If you are a Probationary driver and your probation ends after you meet the criteria, you may be delighted.
If you are arrested, and are on probation seeing a Probation Officer, after your probationary period ends you may be delighted.
If you are an employee and your probation period ends do you jump for joy?
More times than not you probably don’t. It is usually a pretty anti-climactic event for most staff and most organisations.
It seems to me today’s probation period is often fairly underutilised and is most often used by an employer as a psychological insurance policy to get rid of an employee should he/she not be the appointment of their dreams.
But are a lot of companies overlooking a couple of important points about probation periods that may deserve greater attention?
Firstly, if you are not bound by an enterprise agreement it is generally OK these days to extend the traditional employment period from three months to six months in accordance with the Fair Work Act.
Secondly, why not make that probation period a greater part of your induction and on boarding process and celebrate its completion?
How many times have we seen an email circulating around the office that says “we are delighted to advise that John Henry has passed his probation period after doing some good work and learning our processes and values. We look forward to his continued employment and further contributions.” I’d wager to say we probably haven’t seen this sort of communication too often.
There may be some other tangible benefits to having a more structured approach to widening the induction program in line with the conclusion of the probation period. I have seen several studies as of late where there is some measurable reduction in turnover statistics over an extended period of time when more emphasis had been placed on the first six months.
Extending the time to assess whether you and the employee are the right fit, and possibly reducing future turnover in a tight job market are not bad things to achieve.