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Top tips on how to conduct a successful end of probation meeting

Probationary periods give the employer time to ensure they have recruited the right person for the role, and it also allows the employee to settle in to the job, company and surroundings and decide if they too, feel it is the right fit for them. Taking the time to look back on the recruit’s progress during their probationary period will allow you to come to an informed decision about their future with the organisation.

Preparation is key to any successful meeting, but more so for a probationary review. Both the employee and manager should have had time to prepare and reflect on their performance, challenges, and successes during their first few months with the organisation. A probationary review is heavily focused on reflection, and without the time to do this beforehand, the review meeting can seem unproductive.

Here’s our top tips on how to hold a successful probationary review meeting:

  • Explain why the meeting is taking place. Beginning the meeting by explaining its purpose will set the tone. Tell the employee that you are reviewing their performance and conduct during the probationary period and reassure them that it is a two-way conversation where they are welcomed to respond to your thoughts and suggestions, as well as provide their own.
  • Provide feedback. With the preparation you have made, provide the employee with feedback on the topics we have discussed.
  • Be specific and give examples. Providing feedback is only constructive when you can evidence how they have or have not met expectations. Communicate with them in an honest and direct manner as opposed to sounding accusatory.
  • Explore problems and solutions. Despite whether the problems have arisen from line management or the individual themselves, use this time to explore solutions and clarify procedures and what is expected of the employee.
  • Encourage open dialogue. Allowing the employee to also provide feedback and respond to your observations will encourage a free-flowing and organic conversation that will be productive. Giving the employee time to discuss points from the probationary form will show you have also done your preparation and value their opinion.
  • Agree an action plan. Objective setting should be a collaborative approach. Agreeing what works best for both individuals and in line with organisational goals will help construct achievable and necessary goals.

Here at HR Star, we can support you through the probationary period and assist in reviews if you would like the support.

Get in touch with us on 01242 500557 or drop us an email at [email protected].


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