The Importance of the Probation

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Employers have an obligation to manage employees in compliance with employment legislation. This means treating them fairly and ensuring they receive all the appropriate documentation and support whilst in employment. This is especially true when recruiting a new employee to join a business. Probation is a status given to new employees of a company and is termed as the probationary period. This status allows a supervisor or other company manager to closely evaluate the progress and skills of the newly hired worker, determine appropriate assignments and monitor other aspects of the employee – such as how they interact with co-workers, supervisors or customers. By reviewing their progress in regular meetings, managers are able to assess whether the employee is performing well or is underperforming. If the employee is performing well then the employer has an opportunity to offer praise to the employee and confirm their satisfaction with the progress, subsequently confirming to the employee that they have indeed satisfactorily passed their probationary period. However, if the employee is not performing to the standards expected of the employer, then this meeting is an opportunity to address those standards and identify ways in which the employee can be supported, ie through further training in order to meet the expectations of the employer. If, after the additional support, there is not an appropriate improvement in the employee’s performance, then the employee can be dismissed through failure to pass the probationary period. Effective use of the probationary period by employers can ensure a motivated workforce that all have an effective understanding of the expectations placed on them in line with the needs of the business.

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