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  5. Probationary Periods for New Employees

A probationary period is a specified period of time, usually several months (a common timeframe is a 90-day probationary period, but you can make it as long or short as you want), during which a new employee is evaluated to determine if they are a good fit for the company and the position. Here are some benefits and considerations of using probationary periods for new employees:

Benefits:

  • Allows the employer to evaluate the new employee’s skills, work ethic, and compatibility with the company culture before making a long-term commitment.
  • Gives the new employee an opportunity to adjust to their new role and work environment.
  • Provides a clear framework for setting and measuring performance expectations.
  • Offers a legal mechanism for terminating an employee who is not meeting expectations without cause.

Considerations:

  • Probationary periods can create uncertainty and anxiety for the new employee, which can negatively impact their performance.
  • It requires a clear communication of expectations and regular feedback on performance to the employee.
  • Employers need to ensure that the probationary period is fair, objective and non-discriminatory.
  • The employer should have a clear process in place for evaluating the employee’s performance during the probationary period, and for providing feedback and coaching as needed.

It’s worth noting that the laws regarding probationary periods can vary depending on the location and industry, so it’s important to consult with legal counsel before implementing a probationary period policy.

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