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Extending Employee Probation Period

"An employee must understand why his probation is being extended. There must be a very clear communication coming from a unified front – the MD and HR. A choice to extend probationary period is a teachable moment that could tremendously benefit the employee but if not communicated humanely, that moment is lost".

The above is exactly how it should be done. We need to be human with our approaches in HR. Too many HR supposedly professionals are too "plastic". Serving letters, following the process without some concern for the employees general needs.

Sometimes, what we think is the problem is actually not the problem. Usually it isn't from experience. A HR professional cannot afford to be too process driven. Yes process is very key i.e there should be a clear-cut guide and protocols and support structures as well as data when making decisions but you should also be investigative.

To achieve the above, if you haven't built the below skills, it is important that we learn them accordingly. Two skills:
1. Communication skills.
2. Emotional intelligence.
We as HR professionals need this on the job.

You have to be able to communicate with employees effectively especially with issues around performance, warnings, probation, defaults and expectations etc.

You also have to be able to develop a thick skin to follow the process and to also be able to do away with petty things in order to stay objective. One of the ways to be very objective is to rely on data a lot. Relying on data however should not make us less human.

Let the employee know why the probation is being extended. Assume that he would be badly hurt and use words like;
"The organization has decided to extend your probation in order to give you more time".

"Are there any resources or tools that you think would make your job easier".
"We recognize some of these skill gaps and we want to work with you to build them".
Don't lose an employee due to process when all you needed was just a little more push and better communication skills.

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