The first few months of employment are a crucial time for all parties. Indelible impressions are laid, habits formed, and successful, value-adding working relationships forged.
There’s a lot to take care of during this period, and one of the most crucial is the management and administering of probation.
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 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 for line managers to hold regular meetings during any probation period. Issues can be identified and dealt with, performance updates and guidance delivered. There should be no surprises, as with the performance management process, the employee should know exactly what’s happening and what to expect.
Where managers are juggling multiple new starters, managing this process effectively can become tricky, especially if meetings, updates and plans are being stored manually in a diary.
Or if a manager does a great job organising their probation plans, but stores information in an outlook calendar, problems arise where this needs to be handed over for whatever reason.
So, instead of manually diarising reminders to keep in touch with these employees, HR technology can automate the process, meetings, reminders and updates, pre-populated according to the employee’s start date.
Then, all managers need to do is tick a box to say they’re on target with meetings and HR can have peace of mind that the process is being followed 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.