Wondering if your company is OKR ready?

Preparing New Employees To Be Successful In The Probation Period And Beyond

16 July, 2022
5 mins

First impressions are often cited as a critical factor in business. Similarly, the first few weeks of a new employee’s employment are critical in establishing the tone for the rest of the relationship between the employer and the employee. 

Employee probation is a term used in various countries to describe these early stages of employment. In the “probationary period,” managers will carefully analyze a new hire’s performance and determine if they want to continue working with them. You can think of it as a limited kind of at-will employment that is used to determine whether the employee will be a good fit for the organization in the long run. 

Preparing New Employees To Be Successful
Source: Pexels

When a new employee joins a company, putting them through a probationary term is standard practice. This provides the firm a chance to see if they made the correct decision in hiring the new employee, and it also offers the new hire a chance to settle in and determine if the company is the appropriate fit for them. As long as the employer is reasonable, there are no rules dictating the length of a probationary period. The probation review takes place after the end of the probationary period, which is typically between three and six months.

The ideal way to set expectations with new hires:

1. The probationary phase and beyond expectations are laid out in detail.

2. A list of the firm’s fundamental principles and how they are required to conduct themselves as a company representative.

3. When interacting with customers, these are the requirements they must meet.

4. Any more education or training they would need to be successful in their position.

5. What to do if you have a problem with your performance.

6. Probationary review sessions and what they include will be laid out for them.

7. It’s a good idea to double-check with the employee after this preliminary stage is complete to ensure that everything is understood and that expectations are expressed and understood clearly.

1. Keeping Them on Track

Arrange up a series of official review sessions during the probationary period, and you may want to set the timings at:

a. One Month

b. A period of three months

c. Six months.

In the meanwhile, regular, real-time input is highly recommended. Despite this, these more formal assessments allow one to check in on the pulse. Before the meeting, they should follow a predetermined agenda, including a list of points to be discussed and any notes or insights to be noted. Remembering the initial expectations that were set at the outset is an excellent approach to let them know if they are meeting them, exceeding them, or if there is an opportunity for growth.

When an employee is having difficulty performing, you can step in and offer them instant help and direction rather than waiting for a formal assessment. As a result, the employee will have the time to grow and show a long-term improvement in their performance.

In this case, the following structure would be helpful to follow:

a. Begin by highlighting and reiterating the employee’s qualities and situations where they are working well.

b. Approach the employee openly and honestly about the areas in which they fall short. Documentary proof is preferable when possible, as it eliminates the possibility of confusion or disagreement.

c. Give your employee a chance to answer, as there may be other circumstances at play at the exact moment.

d. Discuss and come to an understanding of what’s causing the problems or stumbling blocks. It is more probable that your employee will accept your recommendations for improvement if they are made in tandem with you.

e. Please do whatever you can to help them overcome their challenges. Possibly they need additional instruction, a mentor, or a teammate to assist them.

f. Consensus-building is key to a successful probationary term, so make sure your employee understands the expected amount of growth and how it’s tied to their success there.

e. At this point in the employee’s probationary period, you must let them know that if they don’t perform up to expectations by the time of their probationary review, you may have no choice but to let them go.

f. All of these formal reviews should be recorded in a pms for future reference and to track the employee’s progress throughout the year.

2. Ending of the Probationary Period

Line managers (or HR team members) and new employees alike will require time to reflect on their first few months at work before conducting a final probationary review.

There should be enough time for all parties to document and prepare for a probationary review, which is largely a time for reflection.

A fantastic end-of-probation evaluation can be achieved by following these five steps:

a. Describe the meeting’s goals

Explaining the meeting’s objective can help get everyone on the same page and create a welcoming atmosphere. Your employee’s performance and conduct during the probationary term will be evaluated. Reassure your employee that the evaluation is designed to be a two-way conversation and that their comments on your views, suggestions, and recommendations are highly desired. Please encourage them to weigh in with their own opinions as well.

b. Share your thoughts

Preparing the documents as advised above, use them to give the employee input on the topics specified. The SBI (Situation – Behavior – Impact) paradigm can be used to structure feedback.

c. Consider any potential challenges and remedies

Use this time to find and agree on solutions, regardless of who is responsible for the problem. If necessary, you may also want to ensure that employees understand their responsibilities and the company’s expectations.

d. Maintain an atmosphere of open communication

To create a good conversation, leaving enough opportunity for the employee to respond to your observations and give their own input is essential.

e. Decide on a course of action

The process of deciding on their subsequent actions should be a team effort. Your new employee will be able to get behind feasible and required goals if you find a good balance between their needs and those of the organization.

It was previously noted that a performance management system might be used to track the lifecycle of your employees and alert them about any issues that may need to be addressed. Additionally, it can serve as a helpful reference and aid in maintaining organizational standards by comparing employee performance to the company’s mission, goals, and objectives. 

For more assistance regarding pms and performance management, make sure to contact us today!