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ProbationAn increasing number of organisations in Pakistan place new employees on a ‘probation period’ which usually lasts between three and six months. During this time, managers assess new employees’ competency levels as they perform their tasks. If a new employee’s performance is satisfactory during this period, s/he usually becomes a permanent one.

Organisations usually have policies in place to ensure that the entire probation process is implemented in a way that ensures the employees have a fair chance to demonstrate their abilities. 

Employees should do the following to ensure that the probation period results in permanent employee status:

  • Understand and deliver. Employees should make sure that they understand what their job responsibilities, duties and roles are, and perform accordingly. They should seek clarifications if needed, in order to deliver the results that their line manager has outlined.
  • Display people skills. Focus on developing professional relationships with key management personnel, as well as colleagues. This is especially important because not only are employees’ technical skills assessed during the probation period, but also their ability to work with other people. 

Here is what managers should do during the probation period:

  • Establish goals and expectations. Explain procedures and practices that are followed at the organisation, provide clear job descriptions, set realistic short-term/long-term objectives and arrange training workshops if required.
  • Provide feedback. Schedule progress meetings with employees at regular intervals; meetings should have a clear cut agenda to avoid wasting time. During these meetings, managers should provide constructive feedback to employees regarding their performance, discuss the areas where the employee is excelling as well as those that can be improved.
  • Watch and listen. Monitor the employee’s performance closely; this can be done in several ways, including reviewing each assignment the employee completes thoroughly, and obtaining feedback from the employee’s co-workers about his/her performance and attitude.

– Mehreen Ahmed                                                                                                   The writer is a project coordinator at a multinational company. mehreen.ah@gmail.com 

First published in the ADBUZZZZ Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on February 16, 2014.