In a workplace setting, probation is a status given to new employees of a company or business. This status allows a supervisor or other company manager to closely evaluate the progress and skills of the newly hired worker, determine appropriate assignments and monitor other aspects of the employee – such as how he/she interacts with co-workers, supervisors and/or customers.
A probationary period varies widely depending on the business, but usually lasts anywhere from 30 to 90 days. If the new employee shows promise and/or does well during the probationary time, he/she is usually removed from probationary status, and may be given a raise and/or promotion as well (in addition to other privileges, as defined by the business). Probation is usually defined in a company's
employee handbook, which is given to workers when they first begin a job.
The probationary period also allows an employer to terminate (i.e., fire) an employee who is determined not to be doing well at his/her job or otherwise deemed not suitable for a particular position. Some companies have an "at will" policy, which allows a company manager to terminate an employee at any point during the probationary period.
Some companies may place employees on probationary status, particularly if their performance is below a set standard or for disciplinary reasons. In this instance, the employee is usually given a period of time to either improve his/her performance or modify his/her behavior before more severe measures are used. Similarly,
students with unsatisfactory grades may also be placed on " academic probation" by their institution.
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