A probation period is necessary as it gives both the employer and the new employee ample time to see if they are right for the job. It gives the employer a chance to evaluate the employee's skills, personality and performance in the role.
The best way to handle the probation period is to follow these pointers:
Basics of a successful probation process
1. Establish clear objectives
The new employee will need clear objectives for the job. Everything must be according to the job description which highlights their specific roles and responsibilities. Additionally, you may also like to highlight specifics of what is expected of them during the probation period and whether there are any goals on which they will be measured.
2. Training and mentoring
Employers should arrange mentoring and support to increase the employee's potential for success. The first few weeks can be challenging for the employee as they have a lot to learn.
Provide the employee the chance to shadow a senior employee doing the same role as it is a great way to learn. If there's any training needs, then schedule the sessions or courses early enough for the employee to benefit from them before the probation period ends.
The confirmation letter reveals that the new employee is performing at an acceptable level.
3. Performance review
The supervisor should set up regular meetings with the new employee. These meetings are for performance assessment and they allow both sides to provide feedback and identify any issues. Other employees can also provide feedback for the manager.
If there are problems, then they are best addressed once identified, to give the best shot for correction and to evade them growing into a larger issue.
4. Dismissing the employee during the probation period
If there are behavioural or misconduct problems that cannot be resolved, the employee has the right to dismiss the employee at any point during the probation period. The employer must follow their own contractual disciplinary procedure to ensure the employee is rightly dismissed and unable to claim unfair disimissal.
5. Probation period extension
If the employee has not been performing at an acceptable level by the end of the initial probation period, the employer can extend the employee's period. Granted, the employer must believe that there is potential for the employee to improve.
Make sure the employment contract includes this clause.
6. The final result
At the end of the probation period or the extension, the supervisor must assess the employee and let them know if they have passed or failed their probation period.
If the employee fails, the employer will terminate their employment. A full exit interview should be conducted to explain why the employee did not pass the probation period.
If the employee passes the probation period, then the employee is confirmed in the role and based on the employment contract, may also move over to a permanent contract or one with improved terms.
The new employee will be motivated to improve their work once you explain why the passed the probation period.
Confirming the appointment after a successful probation period
1. Draft a letter of a successful probation period
It is best practice to confirm with your employee that their employment will continue after the probation period. The letter should be given to the employee before the end of the probation period. You can also use the templates below.
2. A meeting with the employee
Meeting the employee face-to-face is a chance for the supervisor to:
- give feedback to the employee about their performance or conduct, and
- explain why the probation period was successful.
Step 3: Keep a copy of the confirmation letter
It's wise to save a copy of the letter given to the employee and document the meeting for your records.
Confirmation Letter Templates
Confirmation Letter Template 1
Confirmation Letter Template 2
Confirmation Letter Template 3
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