The Two-Way Probation Period – An Intelligent Disobedience Approach

Posted on August 9, 2021

It’s common and expected…when an employee joins a company, they serve a probationary period where performance is closely monitored. The intent, of course, is to ensure the new hire will properly fit into the company’s expectations for the role and whether they fit into their team. But what about expanding the idea of probation to ensure the company is a proper fit for the employee? Here is the rationale that supports this non-traditional approach.

It sets expectations with your new shiny employee. You have a new employee that performs appropriately, but they won’t stay with you because your company isn’t meeting their expectations. Does this situation sound familiar to you? The costs of recruitment and employee education are wasted when the employee walks out the door. Face the facts – your company is on probation in the eyes of your new employee. Talk about, negotiate, document, and track the expectations your new hire has for your company, and you are more likely to keep that new employee for a longer tenure.

It encourages authenticity and fully engaged employees. Discussing two-way probationary expectations allows your new employee to share their ideas for assignments, innovations, or team roles that you might otherwise overlook. You can get to know your employee better, sooner. It shows interest in their unique experiences and hopes for the role and supports a culture of continuous improvement, driven by the skills and perspectives new employees bring into your organization.

It demonstrates genuine support for diversity and inclusion. Displaying genuine diversity and inclusion means encouraging new ideas, supporting those ideas, and including them in the way you deliver outcomes in your business. The two-way probation concept allows you to establish those expectations with your new employees early, so you understand their unique and diverse perspectives and can embrace diversity in a very visible way.

It demonstrates compassion for abilities, your mission, and individuals. Compassion means “to suffer with.” Rather than just recognize the emotions and being sympathetic it is a willingness to engage in change that expands the abilities of your organization, the business mission your organization serves, and support what growth means to each of your employees as individuals.

Want to promote your corporate culture as being positive, and employee-focused? Show it – from the very start of your employee’s tenure with you – and deploy a two-way probation process. This takes your intake process from recruiting for a “culture fit” to recruiting for “culture add.”