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How to Write a 90-Day Performance Review

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Performance reviews are an effective tool for providing appropriate feedback to employees. Often done in a yearly format, 90-day performance reviews can offer a more consistent way to help employees expand their skills and focus on their performance on a regular basis. Done properly, performance reviews can serve as a great motivator, and encourage employee development.

Develop parameters for reviews. Depending on the industry, performance review parameters will differ. Performance reviews, in general, should address statistical measures required to perform the job efficiently, such as calls per hour handled in a call center environment or accuracy rates in financial positions.

Take notes. Keeping an ongoing dialogue with your staff will ensure you have enough accurate information to complete a 90-day performance review. Keep a record, by taking notes, of achievements or disciplinary issues with each employee. Notes can be taken in a notebook or on the back of the review forms for easy reference.

Include areas that deserve praise. While compliance with statistical measures is pretty straightforward, other successes may not be. Each employee should have an area in which praise can be offered. Starting off with praise can help ease the transition to criticism.

Include areas where improvement is possible or necessary. The purpose of the 90-day performance review is to provide an environment to allow for constructive input. Providing a blanket response is unacceptable, according to Jon Picoult, founder of Watermark Consulting. Reviews should be specifically targeted to each employee to ensure future development and success.

Provide coaching. Coaching has the ability to help the employee turn any areas of improvement into areas of success. Provide short-term ideas, for immediate results, and long-term ideas which can help nurture the employee and create advancement opportunities. This should be done at the time of review as it helps to promote communication and understanding between the employee and management. Don't tell an employee they have a problem without offering a solution.


Nicole Long is a freelance writer based in Cincinnati, Ohio. With experience in management and customer service, business is a primary focus of her writing. Long also has education and experience in the fields of sports medicine, first aid and coaching. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from the University of Cincinnati.

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