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Probation period for employees is an outdated practice. How to deal with it?

Cheshta Sharma Cheshta Sharma | Aug 30, 2021
Data Lake Analytics for Enterprises

“My probation period ends next month, then I’ll be officially in!” You would hear this often when someone is serving his/her “probation period”, upon joining an organization. So, what does being “officially in” mean? What is the point of the hiring process if your job is still not guaranteed till probation ends?

In most companies, a probation period of 6 months is mandatory and usually a period when employers monitor the performance of their new employees.

Unfortunately, however, in most cases, the upper hand lies mostly with the employer.

If the employees take longer to perform to their potential, there is a convenient exit route!

And this is exactly the fear we wanted to eliminate completely from the minds of our Saviant members when they start their careers with us.

We wanted them to feel accepted and not judged, nor be in a state of uncertainty for first 6-12 months, like is the norm in industry.

We believe there should be no reason to hire someone and then, after six months realize it was a wrong choice.

If the employee is indeed a wrong fit for the job, the responsibility must be on the assessment of candidates during the hiring process.

And hence, we designed our hiring and evaluation framework to ensure we are hiring a person we deem right for our organization over long-term, not for a near-term project per se.

These frameworks also help candidates know precisely what they are signing up for and what we expect from them negating the need to assess them on probation.

Once our new members join Saviant, our Talent Development frameworks help them get assimilated in our culture with a clear path to growth.

Instead of expecting the new member to somehow scramble through the crucial initial months, we equip them with comprehensive guidelines for their role.

Armed with role clarity from day one, neither the Saviant members nor we need a probation period to test the waters.

We even have moved away from the traditional performance Review process, where managers “evaluate” employee-performance at the end of the year.

In our teams, individuals are treated as mature beings, who are self-responsible for tracking their own goals definition, performance monitoring and career development.

If they struggle to produce success at times, our Coaches, and the Coaching framework, help them hone their strengths, aligning their personal aspirations with the organization goals.

What we don’t believe in is putting them through the Hunger Games to prove their mettle after they have already met our hiring criteria.

And discontinuing the Probation Period, was a step forward creating an environment of trust and growth as we embrace the talents and limitations of Saviant members without bias.

Many of our members validated our perspectives. They claim to be more efficient right off the bat at Saviant, without the pressure of “passing” the probation period.

They knew we trusted them to explore their capabilities the moment we onboarded them!

Author's Bio

Cheshta Sharma

Cheshta Sharma
Talent Development Specialist | Saviant

Cheshta is an HR professional with a keen focus on making people successful. During her free time she enjoys traveling and exploring music.