Onboarding New Employees: The Unseen Power of Probation Reviews

Oct 13, 2023 | Performance Management Discussion

new employee being greeted for probation review

Starting a new job is a blend of excitement and uncertainty. For new starters, it’s the beginning of a new chapter, filled with the promise of growth and opportunities. For organisations, it’s an infusion of fresh talent poised to contribute to the collective goals.

However, the journey from a newbie to a fully integrated team member is a delicate process, heavily hinged on effective performance assessments during the probation period. That’s where probation reviews swoop in as an indispensable part of this journey. Buy, they often come with a set of challenges that can hamper the smooth transition of new employees.

In this post, we’ll unfold the essence of probation reviews, the common hurdles organisations face, and introduce you to a new solution that makes this process as smooth as a well-oiled machine – PerformanceHub’s interim probation reviews. These less formal check-ins during the probation period focus on different aspects of onboarding, making sure that the new recruits are progressing well and integrating smoothly into the company’s culture. As a human resources professional, we’re sure you’ll find this super useful.


The Essence of Probation Reviews

The probation period is a litmus test, both for the new starters and the organisation. It’s a time to assess the fit, to calibrate expectations, and to set the foundation for a fruitful working relationship.

Here’s why probation reviews are the linchpin in this phase:

Insightful Feedback:

Providing constructive feedback is like handing over a roadmap to success. It helps new starters understand their strengths, acknowledge areas that need honing, and align themselves better with the organisational ethos. It’s about creating a dialogue that propels them towards continual improvement.

Performance Calibration:

Every job role comes with a set of expectations. Probation reviews are a chance to measure the performance of new starters against these benchmarks. It’s about understanding where they stand and setting the right trajectory for their growth within the organisation.

Boosts Morale and Engagement:

Acknowledgement is a powerful motivator. When new starters know where they stand and what’s expected of them, it instills a sense of belonging and engagement. It’s about making them feel valued and part of the larger mission from the get-go.

Early Intervention:

A stitch in time saves nine, so goes the adage. If there are performance or behavioural issues, addressing them early on prevents minor hiccups from snowballing into significant problems. It’s about fostering a culture of openness and proactive problem-solving.



Common Hurdles in Conducting Probation Reviews

No process is devoid of challenges, even if it is clearly defined in the employee handbook. Probation periods are no exception. Organisations often stumble upon a few common hurdles that can hinder the effectiveness of a probationary period. This not only affects employee performance, but can land you in legal hot water. Let’s skim through them:

Inconsistency in Assessment:

Different managers, different styles. The lack of a standardised approach can lead to inconsistencies in how probation reviews are conducted across the board. This disparity can sow seeds of unfairness and dissatisfaction among the new starters.

Insufficient Preparation:

A well-prepared review is a fruitful one. However, sometimes, the rush of daily tasks leaves managers or the HR team unprepared for the review. This lack of preparation can mean missed opportunities to address crucial issues or provide constructive feedback.

Lack of Clear Objectives:

Clear objectives are the compass that guides the new starters through their probation period. Even if they start with generic objectives straight out of the job description. However, vague or poorly communicated objectives can lead to misalignment and confusion, blurring the road to success. Often this leaves employees feeling lost and abandoned.

Fear of Confrontation:

Addressing performance or behavioural issues is no easy feat. It requires a balance of honesty and tact, something that might be daunting for some managers. This fear of confrontation can let problems linger, unaddressed, and fester over time.

Time Constraints:

Time is of the essence, and in a fast-paced work environment, carving out adequate time for a thorough review can be a tall order. This often results in rushed reviews that barely scratch the surface of the new starter’s performance and potential.


The PerformanceHub Solution

In the realm of probation reviews, PerformanceHub emerges as a beacon of structure and consistency. It’s not just about the formal review at the end of the probation period; it’s about the journey. With PerformanceHub, organisations can configure interim probation reviews, offering a more nuanced and continual evaluation of the new starter’s performance and alignment with the organisational culture. Leading to a better onboarding experience and improved employee satisfaction.

Configurable Interim Reviews:

Interim reviews are like checkpoints along the onboarding journey. PerformanceHub allows for these reviews to be tailored to focus on different aspects of onboarding. Whether it’s understanding the company culture, aligning with team objectives, or mastering job-specific skills, these interim reviews provide a structured platform for feedback and alignment.

Early Insights:

These less formal check-ins provide early insights into how well the new starter is integrating into their role and the team. It’s about catching misalignments early on and setting the right course, ensuring a smoother transition for both the new starter and the team.

Fostering Communication:

Effective communication is the cornerstone of successful onboarding. Interim reviews foster an environment of open dialogue, where feedback flows freely, and expectations are continually calibrated.


The Impact of Interim Reviews

Interim reviews are more than just a touchpoint; they are an ongoing dialogue that paves the way for successful onboarding. Let’s delve into the ripple effects of these reviews orchestrated through PerformanceHub:

Continuous Feedback:

Feedback is not a one-off event but a continuous process. Interim reviews provide a platform for regular feedback, making course correction a proactive rather than a reactive measure. It’s about building a culture of continual growth and learning.

Better Preparedness:

With regular check-ins, managers are better prepared to address the new starter’s progress and challenges. It’s a chance to dive deeper into the nuances of their performance and provide more targeted support.

Building Trust and Relationship:

Establishing trust and a solid working relationship early on is crucial. The informal nature of interim reviews fosters a conducive environment for open communication, building a foundation of trust between the new starter and the manager.

Smoother Transition:

The journey from a new starter to a proficient team member becomes smoother with interim reviews. They ease the assimilation process, ensuring that the new starters are well-aligned with the organisational goals and culture.



The probation period is a crucial phase, a stepping stone towards a fruitful tenure within the organisation. The hurdles in conducting effective probation reviews are real, but with the right tools, they are not insurmountable. PerformanceHub stands as a solution, transforming the probation review process into a structured, consistent, and insightful exercise. The addition of configurable interim reviews is a game changer, ensuring a smoother onboarding journey for every new starter.

With PerformanceHub, it’s about making every step of the onboarding journey count. It’s about ensuring that the new starters are not just onboard, but are well on their way to becoming valuable contributors to the organisational success.


FAQ Section

Q: Can PerformanceHub be tailored to fit our organisation’s unique review process?

A: Absolutely! PerformanceHub is highly configurable to match your organisation’s specific review protocols, be it for probation reviews or other performance assessment processes.

Q: How does PerformanceHub facilitate better communication during the probation period?

A: PerformanceHub fosters an environment of open communication through its structured review processes, including the configurable interim reviews. It ensures that feedback is timely, constructive, and actionable, paving the way for successful onboarding.

Q: What support is available to help us transition to PerformanceHub for our review processes?

A: We provide comprehensive support to ensure a seamless transition to PerformanceHub. From initial setup to training and ongoing support, we’re here to ensure your review processes run smoothly.

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