Probationary periods are a valuable tool for employers to assess the skills, work ethic, and fit of new hires. However, managing employees on probation can be challenging, as it requires a delicate balance of support, guidance, and feedback. In this blog post, we will explore our 5 tips for successful probation management.
1.Set Clear Expectations
One of the most important steps in managing employees on probation is to set clear expectations. This means communicating your expectations for their job duties, performance goals, and behaviour. Make sure to provide employees with a job description, performance criteria, and a timeline for probation. By doing so, you’ll ensure that both you and your employee are on the same page about what’s expected.
2. Provide Regular Feedback
During the probationary period, it is crucial to provide employees with ongoing feedback regarding their performance. This entails acknowledging their strengths and offering constructive criticism for areas that require improvement. Promptly addressing areas that need adjustment is important in leadership, as highlighted by Lieutenant-General David Morrison who coined the phrase “the standard you walk past is the standard you accept.” Establishing an open feedback culture will allow employees to learn the standard required and outline the necessary steps for success in their role.
3. Create a Supportive Environment
Managing employees on probation can be stressful for both you and youremployees. Therefore, it’s essential to create a supportive environment that fosters open communication and trust. Make sure that your employee feels comfortable coming to you with any questions or concerns they may have. Schedule regular check-in meetings, either daily or weekly, to work through these issues, discuss the employee’s progress and celebrate their successes. These meetings can also be an opportunity for the employee to provide their feedback, thoughts and ideas on the day-to-day operations of the organisation.
Additionally, create opportunities for employees to build relationships with their colleagues, which can help them to feel more connected to the team.
4. Offer Training and Development
During the probationary period, it’s important to provide employees with opportunities for training and development. This can help them to build their skills, improve their performance, and feel more confident in their role. Additionally, investing in employee development shows your commitment to their success and can improve employee retention.
5. Make a Decision
At the end of the probationary period, it’s essential to make a decision on whether is the right fit for the role and the organisation. Make sure to evaluate the employee based on the performance criteria you established at the beginning of the probationary period. If you decide to terminate the employee, be clear about the reasons for termination and provide feedback on areas for improvement.
Remember, probationary periods are an opportunity for both the employee and the employer to assess fit and make informed decisions about future employment, so it’s as much about you as it is about them.
By following these 5 tips, you will be well on your way to implementing a successful probation management process.