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Do's and don'ts during the probation period


by Sellick Partnership | 17 November 2015

If you've recently started a new role you may be subject to a probation period by the employer. The probation period is a mutually agreed upon duration of time, typically between 1-6 months, in which your assessed in line with targeted performance levels.

Probation periods work both ways. For the employer and employee it allows you to terminate your contract of employment without having to abide by the usual lengthy notice period. Generally this is a time in which lots of invaluable support and training is provided to allow the candidate to develop and meet the expectations of the role and should be seen as a benefit rather than something to be feared.

So what are the do's and don'ts of the probationary period?;

Do's during the probation period:

  • Ensure you have a thorough understanding of the job responsibilities and are aware of the daily tasks you will be required to undertake
  • Sit down with your line manager to discuss the expectations set from the company and the role and get it approved or in writing
  • Go in there with an understanding of the company/organisation - their values, mission and vision. Be aware of the internal structure, do you research and show your commercial awareness
  • Spend time getting to know your customer/client base, these are the ones you will forge long term relationships with and get to know your team. Be yourself and be open & honest
  • Ensure you are actively listening and engaging on topic
  • Don't be afraid to ask for help - it's better to ask questions in the early stage  
  • Take responsibility - if you do make any errors or mistakes then hold your hands up - people will appreciate your honesty
  • Keep track/a diary of achievements you make in this probationary period
  • Work hard and settle into a style of working which suits you and your team
  • Put the hours in, get in the office early and don't be the first one out the door. During this period the extra effort will be appreciated and remembered in the future.
  • Avoid any conflict and getting involved in office politics

Don'ts during the probation period:

  • Do not take holidays during the period unless it is absolutely necessary
  • Don't turn up late and leave early
  • Don't go over on your lunch break or take excessive breaks throughout the day
  • Don't get involved in any conflict with customers/clients/stakeholders/team members
  • Don't gossip or talk too much on irrelevant topics
  • Don't come into work with a bad attitude it effects those around you
  • Don't lie or cheat

These points will not guarantee you pass your probationary period but they will certainly help you along the way. If you need any advice then please don't hesitate to contact me - 0161 834 1642 or kbeal@sellickpartnership.co.uk