Process-Driven Probationary Reviews

Nick Pye |


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How many of us have what we call interim probationary reviews, where you would wish to formally review progress on how a new colleague is getting on, how they’re settling in and how they’re measuring up against those first few assignments or job role objectives?

We believe that providing system capability, driven by any clients’ own desires on how to conduct probationary review processes, is an absolute must if we’re to have far more effective probation meetings with our employees.

So, let’s start by agreeing that we should all adopt the following 8 top tips, aimed at people managers on how to approach and conduct Probationary Reviews, as follows:

  1. Conduct Regular Meetings
  2. Be Prepared
  3. Provide Feedback
  4. Explore Problems
  5. Set the Correct Tone
  6. Encourage an Open Dialogue
  7. Agree an Action Plan
  8. Make a Record of Progress and Outcomes

Verdant Leisure, an organisation with 200+ employees and spread over 8 locations throughout the UK, commissioned a new piece of Youmanage development work, which was to create the functionality, as described above, allowing clients to configure their own interim probation review processes, provide the necessary guidance and ensure that there is a consistent methodology throughout the organisation as to how probationary review periods and meetings are delivered.

In a forthcoming Youmanage product release, you will have the ability to create as many Probation Review Processes as you require and have the ability to define your own stages within each of them. So, as examples, you may have Employees with a 3 month review period, where you wish to meet with them every month, or maybe a Manager with a 6 month review period, where you wish to sit down with them every 6 weeks.

Documentation can be uploaded against each review stage, where users will be able to download any associated documentation as they carry out the review process.

And clients can upload their own guidance documentation making this available and visible for the users as they undertake a particular process, perhaps highlighting how the review should be conducted or setting the tone etc.

A number of new email notifications have been created and made available to clients for immediate use. As with all emails, the templates can be easily configured, wording changed, recipients selected and reminder periods set.

These new configurable probation process emails will be as follows:

  • Probation Stage Reminder
  • Probation Review Meeting - Manager
  • Probation Review Meeting - Employee

The Probation Process

When the Manager is reminded of a probation meeting:

  • They book the review meeting in Youmanage and this will in turn trigger the appropriate notifications
  • This screen will have the option to download a copy of any documents attached to the stage within the process
  • If there are multiple stages for the process, the previous stages will be shown with the option to view any uploaded documents held against each stage

Once the meeting has taken place:

  • Pass – proceed in the process, unless it's the final stage then they will be taken to the letter stage
  • Fail – take the Manager to the Record a Leaver screen
  • Extend – only applicable if the last stage in the process, or there have been no stages defined and allow the Manager to enter an Extended Date

Finally, a new option has been added, allowing the Manager and HR user (with the correct Permissions) to view the current and historic Probation Review Processes and all of the associated documents/notes held against each stage.

For more information about the configurable Youmanage framework and HR software platform, please request a free online demo or take out a 30-day free trial.

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Nick has more than 25 years of leadership experience, where he has held a variety of executive positions spanning marketing, business development, HR product strategy and has been CEO of Youmanage since 2010. Nick acquired the Youmanage business in 2010 and led the renewed vision and go-to-market definition of the Youmanage platform for its official re-launch in September 2013. With significant and continued product development, he continues to steer Youmanage as an industry leading cloud HR software provider. Work aside, Nick retains his huge enthusiasm for music in both trumpet and bagpipe playing!