The probation period
The probation period is usually in place for when a new employee starts with a company and usually last from between three and six months. If the employer is not satisfied with the employee in this time-frame, they are able to terminate the contract of employment. Although not a legal requirement, they are extremely important as they allow the employer to monitor the employee’s ability to carry-out the job and their overall suitability to the company and the role.
Contract of employment
The employee should be notified of their probation period within their contract of employment. They should also be properly briefed on their performance and behaviour expectations in-line with company values.
On starting they should be made aware of how the whole process works and how they will be assessed. They must therefore understand that permanent employment will depend on how they have performed during the first three or six months.
How technology can support the process
It’s imperative to hold regular meetings during any probation period to ensure that you are effectively managing the process, in so far as if you have any issues with how the employee is performing you are making them aware throughout rather than right at the end of the process. There should be no surprises, as with the performance management process, the employee should know exactly what to expect.
If for example you’re managing a large department, there will inevitably be a number of new starters at any one time. So of course if you hold all you HR information manually it’s hard to keep track of exactly who’s on probation and when they’re due their manager review. So, instead of manually diarising reminders to keep in touch with these employees an HR solution will send you reminders as it will be pre-populated with dates according to the employee’s start date.
Then, as a manager you can tick a box to say you’re on target with your meetings and you have the peace of mind that you’re following the process correctly. This means that when it comes to the probation end date, as mentioned previously, there will be no surprises and the whole process has, been made as easy as possible for both parties.
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