Why?

Hiring people is a hard, but having a new person in a team is not a work done. It’s important to monitor how people perform during probation period and share feedback with them. Personally, I like to ask the whole team, with a bunch of open questions, which allows me to look from higher altitude on the new hire. My point of view might be biased but checking what others think, I can fill blind spots.

Such questionnaire can support my decision over I want to continue to work with this person, or maybe we (as a team) saw too many red flags and it’s time to part ways here. Firing people is never a pleasant task. It’s draining and leaves you often feeling guilty. But end of Probation Period is a moment that both you and a candidate expect some kind of verification and summarization. It’s important to take this opportunity and pause for a moment, collect the feedback and share it. This allows you to clearly say, what worked, what didn’t work. It’s the best moment to point the expected direction and ensure you’re both aligned on the target.

There are many questions that might be asked, but I rather try to keep a list of questions short.

What to ask the team for?

I prefer open questions. They allow to express more concerns or share custom perspective. Marek thanks for this awesome list!

  1. Do you have any story with NAME HERE that you would like to share? (does not have to be work-related)
  2. How likely are you to recommend working with NAME HERE to a friend, colleague or manager?
    • Number 1-10 or descriptive text field
  3. What NAME HERE is good at and why? (name 1 thing)
  4. What NAME HERE should stop doing and why? (name 1 thing)
  5. What NAME HERE should start doing and why? (name 1 thing)
  6. Is there anything more that you want to share anonymously with NAME HERE?

Info

You can use Google Forms or M$ Forms to prepare the survey. Putting questions in a mail will work too.

Did you fill the questionnaire? No? Then do it!

How to prepare for the discussion

We know “Why?”, so let think about “What?”. Conducting an effective employee evaluation at the end of the probationary period can contribute to a better understanding of their strengths, areas for improvement, and defining further development directions.

Below are some questions you can use when gathering feedback or evaluating your judgement:

  1. Overall impression

    • What is your overall impression after the employee’s probationary period?
    • Have you noticed any positive aspects of their work?
  2. Strengths

    • In which areas did the employee excel?
    • Have you observed any unique skills that bring value to the team?
  3. Areas for improvement

    • Are there any areas where the employee can further develop?
    • Are there specific skills that need improvement?
  4. Team collaboration

    • How does the employee integrate with the team?
    • Do they communicate effectively and actively collaborate with other team members?
  5. Engagement and motivation

    • How would you rate the employee’s engagement in tasks?
    • Have you noticed any signs of motivation to grow within the company?
  6. Initiative and independence

    • Does the employee take initiative and work independently, or do they require constant supervision?
  7. Development suggestions

    • What suggestions do you have regarding the employee’s further development?
    • Do you see the need for additional training and development?
  8. Team goals

    • How has the employee contributed to achieving the team’s common goals?
    • Do you see them as a valuable team member in the longer term?
  9. Communication

    • How do you assess the employee’s communication? Is it clear and understandable?
    • Are they open in sharing information and receptive to others’ opinions?
  10. Summary

    • Are there any additional comments you would like to share about the employee’s performance?

You should answer those questions as part of preparation to the meeting. Think about positive surprises and note them. Avoid criticism! You’re giving feedback both positive and constructive (some call it negative 😜) for the better future. Name your expectations in specific situations.

I’ve got the answers! Now what?

Usually it’s enough to sort data from the team, clear repetitions, polish phrases. Now, plan 1-on-1 talk with new hire and explain what you did and why. Yes, be honest about it.

  1. Ask if she/he want to hear the answers.
    • Start with positive feedback.
    • Ask if she/he agrees, what she/he thinks about it?
    • Listen!
  2. Ask if (s)he’s ready to listen constructive feedback too?
    • Ask if she/he agrees, what she/he thinks about it?
    • Listen!
  3. Share your decision on the continuation of the contract.
    • If it’s positive, ask if person agrees with it and wants to continue collaboration.
    • If you have concerns, share them and maybe propose another time limited contract.
    • If you want to terminate the contract, share it - with compassion. This person, might be under heavy stress so be gentle and supportive.
      • If she/he asks why? You have the list.

Warning

If it happen, that you have to terminate the contract it shouldn’t be your first talk on this matter with new hire. Red lights should be seen early enough to give you time to correct them BEFORE final discussion.

Fingers crossed and good luck! You can do it.