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How effectively do you manage the probation period of new employees?

February 28, 2018

 

In my work as an HR consultant within the health, disability and NFP sectors, one of the biggest challenges that I see senior managers continually face is the lack of proactive performance management, especially of new staff during the probation period.  As leaders and managers, we need to develop processes that increase the possibility of new employees succeeding in their roles.

 

The Australian disability and aged care sectors are facing additional workforce challenges, as it is required to grow by about 2% annually in order to meet future demand1. Over the past several years, there has been a growing trend in the disability and aged care system, with an increasing number of individuals wishing to receive care in their own homes. This has created a greater demand for support workers in home care, hospital in the home, allied health home visits and other similar care options in a community setting.

 

If members of your support team work “out of the office” or outside of your main facility for the majority of the time, how do you gauge their success? Here are some important questions to consider:

 

How do your supervisors/managers give and receive feedback with your staff?
 

How do your supervisors/managers give and receive feedback with your clients?
 

How does your organisation measure the client feedback? Are you accounting for mood and personality?
 

What are the organisational processes and expectations for performance management, ongoing supervision and communications?
 

What is the process when you receive a complaint or grievance?

 

The probation period of employment is vital. For managers to get it right, they must set clear expectations and key result areas from day one. These must align with both the position description and the organisational goals and values. Most importantly, with open, honest communication, the manager must be able sit down regularly with staff to communicate and receive feedback on what is happening. For a staff member on probation, managers should meet with them at least monthly during the probation period to assess whether this person fits the culture, fits the values and is capable of fulfilling their responsibilities.

 

Open, honest dialogue with staff is equally important for managers to be able notice emerging issues or unusual behaviours before they escalate into a formal complaint or grievance.

 

Do you want to be more effective in engaging your workforce and achieving the organisations performance goals?

 

WorkPlacePLUS can support your leadership team with effective workforce performance models and KPI’s. We also provide professional training programs for your managers and supervisors, addressing organisational leadership, performance management, legal compliance, communication strategies and empowering your staff to succeed.

 

For more information, please contact us today.

 

1. Future of Australia's aged care sector workforce, 20 June 2017 © Commonwealth of Australia 2017 ISBN 978-1-76010-580-8

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