Despite the recruitment process being both long and thorough, it is not yet a perfect art. It is easy for someone to vastly oversell themselves in an interview (companies too for that matter!) and once employed reveal a number of unexpected hitches, such as lack of punctuality, underperforming or not being a fit for the company culture.

Thankfully, probation periods and reviews are a move to resolve this issue. Within this probation framework, you are able to tell whether your new starter truly has the skillset that they promised and likewise the new starter can assess if this is the right role and company for them. For those who do make it, probation reviews will provide valuable insight into performance, training needs, and give timely feedback so that your new employee understands the expectations of their new role and company.

What is a probation review?

This is a meeting in which you and your new starter properly assess their progress in the new role, whether they have achieved any targets set, completed training requirements and received the support needed to be successful.

What’s a probation period?

It is essentially a trial period for new employees, which usually last three or six months, and in some circumstances can be extended by a further 3 months. Within the probation period they may be exempt from certain benefits that other workers may have, such as company sick pay.  Additionally, if a new employee doesn’t complete the probation period successfully, they may be let go with a short notice period.  Making it very useful to companies if a new starter is quickly proving to be ineffective.

What can happen in a probation review? 

There are three possible outcomes on completion of a probation period:

  • Dismissal; if their performance has been highly unsatisfactory you will have no choice but to let them go.  This must be confirmed in writing and providing the statutory notice period and pay.
  • Extend the probationary period; if there have been any criteria that the employee has not met, or you believe they need a bit more time before reaching the standard your company expects, you will be able to extend their probation for an additional 3 months. Of course, this must be confirmed in writing with the reason, the new probation period end date, review dates, and a set of goals for the new starter to strive towards.
  • Success! They have completed this period as expected and confirmation of this should be confirmed in writing.

Who do probation reviews benefit? 

Probation reviews can be hugely helpful to both employer and new employee. They are a vital method in motivating your workers to work on their performance by having a direct line of communication, and it ensures that they do not get lost and overwhelmed when starting a new job.  We all know that it can be very nerve-wracking!  It can be encouraging to make sure that both of you are on the same page and working towards the same goals. From an employer’s perspective, it is crucial to understand the strengths and weaknesses of all your workers, and these reviews can help lay them out in black and white, and give constructive feedback based upon this.

There are a variety of issues that may be brought up within a review, and it’s the perfect chance to have an open discussion; whether it’s your new starters’ concerns or yours. For example, perhaps they mesh perfectly with the workplace culture and are enjoying their job, however the commute is simply too much. Potentially this could be resolved looking at whether flexible working hours or occasionally working from home is a viable option. Or, if you feel as though they’re underperforming a clear set of goals and appropriate support can be outlined so they have a target to strive towards.

Submit an enquiry via our online form today to find out how we can help your business, or call 07771 642 182 to book a 30 minute consultation with Karen directly.

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