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
  • Provide probationary employees with the appropriate university job description and departmental job description, and let employees know of any changes in job duties
  • 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
  • Give probationary employees ongoing feedback and conduct periodic performance appraisals — learn more about conducting performance appraisals
  • If you determine that a probationary employee is not competent or is otherwise unqualified for their position, you and your department head should terminate the employment of the probationary employee — make sure to do this during the probationary employment period and follow the guidelines in the Handbook of Operating Procedures — Probationary Employees. Consult with your Strategic Workforce Solutions (SWS) representative as needed.
  • When employees successfully complete the probationary employment period, draft a letter to welcome them as regular employees of the university and give them the letter on the last working day of the probationary period

Managing Performance After Probationary Period

Continuously make an effort 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 — learn more about conducting performance appraisals
  • 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
  • Listen in order to understand people's needs and determine how best to meet those needs
  • Take a leadership role in creating a productive, creative environment where people strive for quality of service, fostering commitment for achieving goals, and setting an example for others to follow

Get Help Managing Performance

You can take advantage of services designed to help you manage change, resolve conflict, complete performance management forms, understand policies, and much more. Contact Strategic Workforce Solutions at 512-471-HRSC (4772) to request services to help you improve your performance management skills or get assistance handling specific workplace concerns.