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New EmployeesMay 1, 2017
The probation period an employee has in a new job, is as important for the employer to determine whether the employee will fit the organisation as it is for the employee to determine whether or not they want to work for the company.
However, while probation enables employers and employees to evaluate how the job is going there are some important things which should be considered during this period. The suggestions below do not change whether the probation period is three or six months, but a shorter probation period means decisions need to be made quicker.
5 tips for employers during probation
By ensuring employees are aware of what is expected they can better understand what they need to achieve to make it through the probationary period. This is not a complex process, and does not need to be formal, but employees should be aware of what they need to do to prove to the employer that they are the right suit for the job.
Flowing from clearly defined expectations, holding regular meetings is the most straightforward way to ensure the expectations are understood and the employee is on target. There is no need for formalities or any structured approach, a conversation over a coffee can be a good meeting option, but meetings can help the employee feel supported and can address areas where the employee might not be meeting expectations.
Whether or not the employee is retained after probation is a difficult question but a decision in advance of the final day of probation is vital. One approach can be to hold a meeting with the employee one month before the end of their probation to discuss the decision. This one month buffer gives the employee time to consider their financial situation and allows for employers to consider the impact on their business activities as well as recruitment.
Employees are protected from adverse action, discrimination and breaches of contract from day one. As such, terminating the employment of a probationary employee is not without legal risk. It is best to avoid making promises that indicate to the employee that they are likely to continue in the position as this may make it more difficult to defend a claim in the event that an employer chooses to terminate that employee’s employment.
Probationary periods are effective in determining how well a potential employee is going to suit the role, the type of work, and the organisation itself. Providing meaningful work will give the best indication possible to the employer of how well the employee is going to fit the role and carry out the tasks on a daily basis.