Effective employee probation periods: how to successfully manage new hires
Employee probation periods are a common and careful way that many employers test their new hires. They are especially relevant when on-boarding remote employees as they encourage open and frequent communication.
What is an employee probation period?
Probation periods can last anywhere between three and twelve months. During this time you the employer assess the skills of your new hire, identify room for improvement and see if they are a good fit for your company. Meanwhile the employee can judge whether the job is right for them.
How to successfully manage employee probation periods
Set out objectives
People always work better when they know what is expected of them. As soon as your new employee starts work they should be told how to succeed. This not only includes role-specific targets but daily quotas, company values and attendance requirements.
Now that you’ve set out what you expect of your new employee, you need to keep them informed. Weekly or bi-weekly meetings are a great idea. You and your new hire will be able to mutually assess any problems on a regular basis and set new targets.
During your meetings make sure that you’re giving good feedback. This means organising your thoughts beforehand and staying concise, clear and on-topic.
Make sure that you don’t neglect to mention the areas your new employee is thriving in, too. You can always provide examples and tips to your new team member to make their life a little easier.
Set the right tone
By keeping your meetings clear you encourage open communication. Probation period meetings are supposed to be a two-way thing, setting you up for a healthy working future. This means exploring problems with your new hire to encourage a collaborative workplace environment.
New hires, especially juniors, can sometimes feel anxious about bringing up any issues they are facing. As their supervisor, practicing some empathy and asking questions can help you get the best out of your young employees.
Keep it on record
Sending a follow-up email after every probation period meeting is a great way to keep your new hires on track. Every time they see it in their inbox they will be inspired to smash their goals. You can also refer back to these at the end of the probationary period to assess the overall success rate.
Probation periods can end in three ways: dismissal, extension or success.
In the worst possible case, you will be dismissing your recent hire. This should only occur if there are unresolvable conduct or behavioural issues and has to be done the correct way. Terminating someone’s employment is never a happy time, so be careful that you’re not stepping on any toes. Conducting an exit interview is a good way to end on a sweeter note.
Probation periods can also be extended to allow the employee more time to improve.
If your new hire has impressed you with their work, their probation period will have been a success. All you will need to do is move them to their permanent contract.
If you’re looking for your next successful hire, you’ve come to the right place. We know that you’ll be happy with your DigitalGrads hire because we train our candidates ourselves. If you’re looking for qualified, adaptable juniors to improve your workplace, get in touch today.