performance of their employees and can understand their strengths and weaknesses rather quickly. Furthermore, they can identify any persistent issues like difficulty in integrating with the team or in understanding the business dynamics and find solutions collaboratively.
Measuring the Impact of the Plan
“You can’t improve what you don’t measure.” by Peter Drucker.
The objectives of a 30-60-90 day review plan should be quantifiable and measurable. Using SMART goals can help in making the plan more process-driven. The ultimate aim of conducting reviews in the first 90 days of an employee is to ensure their smooth transition into the business environment and help them align with the organizational objectives. Therefore, by setting measurable goals, managers have a fair understanding of employees’ strengths and weaknesses.
At the end of the review plan, it is easier to reflect upon employee performance against the set objectives. The insights collected from reviews help in creating further action plans for employees with low performance. It includes conducting formal mentoring and coaching sessions, skill development and enhancement, and buddy programs.
An Empathic, Compassionate, and Supportive Approach
Conducting reviews in the time of a pandemic is quite challenging. As the majority of employees have been working from home for months, it has become difficult to evaluate their performance. Managers face this dilemma of fairly conducting the review and also considering the impact of the COVID-19 crisis in their assessment.
Mark Mortensen, associate professor of organizational behavior at INSEAD, says that even in normal times, it is difficult for managers to conduct a performance review. Reviews are tense, stressful, and anxiety-inducing at times. Now, in the middle of the pandemic, it is much more difficult to assess an employee on performance parameters.
In such a scenario, managers must be empathic and compassionate towards their employees during the review process. They must first ask about their physical and mental health and ensure that their wellbeing is of utmost importance to the organization. Taking a compassionate approach can help employees overcome challenges and share their concerts with managers.
How to Conduct 30-60-90 Day Reviews?
Conducting frequent reviews of new employees lets them know that the organization has a vested interest in their growth and development. Moreover, it also helps in finding performance deficiencies and starting corrective actions to scale up employee development.
The learning curve of a new employee varies from three months to six months based on their job role and designation. Therefore, conducting reviews at the right time with the right assessing parameters is important to having meaningful employee reviews.
Communicating the 30-60-90 day review plan to the employees is the first step in preparing for the evaluation process. During regular 1:1s and check-ins, managers should substantiate the importance of reviews and lay out the detailed process to employees. It helps them to understand its effectiveness on their performance.
Below we have highlighted the details of the 30-60-90 day review process individually, along with the questions that managers should ask while conducting reviews. Please note that 30-60-90 day reviews are highly dependent on the designation and role of the employee upon joining the organization. Therefore, managers can alter the process and change the questions as per the requirements.
Conducting a 30 Day Review
As soon as the new employees are inducted into the organization, they are assigned tasks to learn the product, understand the business culture and environment, and get an overview of the business dynamics. During the first few weeks of employee onboarding, managers should communicate frequently with the employees to give them an understanding of their job roles and responsibilities.
Providing supporting material like product documentation, departmental inductions, technical guides, and historical data will help employees ramp up the processes. It is good practice to introduce employees to the team members that they will be working closely with. Make sure that things don’t get too overwhelming and that there is no information overload for employees.
Conducting frequent 1:1s in the first month is helpful in understanding the skill set of the employee. It guides the manager in defining and communicating performance expectations and employee goals for the first 30 days. The frequency of 1:1s can be adjusted once the employee is well versed in the job role.
A 30 day review is conducted at the end of the first month of the employee’s tenure. The review involves a detailed discussion between the employee and the manager. Managers must ensure that they convey information regarding the review well in advance. It helps employees to prepare their responses for the process.
Questions to Ask in a 30 Day Review
The following questions will help you get better insight into the initial 30 days of the employee.
Conducting a 60 Day Review
The first 30 days of the employee’s journey are usually about learning the product and business culture. In the next 30 days, also known as the development phase, the actual growth of an employee begins. Now that the employee is accustomed to the business practices and company policies, it is time to check on their performance and also collect feedback on their day-to-day activities.
A 60 day review helps in gaining insights regarding the performance and development of employees. During these 60 days, employees must have had an opportunity to interact with the clients, resolve customer/client queries, and provide resolution to internal issues. Therefore, it is important to collect employee feedback at this interval to understand the following:
A 60 day review is the right time to assess the contribution of employees to the achievement of short-term team goals and organizational objectives. It also gives an opportunity to discuss the long-term career vision of the employees and offer them managerial insights into their performance.
Questions to Ask in a 60 Day Review
The following questions will help in conducting a 60 day review effectively.
Conducting a 90 Day Review
The end of 90 days usually marks the completion of the probation period for most of the employees. At this time, employees have undergone extensive training to understand the products, have a fair understanding of their job roles, and are prepared to take on responsibilities like other team members.
A 90 day review serves a major role in collecting intelligent insights about the extensive onboarding process followed by the organization. The feedback collected at this stage will help in making the processes better aligned to employee growth and development. Managers need to perform a thorough check of the employee’s performance in the review to understand their competencies, engagement and productivity levels, collaboration with team members, and collect any feedback pertaining to their managers, team members, and organizational processes.
Questions to Ask in a 90 Day Review
The following questions resonate with the 90 day review process. Please note that questions regarding job responsibilities can be changed as per the designation and role of the employee.
30-60-90 Day Reviews Template
The downloadable template is a ready-to-use employee performance evaluation toolkit that will help in strategizing the first three months of new hires. Managers can use this template to understand their employee’s overall performance and provide actionable feedback to them.
We have also included an employee performance evaluation form in the 90 days review tab to help gauge the achievement of employee goals. To understand the development of employees on various parameters the template is segregated into different sections
Download the Free 30 60 90 Day Reviews Template
Many organizations have reaped the benefits of a well-defined and structured 30-60-90 day review process. By building a standard process for extensive reviews, organizations can achieve higher productivity, engagement, and low employee turnover. Moreover, it helps employees form a strong connection with their colleagues and organization, thereby making them more loyal and committed towards the employer.
With the advancement in the technical landscape, organizations have started utilizing performance management software to manage their workforce. These people enablement platforms like Engagedly offer deeper insights about employee performance. Through features like SMART goals setting, real-time feedback, ongoing check-ins, and 30-60-90 reviews, organizations can keep track of employee activities and offer innovative solutions to help engage, enable, and empower their workforce.