Home Professionalisms How To Conduct 90-Day Performance Reviews Without Biases

How To Conduct 90-Day Performance Reviews Without Biases


The performance review which follows the 90-day probationary period is a stressful time for the employee. Not only are they adjusting to the new role, it’s also a period for the employer to gauge their work ethics and skills. Writing an informed and accurate review can be difficult for during this period.

Luckily, there are tools available which can be helpful when going through this process.

Why Do 90-Day Performance Reviews Matter?

The 90-day probationary period is not only a long-established rite-of-passage in the professional realm, it also serves a clear purpose and offers numerous benefits for everyone involved. Here are some benefits.

1. Feedback: These conversations serve as a “checkpoint” for new employees on the progress that they’re made. It reinforces positive performance, while addressing areas for improvements. This way, any issues would be addressed early rather than later. The goal of these reviews is to place the employee in a position for success.

2. Discussion: These reviews also create an open environment where the employee can ask questions. They can discuss their expectations or even where their interests lie within the company. This latter can also be said for the manager who wants to clarify the employee’s goal with the company.

3. Future Expectations: The main purpose of these reviews is to gauge performance and potential of the new employee within the company. Reviewing their work and the growth they’ve made early on is a great way to ascertain what can be expected from them in the future. If they demonstrate lots of potential, it’s a good idea to continue to challenge them.

4. Assists Hiring Practices: Speaking with new employees can create insight when it comes to the hiring process. Having been recently hired, these employees will be able to offer insight of the potential shortcomings of the onboarding and hiring process.

5. Improved Performance: Feedback often results in improved performance thanks to positive feedback and the clarification of expectations and tasks.

6. Relationship Building: These contexts are great for strengthening manager-employee communication. It creates an open environment and conversation to address issues and acknowledge successes. This establishes trust and understanding between the two parties, while also creating a constructive conversation.

90-Day Review.

It’s important to remember that these reviews are formal practices. This involves:

1. Setting a Date: Don’t delay setting a date for this review. And once you do, don’t delay it. These reviews are important to new employees; postponing it may result in negative feelings on the part of the employee. Postponing the review too often will also skew the results.

2. Having an Agenda: Go into the review prepared with notes to focus on specific examples of work that they have done. This will ensure you are informed and do not end up with incorrect information.

3. Reviewing Company Practices: Reviewing company practices will paint a picture of expectations and better outline objectives. Talking about the company, or organization, will show new employees how they are a part of a community.

Foregoing Biases.

The issue with the 90-day probationary period is that management is still getting to know new employees and their working style but have an established first impression. This means biases may occur during the review period. From the leniency bias to the Halo Effect, these can negatively impact the review as well as the growth of the company if it becomes too prevalent.

This is where review programs can be used to create objective and unbiased 90-day reviews for new employees. The 360 degree evaluation looks at all factors necessary to create a fully-realized review. There are templates available to use, but unique criteria can also be created to better suit the needs of each company or organization.


90-day performance reviews are stressful for new employee for many reasons, which can negatively impact their performance. Fortunately, using an unbiased as thorough system like 360 degree system can alleviate some of the stresses that comes with starting a new job.