Managing Probationary Employees

As part of the selection and hiring process, all classified employees are considered probationary employees for their first 180 days of university employment. This 180-day timeframe allows you to assess whether probationary employees' skills, performance, and dependability fit their position and merit continuation of university employment.

You should take the following steps to manage the performance of probationary employees:

  • Review the University's policy on probationary employment with the employee, or make sure the policy is reviewed in your departmental orientation.
    • Discuss vacation time off.
      •  If this is the employee’s first state job or they worked at another state entity but for less than 180 consecutive days, the employee cannot use their vacation time off balances during the probationary period. If the employee separates from the university during the probationary period, they are not paid out for the unused vacation time off balances.
      • If the employee has already worked a consecutive 180 days at any state entity, they may use vacation time off during the probationary period and they would be paid out the accrual if they separated during the probationary period.
  • Provide probationary employees with the appropriate university job description and departmental job description, and let employees know of any changes in job duties. Be clear and deliberate in explaining the expectations of the job.
  • Inform probationary employees of performance and conduct standards, including the following:
    • Reporting to work in a regular and timely manner
    • Scheduled breaks or lunch periods
    • Reporting sick leave use and other absences
    • Dress codes/standards
    • Appropriate conduct
    • Conducting themselves in accordance with designated safety rules
    • Departmental work rules
  • Let employee know that a failure to meet expectations during the probationary period may lead to termination and that probationary terminations are effective the same day notice is given. However, commit that you will provide the probationary employee with ongoing feedback so they will know how they are doing in the job and that you will provide them with scheduled Probationary Performance Reviews
  • If you determine that a probationary employee is not competent or is otherwise unqualified for their position, consult with your SWS HR Consultant to determine the appropriate next steps.

For more specifics and guidance on successfully managing a probationary employee, please peruse the Probationary Period Guide.

To determine the end date of a new employee’s probationary period, use the following date calculator

Managing Performance After Probationary Period

Continue to manage your employees in a way that encourages them to perform to the best of their abilities, strive to improve and develop their skills, and collaborate well with their team members and coworkers.

Take the following steps to guide the performance of your employees:

  • Appropriately and effectively set expectations, monitor performance, provide feedback and document performance
  • Complete timely and periodic performance appraisals with direct reports
  • Follow through with feedback, coaching, training and development activities for individual growth and improved departmental performance
  • Develop clearly defined and realistic short-term and long-term objectives
  • Formulate strategies and plans to achieve objectives
  • Establish priorities and time frames for implementation
  • Delegate work appropriately and effectively to make efficient use of resources, and to develop the professional growth and skills of your direct reports
  • Make yourself available to direct reports, peers, customers and your fellow managers

Get Help Managing Performance

Contact Strategic Workforce Solutions at 512-475-7200 to request services to help you improve your performance management skills or get assistance handling specific workplace concerns.