Having a probation period is something you should consider every time you hire a new employee. This article will show you some tips for an effective probation period process.

What is a probation period?
A probation period is an employment testing period. The employee gets hired if the trial period is completed successfully.

At the start of employment, during the probationary period – the new employee might be dismissed from certain contractual obligations.

Using a probation period permits you to double-check if the applicant is a suitable match for your business. Likewise, the employee may appreciate the opportunity to confirm that they made the proper decision in taking the new job.

Employees that are on a probation period can be fired without the usual warning periods.

How long are most probation periods?

Most probation periods are between three to six months, but the time can differ due to each country or company’s policies.

Generally, whether or not a probationary term exists for a US employee depends on the agreement reached between the company and the employee. However, companies usually have a probation period of 90 days.

The United Kingdom has no set time limit for a probationary term. Many conventional probation periods are three months. The probation period might be six months for senior posts, and for contract employees, it can be as little as one month.

In the European Union, probationary periods are different than in countries such as the United States or Canada, where a company’s probation period might range from 3 to 6 months. In general, probationary periods in Europe are shorter than those in North America. However, notice periods in Europe are often lengthier.

All probation period conditions, including rules on when and how probation periods may be extended, must be specified in your employment contracts. If you do not notify an employee that their trial term has been extended, they will feel they are now a full-time, permanent employee and will demand more from you.

Employees may be perplexed during probation periods if there is a communication breakdown. We recommend that you notify employees whether or not their probation was successful at least one week before the conclusion of their probation period.

What are the benefits of a period of probation for a company?

  • Allows both the employer and the employee to determine whether or not the working relationship is a suitable match.
  • It will define behavioral expectations for employees and helps them get off to a good start.
  • Allows employees to ensure they hired the right individual; if it’s not the case, it’s simple to fire them.
  • It lets the employer analyze new hirelings and prevent keeping new hires who cannot meet the requirements of the job.
  • It will save your business resources (money & time).

7 Tips for an Effective Probation Period

7 Tips for an Effective Probation Period

Next, we’ll detail some tips that should help you and the employee with a good probation experience. Here are some of the ‘probation period rules’ that should improve effectiveness:

Regular meetings & checks

We suggest that every trial employee should have regular meetings with their manager. These sessions should focus on analyzing performance and progress over the previous week and setting goals for the upcoming week/month. These meetings can be every week, or every month, depending on your management style and the job complexity.

During these meetings, the employee could raise any concerns and questions, while the manager could help and guide him.

Communication

Workplace culture, morale, and even productivity can all be influenced by effective communication with employees. Leaders use communication to keep in touch with their teams and ensure their work environment is based on trust.

Employee engagement is directly related to effective employee communication. When workers obtain the information they need to execute their tasks efficiently while also having the option to provide feedback, they feel more connected, both to the firm and to one another, heard, and productive, which leads to them becoming more involved in their daily obligations.

Communication is essential, especially at the beginning of a working relationship. Be prepared to communicate a lot with your new employees, even if it’s work-related or not.

Be prepared
As a manager, you should always keep a close eye on employees on probation. Have a clear list of their tasks, and prepare to review and discuss their work.

Schedule your regular probationary meetings ahead. Having a straightforward process for the meetings should help.
When meeting with the employee to do a check-up, prepare in advance. Analyze the employee’s work ahead of the meeting to see where they excel and where they need to improve.
Constantly solve problems
Managers should utilize review meetings to investigate concerns and discuss them with the employee.

It should be a two-way meeting in which the management and employee jointly analyze problems, including the underlying causes, and devise a plan of action to remedy them.

Keep records
We suggest using a review form for every probationary meeting you’ll have with your trial employees. This form may be used to document goals and track performance.

This record will remind both parties of the concerns that must be addressed at the next review meeting. It can also motivate them to follow through on the agreed-upon items after the discussion.

Feedback

Feedback is essential at the beginning of a working relationship.
Managers should always give feedback to new employees and regularly plan how to improve. Frequent feedback will ensure that the employee does not become entrenched in a harmful habit and understands what is expected of them.

The comments should be exact. Managers should avoid generalizations by providing concrete examples of areas where employees need to improve their performance or alter their behavior.

Prepare for the end of new hire probation period.

After the end of the probation, there are usually three outcomes:
the employee passes and becomes a permanent member of your team
the employee isn’t a good match, and you decide to let them go
the new hireling needs more time; in this case, you can extend their probation period
If you determine that the employee has not achieved the level of performance necessary for the function, you have the option of dismissing them.

Enlivy Editorial Team

The Enlivy Editorial Team consists of experts and professionals with years of experience building, managing, and growing a business.

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