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30 Day Review

By the time you’ve hired the right person, completed paperwork and orientation, and begun the onboarding process, your attention may wander to other projects. But don’t neglect new hires after the first couple of weeks! A 30-day employee review is your first formal check-in with new hires to gauge how they are feeling about the onboarding process and identify any issues.

Continue reading to learn what a 30-day review is, why you should conduct a 30-day review, how to conduct the review, and questions to ask new hires.

What Is a 30-Day Employee Review?

A 30-day employee review may be the first structured check-in that you have with new hires during their onboarding process. Thirty-day reviews can be completed through the use of an on-boarding evaluation form or an in-person interview, though it is most beneficial to complete it in-person.

In their first 30 days, new employees should be focused on learning the basics about the office, the company and job responsibilities. While you will touch on performance, the 30-day review is primarily a source for feedback about the onboarding process.

Why You Should Meet with Employees at the End of Their First Month

Conducting a 30-day review allows you to gauge how an employee is feeling in their new position. Additionally, 30-day reviews allow you to:

  • Review employee performance. They don’t have much experience on the job at this point, but it’s best to review performance early and address potential roadblocks or warning signs.
  • Gauge the effectiveness of your onboarding process. Gathering feedback from new hires can improve your onboarding process.
  • Understand what the employee thinks of the position and company. Early on in their tenure, you can get a feel for how the employee is enjoying their time with the company.
  • Assess employees goals. While they may not have thought about long-term goals, employees should have short-term goals when acclimating to their new role.

How to Conduct a 30-Day Review

The following steps can help you conduct an effective 30-day review with new hires.

1. Know What You Want to Get Out Of Your Review

You should have specific and measurable outcomes that you want the new hire to achieve by the 30-day mark. This doesn’t have to relate to their job responsibilities; the goals can be centered around a successful onboarding process.

2. Find a Good Meeting Place

Though the 30-day review is a less-formal review, it’s your first chance to check in with new hires. You want to make them feel valued, so the meeting should be held in a private environment. If you’re in the office, book a conference room or consider taking the employee out for lunch to conduct their 30-day review.

3. Keep the Conversation Open

While you’re directing the conversation and asking the questions, make sure that the employee feels comfortable to add any thoughts or provide a truthful answer. Being honestly curious and accepting of feedback will model that openness.

4. Record Their Responses

As you’ll be conducting 60- and 90-day reviews, you should record the employee’s responses so they are documented and able to be referenced in the future. Make sure that the employee is aware that you’ll be taking notes and why.

Other Tips

Here are a few tips to help you conduct the best review possible.

  • Create a 30-day review template. Creating a 30-day review template ensures that all employees are assessed equally and standardizes the feedback process.
  • Let employees know that a 30-day review is planned. By informing employees of their 30-day review early on, they can better prepare their goals and input.
  • Encourage employees. The 30-day review is still early in the onboarding process, so you want to encourage them, even if there are areas that they need to improve.

16 Questions to Ask During a 30-Day Review

The following types of questions can help you conduct an effective 30-day review with new hires.

General Questions

These questions help break the ice and provide a high-level overview of the employee’s first month.

  • How have your first 30 days and the onboarding process gone? Keeping it relaxed and non-specific, ask the employee to summarize their first 30 days on the job.
  • Do you have any specific feedback for me? Addressing any specific feedback or issues can help you identify areas of the onboarding process that can be improved.

Questions About the Position

Though employees haven’t spent much time on the job, you can ask preliminary questions about their experience.

  • How does the job compare to your expectations thus far? This question gives you an idea of whether the onboarding process for that specific role is in line with the responsibilities outlined in the job description.
  • What do you find challenging about your role? Employees that feel challenged are more likely to be driven to succeed in your organization. If they don’t feel challenged, you can work on ways to increase their job satisfaction through additional responsibilities.
  • What questions do you have about the position? Check to see if the employee has any initial questions that they don’t feel comfortable asking team members.
  • Are there any additional tools necessary to perform your job? If there are any tools that the employee feels they are lacking to be successful, you can make sure that they get those tools in order to better complete their responsibilities.
  • What areas of your expertise do you think could be better utilized? This question bounces off the challenge question and can help you identify areas where the employee can help your organization outside of their current role.

Questions About the Team

The employee’s team may not be overly involved in the first month with the company, but it’s important to ask questions to make sure they are feeling socially integrated and that you facilitate their needs.

  • Are you feeling welcomed by the team? If the employee isn’t feeling welcomed by the team, you can work directly with supervisors to ensure that the team goes above and beyond to help the new hire acclimate.
  • How has the team helped (or not) with your onboarding? This piece of feedback helps you identify areas that are working in your onboarding process.
  • Do you find it easy to communicate with your team? Employees may be timid in communicating with their team members in a group environment. The one-on-one setting of a 30-day review may help them address how they are feeling about their position on the team.

Questions About the Company

Asking questions about the company helps you identify whether your description of the company was accurate during recruiting and interviewing, and areas where you can adjust onboarding to better match the company culture.

  • Has the company met your expectations? This question provides insight into the accuracy of your company’s description within the job description and recruiting process.
  • What do you think about the company culture? If the employee has problems with the company culture, asking them to speak up in the 30-day review can make them feel valued.
  • Do you feel you have a good work-life balance? Making sure that the employee doesn’t feel overworked can help improve their chances of remaining with the company.

Questions About Goals

Planting the idea of goal setting early on makes sure that employees set short-term goals to make it through onboarding and start thinking about their longer-term goals.

  • Have you reached your 30-day goals (or, if you have one, completed the onboarding checklist)? This question assesses the employee’s initiative. Ideally, they should come into the meeting with set 30-day goals and be able to report on their pacing to goal.
  • What challenges have you met in your 30-day goals? Identifying challenges can help you tailor the onboarding process for employee success, and can also address poor habits or lack of knowledge or skills that are leading employees to struggle with their goals.
  • What are your 60- and 90-day goals? Make sure the employee is thinking ahead: prepare them for 60- and 90-day reviews.

Questions You’ve Asked Us About 30 Day Reviews

How can I improve our 30-day reviews?
You can improve your 30-day reviews by incorporating feedback from your employees through surveys and questionnaires. Additionally, you can use retention data to gather further insights into your 30-day review. If employees leave shortly after the 30-day review, you may want to consider revamping your process.
Does every employee need a 30-day review?
There are no legal obligations for 30-day reviews, so not every employee needs one. However, conducting 30-day reviews with all of your employees helps you better gauge the effectiveness of your onboarding process in all areas of the company, and can increase retention rates.
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