In this part of our guide to successfully employing people we focus on those all important first few months of employment – the induction and the probationary period.

Your recruitment has been a huge success, you have the perfect new team member so now lets focus on their first few months of employment with you.

Remember your first day in a new job – nerve wracking to say the least huh!?!  What will you do to ensure your new recruit quickly feels at ease in their new work environment?

According to research, up to 25% of staff turnover occurs within the first two months of employment and the cost of losing an employee within the first year is estimated to be around three times their annual salary if you take into account recruitment time and cost, loss of knowledge, investment in training, reduction in workforce affecting output and disruption to the business.

This high turnover occurs when businesses don’t plan an effective induction programme (on-boarding process if you want to get all American about it!) so that new employees feel welcome and know:

  • how they fit in to the business
  • what is expected of them
  • what their role entails
  • who people are
  • the systems, rules and processes
  • their way around
  • where to get lunch and…
  • where to find a friendly face when they feel a bit lost!

Whilst it has no legal status, establishing a probationary period is useful as it sets expectations about the standards that should be achieved within the first few months and enables regular monitoring and review throughout that period, with the option to terminate employment without going through a disciplinary procedure if either party feel that things are not working out.

We’d recommend you start with either 3 or 6 months’ probation with an option to extend if your new employee is almost there and just needs a little longer to get fully up to speed. Probationary periods should always be included as a clause in an employee’s contract. Talking of which, next time we will run though your legal obligations as an employer.

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