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The 90-Day Review

If you have goals for your employees and business for the year ahead, consider breaking them down into quarterly objectives and then revisit them every 90 days.

When we hire new employees at Babcox Media, each manager is tasked with performing a 90-day review of the new hire. Not only does this allow us to focus on and assess their performance, but more importantly, this stage gives us an opportunity to check in with the new employee, make sure the onboarding process has gone smoothly and see that he or she is adapting well to the new work environment. 

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As we prepare their review, we ask ourselves questions such as:
• Has the employee demonstrated an appropriate work ethic and commitment to the job?
• Has the employee demonstrated an adequate ability to complete assigned work?
• How would you rate the employee’s ability to inform, listen, follow directions, provide follow-up and work effectively with others?
• Has the employee demonstrated an ability to work efficiently and effectively within the department?

We consider their initiative and rate the new employee’s willingness to assume the full scope of responsibilities related to the job. We also examine if the employee displays creativity in seeking solutions to problems and if their work is generally of high quality without errors.


We share our assessment with the employee and encourage honest feedback about how we are doing as an employer. This establishes a comfortable level of communication and demonstrates the team atmosphere that is so important for excellent employee morale.  

I recently completed one for a new hire and it got me thinking, then I decided to go through the process for myself and then for each of my employees. I tweaked the questions depending on the person’s longevity with the company and my own and added a short list of goals we hope to attain in the next 90 days.  


After many Januarys of setting annual goals and forgetting most of them halfway through the year (if not sooner), I’m hoping that breaking down my goals into quarterly objectives will make them more attainable. Sometimes, with annual reviews, it’s hard to remember what was done over the past 365 days — but 90 days is more realistic, not only for memory, but because it’s important to talk to your employees more often and listen to what they have to say. A year is too long to go.

The new year promises to bring all sorts of advice for the best way to set goals with a chance of achieving them. To me, I think the best way is what works for you and what you’ll stick with. I’m already encouraged by the 90-day process. The reviews with long-time employees sparked new ideas that we’re looking into implementing soon, and the newer employees’ reviews brought to light some areas where we could use some added attention. 


So, if you have goals for your employees and business for the year ahead, consider breaking them down into quarterly objectives and then revisit them every 90 days. 

Share with us what works for you. We’d love to include you in an upcoming issue, podcast or video! Just email me at the address below.

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