What To Expect From a 90-Day Review

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated March 9, 2021

Published January 22, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Many companies observe a 90-day probationary or adjustment period for new hires. This gives both the company and the employee adequate time to determine if the job is the right fit and if the employee has all the tools, training and resources they need for success. It's customary for employers to perform a 90-day review to ensure continued employee success following the new employee's first few months at work. In this article, we explain what a 90-day review is, highlight the value in your 90-day review and offer tips for a successful 90-day review.

Related: 30-60-90-Day Plan: What It Is and How To Create and Use One (Example Included)

What is a 90-day review?

A 90-day review is a performance review meeting held after a new employee's roughly first three months on the job. In most cases, this is a meeting between the employee who has just reached the end of their first 90 days at work and their direct manager. Common topics of discussion in a 90-day review include:

  • Overall performance: You'll likely look at any relevant metrics or data related to your performance with your manager.

  • Work productivity: You'll discuss your productivity and ways to maintain or increase it as needed in the next few months at work.

  • Organizational adjustment: You'll have a chance to share any challenges you faced in your adjustment to your role with the company and highlight any particularly useful aspects of the onboarding process.

  • Company culture: You'll share your insight into the company culture and how you feel you're fitting in.

  • Professional goals: Your manager will help you set goals for the remainder of your first year and beyond.

  • Professional development and training: You'll discuss potential training opportunities with your manager.

  • Future expectations: You might receive new or additional expectations after completing your first 90 days with the organization.

Related: How To Succeed in Your New Job: The First Week, Month and 90 Days

Why your 90-day review is valuable

90-day reviews are valuable for you and your employer. Consider these benefits of participating in a 90-day review:

Share onboarding experience

Telling your manager about your recent onboarding experience and, specifically, what you found useful about it and what you didn't, can help your company improve the practice for future hires. The more specific you can be about what worked well and what could use improvement can help the organization optimize their hiring and onboarding procedures.

Receive feedback

You'll get feedback on your work from your manager in this meeting, both on your productivity and your performance. Some organizations like to increase productivity expectations following an employee's first 90 days if their performance is good, so be sure to ask your manager what to expect moving forward in your role. Asking about the next steps following your onboarding process also shows you're ready to contribute more to your team or department.

Determine goals

It's likely that after 90 days on the job, you'll be relatively comfortable with your basic responsibilities and ready to set more challenging goals. Your manager can help you determine what those objectives should be, and they can help you structure a plan to meet those goals. Try to be as specific as possible to create measurable goals that you can attain in a reasonable amount of time.

Seek guidance on concerns

During your 90-day review, you'll be able to share any concerns you might have about productivity quotas, company culture or any other aspect of your job with your manager. They can clarify any uncertainties and help you address other challenges you've faced in the first few months of your work.

Develop the managerial relationship

Spending one-on-one time with your manager can help you develop a strong relationship you can depend on. The more rapport you build with your manager, the more likely you'll be to go to them for support and assistance in the future, ensuring you get the help you desire when you need it at work.

Related: What Is an Employee Review Form?

Tips for a successful 90-day review

Use these tips to help you prepare for and participate in a successful 90-day review with your manager:

  • Know the expectations. Before you go into your 90-day review, go over the expectations that you received on your first day. Note the areas where you know you excelled and prepare to discuss the areas where you could improve.

  • Welcome constructive feedback. Constructive feedback is one of the best tools you can use to help you improve your work performance. Instead of viewing constructive feedback as your manager highlighting your weaknesses, look at the feedback as instructions for improving your work.

  • Ask for a review. Not every company offers a substantive 90-day review. If you felt your meeting was too brief or you realize you have more to share than you thought, ask for another meeting with your manager.

  • Have goals in mind. Go into your 90-day review with a few potential performance goals in mind. More than likely, your manager will ask about goals, and you'll be prepared to share some you're interested in pursuing.

  • Be honest. If your manager asks you to share any negative experiences you've had in your first few months at work, don't be afraid to be honest. They're asking because they want to improve the company culture and work environment for everyone in the organization.

  • Document and share. Before your review, document any particular successes, challenges or questions you have. Bring these notes with you to your meeting so you remember to share all your thoughts.

  • Seek guidance. Ask for help if you need it from your manager. While they will likely expect that you'll have a better grasp on your work responsibilities after 90 days at work, they recognize you're still learning and improving and want to help you do so.

  • Thank your manager. Be sure to thank your manager for their support, guidance and assistance at the end of the review to continue to foster a positive relationship.

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