The probationary period is a working test period of 12 months from the date of hire which is used to determine whether or not an employee is performing satisfactorily in the position. Employees who receive an overall rating of “successful” or better in their written performance evaluations (EPMS) at the end of the probationary period may be given permanent status. The probationary period may not be extended. Employees who do not perform satisfactorily during the probationary period will have their employment terminated.
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 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 you and the employee, so set aside plenty of time to:
- Provide the employee with a clear job description
- Provide clear performance standards so the employee understands what is expected and how they will be measured.
- Acquaint the employee with office procedures and practices.
- Provide a good systematic departmental orientation for the new employee.
- Explain how and when the employee will be evaluated.
- Provide follow-up sessions as often as necessary to help the new employee adjust to their new working environment.
- Tell the employee in advance when their probationary period will be over and explain what it means to become a covered employee.
- 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 the exception of unlawful discrimination) and without explanation, with no right to appeal through the university’s employee grievance process or to the State Employee Grievance Committee.
Questions to ask yourself before you release an employee during the probationary period:
- Has the employee received an orientation to the unit and department?
- Has the employee received clear performance standards?
- 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 totally unsatisfactory?
Supervisors should consult with Employee Relations prior to terminating a probationary employee.