You need to eliminate unfair discrimination in your workplace.
One way to do this is to consult the Code of Good Practice on the Integration of Employment Equity into Human Resource Policies and Practices when dealing with probationers.
The Practical Guide to Human Resources Management explains that the Code reminds you that probation is meant to provide a trial period for a new employee. You're given a chance to assess an employee's ability and skills to function in the position to which you have appointed him.
You'll use the probation period to decide whether or not to offer an employee a permanent position.
However, 'a probation period can either undermine or support an employee and it should be doing the latter,' says the Guide.
Your policies and procedures on handling probationers must ensure that all probationers are given a fair chance to prove themselves and to succeed.
Here are eight things you can do to ensure employees on probation have a fair chance to prove themselves
#1: Clearly set out the performance standards expected of the probationary employee.
#2: Make sure your managers understand they must treat everyone consistently and fairly.
#3: The probationer must be given regular performance reviews. Make sure both the employee and the manager know how often these reviews will take place and what form they'll take.
#4: Information used to make decisions on employees must be reviewed by an employee on probation. You might be making decisions based on wrong information – at least hear your employee out on the issue.
#5: If a designated employee asks for reasonable accommodation (such as the opportunity to learn a new computer programme and to be excused from performing a particular function for a limited period of time) during the probationary period then provide it, if at all possible.
#6: If you have an HR department, involve HR in dealing with probationers. Keep HR informed about issues concerning the probationer's performance.
#7: Keep records! You may even consider comparing how many employees from designated groups successfully complete probation as compared to non-designated employees. The answers you get may show a trend that you need to address. It may even show you that probationers reporting to certain managers consistently fail to succeed, in which case the problem may be the manager.
#8: If probationers don't succeed, conduct exit interviews to check whether or not there are barriers in the process or perceptions of unfair discrimination. This might help you identify where your problem areas are in regard to retention.
Remember, not giving probationers a fair chance to prove themselves may be considered unfair discrimination. So make sure you do the above mentioned to give them a fair chance.
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