How to manage remote employees on probation period
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How to manage remote employees on probation period

When you're hiring remote workers, you won't be able to walk up to people to see what they are doing. Therefore, assessing a new team member during the probation period is a real challenge. Managers try hard to answer the question of how to supervise a person effectively.

To ensure you run the probation period thoughtfully, check out the tips below:

  • Set up an evaluation plan

Draft a plan for employee evaluation and outline key performance criteria. Then explain tothem your expectations.

  • Communicate clearly from the first day 

Explain the rules for the probation period and set up clear communication with the necessary tools. However, don't go overboard with micromanaging.

  • React to employee performance

Don’t wait until the final probation review meeting to evaluate the worker’s progress. Be open to discussing the situation during the probation period, whether it’s disappointing or promising.

Now, let’s paint a clear picture of what each step implies.

Employee Evaluation During Probation Period

Team leads tend to open the evaluation plan at the end of an employee’s probation period. However, such a checklist can serve you well at the beginning of the trial period. 

By telling the most valuable traits of this position to your employee, you give him or her benchmarks to align with. That will help him or her to perform at their best. 

Let's boil down several components of a typical evaluation plan:

  • Attendance
  • The initiative, speed of learning
  • Dependability, accountability
  • Quality of work, accuracy
  • Quantity of work
  • Relations with others
  • Adequate skills for the position

In brief, defining what behavior is acceptable will pay you off. First, you promote clarity in the team. Secondly, you encourage employees to be transparent and act in the same way.

Clear Communication During Probationary Period

As a manager, try to consistently communicate with your employees on probation, shedding light on important details. Meanwhile, don’t confuse transparent dialogue with micromanagement. 

Bombarding new employees with calls and emails actually deters them from being proactive and productive at work, as Gartner warns. Moreover, in the long term, micromanagement results in higher attrition. Instead, you can ensure smooth team interaction with helpful tools. 

In the variety of project management tools you can choose one with a clean design — just make sure it’s easy to use, so your team members can navigate workflow and correspondence quickly and easily.

Along with that, set flexible interaction norms that work best for your team. For example, if your remote workers live in different time zones, instead of regular video stand-up meetings at a fixed time, teammates can write daily stand-up reports asynchronously. Thus, they don’t have to wait till late at night for the team call. That’s why an uncomfortable meeting schedule may influence the overall impression of you as an employer.

After managing these issues, you can move on with assessing your talent. Be ready to face both successful and poor performance.

Dealing with Poor Performance

Underperformance can be a concern. If an employee doesn’t keep up while working remotely, the issue can’t be ignored.

Here are some steps to take when you notice a worker failing the probation period:

  • Finding the root cause 

If an employee is not completing their work on time, this could be due to a lack of understanding of what needs to be done. Ask him or her what obstacles they experience.

  • Explaining why you expect specific things 

To help the employee understand their role in the company's goals and objectives, consider explaining how their position fits into the overall scheme of things within your organization or department. 

  • Providing training or resources 

If you find that they’re lacking specific skills or knowledge, then they may need additional training. It could also mean that they don't have the proper tools to complete the job. Read this to learn how to upskill your workers.

  • Extending the probation period

The basic length of a probation period may not be enough to assess a new worker. Employers might opt for the longest probation period due to performance issues. However, the right to extend probation must be clearly set out in the contract prior to the start of this period.

To delve deeper into the topic, don’t shy away from easy tips. Let’s say no to procrastination and welcome action, even baby steps. To ease your way, we compiled an article about 4 tips to improve performance management for remote workers.

At the same time, you can face the situation when your new hire outperforms. Let’s explore what you can do here. 

Rewarding Excellent Performance

When a new starter exceeds expectations, it’s a great chance to encourage him or her to carry on this way. Moreover, you should keep in mind that the probation period is a reciprocal process. Your new employee also evaluates you.

There are many ways to recognize excellent performance. Some of these include:

  • Written recognition 

A couple of words might seem to be worthless. But don’t rush to stick to this bias. Nine out of ten HRs are convinced that recognition in general makes a difference and inclines employees to stay. So you can gradually adopt a recognition program by saying some good words in an email or on a LinkedIn post.

  • Promotions 

Your company can have promotions every year or twice as most do. Then consider giving more frequent promotions to people who excel during their probation period. This will show them that their diligent work is appreciated and will encourage them to continue performing at such an exceptional level.

  • Bonuses 

While not everyone likes bonuses because they often feel like they aren’t being paid enough anyway, some companies offer substantial bonuses for successful performance over time or during special projects or events (like new product launches). If possible, give out bonus checks along with regular paychecks so employees can enjoy them immediately rather than wait until payday comes around again!

Final Words

A probation period is deemed to be tricky, as you have to keep an eye on a remote hire. Which strategy from today’s post are you going to try first?


Still uncertain of finding cool remote applicants? 

Learn how to do it with Juggl.

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