A 30 day review is a performance review conducted at the end of an employee’s first 30 days with an organization. 

While not legally required, a 30 day review is an integral part of an effective onboarding process, providing the first opportunity to formally connect with an employee and check in on their progress in a new role.

The focus of a 30 day review should be on how the employee is settling into their new position and the organization, although it can be used to discuss and review work objectives where appropriate. It’s a useful opportunity to identify any issues with the onboarding process, including any gaps that exist and what is—or isn’t—working from an employee’s perspective. 

Why Do a 30 Day Review?

Regular reviews are more than a powerful performance management tool. They are a crucial part of the onboarding experience that, when done effectively, increase employee engagement, productivity, and retention. 

It takes around 12 months for new hires to reach their full potential in a role, so an effective onboarding continues well beyond an employee’s first day or week. With organizations losing 17% of their new hires within their first three months, a 30, 60, and 90 day review cycle should be a key feature of your onboarding process. 

Studies show that positive and effective onboarding:

One month in a new role passes quickly and it may feel too soon to conduct a review. But 30 days is the perfect time to get feedback on your onboarding process, enabling you to refine and improve it. It also helps you identify and resolve any issues your employee raises at an early stage, ensuring that they can transition smoothly into the organization, company culture, and work environment. 

A 30 day review is also a chance to discuss an employee’s short-term goals, confirm that their work objectives and your organization’s processes are clear, and ensure they have everything they need to effectively perform their job. Identifying any issues like this early in a new hire’s employment allows you to address them before they grow or lead to an employee quitting. 

How to Conduct a 30 Day Review

Here are some best practices for approaching the 30 day review process. 

Before the review

  • Explain your review process to employees from day one, including notifying them of the 30 day review. Don’t ambush an employee with a review. They should be aware it’s coming and have time to prepare for it. 
  • Be clear about the purpose of the review. What does the organization want out of a 30 day review? What should an employee take from it? Defining a clear purpose helps you shape the questions asked during the review. 
  • Standardize your review process. Developing an outline of questions to ask all new employees at the 30 day review saves you time and ensures the process is applied equally. 

During the review

  • Follow through. Ensure your 30 day reviews are conducted on time—don’t delay them or skip them entirely. As well as standardizing the process, this reinforces their significance to employees and shows that you value their wellbeing and feedback. 
  • Do them in person. While you can set up an automated form to conduct an online review, 30 day reviews are best done in person. This gives you a further opportunity to connect and build rapport with your new hire. Where it’s not possible to do a face-to-face meeting, a review can also be conducted via video call. 
  • Make the employee feel comfortable. As they’re new, they may not feel ready to speak candidly. Ensuring they feel at ease encourages them to speak openly, raise any concerns they have, and provide honest feedback. 
  • Encourage open communication. While it’s useful to have a standardized set of questions for the review, allow space for the employee to raise and discuss their own questions or concerns.

After the review

  • Remind them of the next review. At the end of the review, remind the employee of their next performance review—typically a 60 day review—to give them time to prepare. 
  • Keep a record of the review and your employees’ responses. Aside from being useful for HR recordkeeping purposes, you can then revisit them during their 60 and 90 day review to ensure any issues have been addressed and objectives have been met. 
  • Provide the employee with a copy of your notes. They then have a copy for their records and can refer to it if necessary. 

Questions To Ask During a 30 Day Review

The main focus of a 30 day review should be the onboarding process and ensuring that the employee feels welcome and settled in their new role. 

Potential questions you can ask include:

  • How have your first 30 days been?
  • Do you have any feedback about the onboarding process?
  • How are you finding the organization and the work? What do you like about it?
  • Have you felt welcomed by your team/the organization as a whole?
  • Do you have a good work/life balance?
  • How are you finding the company culture?

A 30 day review is also the ideal time to identify any potential issues requiring early intervention. 

Questions you can ask to achieve this include:

  • Is the role what you expected?
  • What challenges have you faced?
  • Do you have everything you need to perform your job?
  • Is there anything we could have done differently to prepare you for the role?

Explicitly ask whether the employee has any questions or other feedback they would like to raise to ensure you haven’t missed anything. 

You can also use a 30 day review to check in on an employee’s performance. If you have any concerns about a new hire’s performance in their first few weeks, a 30 day review is a chance to discuss the expectations of the role so the employee is clear about them moving forward. 

Keep in mind that the first few months in a new position should focus on simple, realistic goals, such as learning the ins and outs of your core product or service, as well as the organization’s processes and company culture.  

Conclusion

A 30 day review is an essential part of an effective onboarding process. It’s the ideal time to get feedback on the orientation period and ensure your new recruit is settling in and has everything they need to perform in the role. 

By giving employees the opportunity to participate in a 30 day review, you can address any underlying issues and improve individual engagement and productivity to reduce overall employee turnover. 

 

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