Employee Engagement During The Probation Period

Time to engage




4 May 2021

I think I’ve passed my probation period as I haven’t been fired yet” or “I have a few concerns around this or that aspect of my job, should I wait for my 3-month probation review meeting to flag them as I don’t want to be seen to be causing trouble?

Probation periods are in place so that both parties can assess whether it is going to be a suitable and successful match between employee and employer. Like any new relationship it is about engagement; learning how the other works, what makes them tick and how they can both get the best out of each other, this can only be achieved by building a positive rapport and relationship from the onset.   

Therefore, regular communication, progress updates and setting expectations should be a key factor throughout a probation period (and thereafter, but that’s another discussion) and the probation review meeting itself just a formality to confirm successful completion, extend duration or amicably part ways.    

By not adequately communicating, supporting or building rapport with new employee’s employers are in danger of creating a lack of employee engagement and productivity as well as losing an employee who hasn’t been able to truly showcase their expertise, abilities and value to the employer.

Below are some key points around ensuring new employees feel supported and engaged throughout their probation periods: 

  • Remember the basics of good communication, find common ground, talk about things not related to work, get to know them, listen.
  • Be approachable, enable them to feel that they are in a safe environment to share their honest feedback on how they are settling in and to raise any concerns.
  • Understand what motivates them as individuals, what are their career development aspirations. 
  • Ensure onboarding schedules are robust and provide the required level of support and training for them to effectively carry out their role.   
  • Set clear objectives of required expectations, use ‘SMART‘ (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic (or relevant) and timely. Review these regularly  
  • Share feedback in a positive, constructive manner that generates real change.
  • Regularly assess their training and support needs, do they require additional training?

Inevitably, there are always some employment relationships that end in divorce, for various reasons, but by adopting these best practices at least both parties can achieve an amicable parting of ways.    

Pink Giraffe deliver Talent acquisition and HR Services for Creative agencies across the South West. 

If your agency needs a review around it’s onboarding/probationary processes please email [email protected] for a free 45-minute HR review.



To make this site work properly, we sometimes place small data files called cookies on your device.
Find out more