How We Manage Probation Periods

Quick facts

  • The probation period serves as an evaluation tool for your employment at cubemos
  • The probation period is part of our feedback processes. Besides regular 1:1s for all employees,  FTEs will have a mid-probation period and an end of probation period review
  • The probation period for FTEs is 6 months, for interns and working students it’s usually a month, depending on the length of their contract

What is a probation period?

We see the probation period as a valuable tool to allow both cubemos and our employees to evaluate the great fit’ from the recruiting process. HRZone perfectly describes probation periods as a process “designed to give managers and employees a way to terminate the arrangement more easily should the employment not work out as expected”*.

As mentioned above, the article focuses on the formal process set in place for our people manager. Of course, it is also possible for our employees to go through the same process for themselves, to keep their supervisor in the loop on their well-being at cubemos.

Early indication - Regular 1:1 meetings

Starting during the first weeks, every employee (FTEs, as well as interns and working students) has weekly or bi-weekly meetings with their respective supervisor. During these 30 minute sessions topics such as performance or personal and professional development are discussed. If any issues already exist, the supervisor or the employee can already indicate that the employment will not be prolonged after the probation period. For example, an employee could indicate that he/she does not feel comfortable in their team or that their work is not what they had been promised. The 1:1 meetings are the perfect opportunity to talk about concerns (or about positive highlights) in an easy and relaxed setting.

Probation Review (or: Mid Probation Period Review)

Three months after the probation period, the supervisor is required to hold a probation period review. In preparation for the review, the following questions should answer our checklist.

General

  • How good was the performance of the employee in the past months?
  • How well could the employee integrate himself/herself into the team?
  • Why should this person continue working at cubemos?
  • Have you heard indications from other team members about the situation and performance?

No matter what the outcome is, we urge the supervisor to transparently talk to their employee. In case of an unsatisfactory performance, we suggest the following:

  • What measures have you taken to improve the situation?
  • Have you heard indications from other team members about the situation and performance?
  • Have you indicated that the contract might be terminated, if the situation does not increase significantly?

Final Probation Review

One month before the end of the probation period, a decision is made whether the probation period was successful and the contract should continue.  

In case of a satisfactory performance

If an employee’s performance is satisfactory, we suggest to openly discuss their performance in a feedback session and to celebrate your good work and collaboration!

In case of an unsatisfactory performance

  • What measures have you taken to improve the situation?
  • Has there been any changes to optimize the performance or process after the previous indication?
  • What are the next steps, when the review leads to a termination of the contract?
  • Schedule a feedback meeting to update the employee about their performance.
  • In case of termination, schedule the feedback with the People & Organization Team.

Why do we have such a structured process?

We value open and transparent communication and think that employees, as well as we as an employer, deserve honest feedback - positive as well as negative. Nobody is perfect and problems arise in every organization and in every team. Having a process in place that allows early indication of possible problems thus giving us the opportunity to react before a situation can get worse or make an employee feel uncomfortable.
Moreover, the process is a reminder to take time during our daily business to really work on employer-employee relationships and to include people outside of your team to guarantee an objective evaluation.