5 ways to make a probation period work for you and your employee

The probation period allows you as an employer to evaluate how well an employee performs in the actual work environment and assess their suitability for the role you have hired them for. It provides you with an opportunity to observe their skills, work ethic, adaptability, and overall fit within the team and your company culture.

It’s important to use this time effectively not only for the business, but for the new employee to ensure you are both suited to each other going forward.

1. Clear Expectations and Goals

You need to clearly communicate the expectations and goals for the probation period to your employee from the very beginning. Outline the specific performance objectives, key responsibilities, and any specific milestones or targets they need to achieve. This clarity from you helps the employee understand what is expected of them and plan going forward on how they can pass the probation period.

2. Regular Feedback and Communication

Keep the communication open during this time, establish a system of regular feedback in a comfortable environment. You can provide constructive feedback on their performance, highlighting areas of strength and areas for improvement. You should also schedule periodic check-ins or performance reviews to discuss progress, address any of your concerns, and offer guidance. This ongoing dialogue helps the employee stay informed about their performance and allows them to change, if needed.

3. Training and Development Opportunities

You should always offer training and development opportunities to support the employee’s growth during the probation period. No one will walk into a new business and instantly know everything, so it’s great to provide additional training. Identify any skill gaps or areas for improvement and provide resources, workshops, or mentoring to help them acquire the necessary skills. This investment in their development also demonstrates your commitment to their success and facilitates their professional growth.

4. Supportive Work Environment

Ensure you have a supportive work environment where the employee feels comfortable seeking guidance, asking questions, and sharing concerns. Always encourage open communication and establish a culture that values teamwork, collaboration, and learning. When employees feel supported and included, they are more likely to perform at their best and engage in their work – and that’s what you want.

5. Performance Assessment and Decision-Making

You need to conduct a comprehensive performance assessment at the end of the probation period, taking into account the agreed-upon goals and objectives. Evaluate the employee’s performance against the set criteria and consider their overall fit within the organisation and the team. Use this assessment as a basis for making an informed decision regarding their continued employment, promotion, or any necessary adjustments.

Remember that the probation period is an opportunity for both you and your employee to assess their suitability for the role and the organisation. By implementing these strategies, you can create a supportive and constructive environment that helps employees succeed while providing you with the information needed to make an informed decision at the end of the probationary period.

How we can make life easier for you and your employee in the probationary period

Nine2five is the perfect tool for scheduling feedback sessions and training, setting goals, and making the onboarding process as smooth as it can be.

Want to find out more? Book a demo of Nine2five here.

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