The probationary period is a working test period of 12 months from the date of hire which is used to determine satisfactory job performance and attainment as a covered employee.
Staff employees who receive an overall rating of “successful” or better on their written performance evaluations (EPMS) at the end of the probationary period may be given permanent status. The probationary period may not be extended.
During the probationary period, the supervisor appraises the employee’s:
- ability to learn and perform job duties
- quality of work
- work habits
- other standards and expectations specific to the employee’s work situation
During the probationary period, the new employee needs as much support as possible. This is a very important time for the supervisor and the employee, so the supervisor should set aside plenty of time to:
- Provide the employee with a clear Position Description.
- Provide clear performance standards via an Employee Performance Management System (EPMS) Planning Stage so the employee understands what is expected and how they will be measured. EPMS is applicable to FTE staff only.
- Explain how and when the employee will be evaluated.
- Tell the employee in advance when their probationary period will be over and explain what it means to become a covered employee.
- Acquaint the employee with office procedures and practices.
- Provide a good systematic departmental orientation for the new employee.
- Provide follow-up sessions as often as necessary to help the new employee adjust to their new working environment.
- Show a continuing interest in the new employee. It's not enough to explain terms and conditions of employment and leave the employee to make it from there alone.
Employees in probationary status may have their employment terminated at any time, for any reason (with exceptions) with no right to appeal through the university’s employee grievance process or to the State Employee Grievance Committee.
Questions supervisors should consider before releasing an employee during the probationary period:
- Has the employee received an orientation to the unit and department?
- Has the employee received clear performance standards via an EPMS Planning Stage document?
- Has the employee had sufficient time to understand the job duties and demonstrate performance level?
- Has the less than satisfactory progress been discussed with the employee? Has it been documented?
- Has the employee had sufficient time to correct the deficiency? In the case of poor work habits, did the employee know that the behavior was unsatisfactory?
Supervisors should consult with Employee Relations prior to separating any staff employee.