Recruitment in the Workplace
It is unfortunately common for some employers to have their new recruits leave within the first weeks of employment and the reason for this to be related to individuals feeling disconnected with the company, or their position within it. Although a key time to ensure a new employee receives a warm welcome to the workplace, and settles in well, is during the probation period. It is entirely an employer’s decision as to how a probationary period is conducted, as there is no statutory framework for this. Therefore some important, and common, steps for managers to take during a probationary period are set out below.
1. Review meetings
Conducting review meetings with new staff to discuss their progression, and any assistance they may require, will often allow staff to feel engaged and valued. This is due to engaging with the concerned individual and demonstrating an interest in their work. In addition by holding a review meeting it shall highlight any issues which the employee may have, and consequently their suitability for the role. If employers fail to hold review meetings this can often have an adverse effect, such as disengaged staff, under performance, etc.
2. Provide feedback
It is important for managers to utilise the probationary period to supply new employees with positive and constructive feedback, as this will ensure employee’s become familiar with the correct way to carrying out their duties, alongside managers expectations. However in order for managers feedback to be helpful to new employees the information given should be clear and precise to the issue being addressed. Where possible managers should provide examples of an employee’s performance to highlight any issues, or good performance.
Managers should set the probationary period tone from the outset, although should ensure this encompasses a sense of support to employees. Managers making clear how they shall support staff, and have some tolerance with the time they may take getting to grips with the company’s operations, shall establish that you are a supportive employer – which is a value that employees usually appreciate greatly and perform well as a result.
It is more likely for an employee to successful pass their probationary period if they work in an environment where matters are communicated well. Thus it is important to ensure: any training is delivered well; employees have opportunities to ask questions; and issues can be discussed with ease. New employees will usually be anxious to ask questions, carry out new tasks, etc., hence vital managers create a positive working environment where work related discussions can take place freely.
Having a robust probationary process in place, and taking an active approach when going through the steps of an employee’s probationary period, can often assist staff retention. It is important to remember the steps taken and guidance given during a probationary period should reflect the company’s ways of working, as this will ensure new employees become accustomed with this.