300-16
PROBATION PERIOD

Department: HUMAN RESOURCES & RISK MANAGEMENT

Effective Date:    1/1/97

Supersedes:    1/1/94

Staff Contact:    B. Nelson Glode

Approved by:    Jesse Tanner

1.0 PURPOSE:

To establish policy and procedure for the probation period for new employees and current employees who are promoted.

2.0 ORGANIZATIONS AFFECTED:

All departments/divisions.

3.0 REFERENCES:

Current Labor Agreements

Civil Service Rules & Regulations

Policy & Procedure 300-41, Salary Plan Administration

Policy & Procedure 300-46, At Will Employment

4.0 POLICY:

New employees to the city are placed on probation status for a period of twelve (12) months (or as specified by Civil Service Rules for employees under its jurisdiction). During this time they are considered “At Will” employees and serve at the pleasure of the employer. Current employees who are promoted or transferred shall serve a probationary period for six (6) months. With regard to a transferred employee, if the supervisor remains the same and if this person is familiar with the employee’s capability and suitability for the new work, the probationary period may be waived if so requested upon consultation with the Human Resources & Risk Management Administrator.

4.1    The probation period is part of the selection process and must be treated as an additional selection examination. It is designed to give the employee time to learn the position responsibilities and give the supervisor time to evaluate the employee’s potential and performance. If the employee is unable to perform the work, the person must be terminated as early as possible. Early termination saves the city a time and dollar investment and saves the employee possible embarrassment and frustration.

4.2    During the probation period, the employee is formally evaluated over the six or twelve month period (see 6.1.1) and provided written documentation of progress. These evaluations provide the necessary justification for retention of the person as a regular employee or termination for failure to meet the job standards and requirements.

4.3    Under unusual circumstances, the probationary period may be extended. This is done only after an evaluation of the situation, the employee’s abilities, and demonstrated potential. Probation extension is done only in consultation with the Human Resources & Risk Management Administrator.

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5.0 DEFINITIONS:

Not applicable.

6.0 PROCEDURES:

6.1    Performance Counseling and Appraisal - Supervisor’s Responsibility

6.1.1    During the first day of the employee being in the job, time should be scheduled to sit down with the employee to explain the evaluation procedure and that his/her work will be formally evaluated over the probationary period (3, 6 , 9 and 11.5 months for new employees, and 2, 4 and 5.5 months for promoted or transferred employees). Police Department employees shall be evaluated at two month intervals to meet certain accreditation standards.

6.1.2    Encourage the employee to ask questions; provide clear and complete answers. Show by example.

6.1.3    Maintain a “Performance Log” on the employee and discuss any comments you make on the form with the employee, who then initials the form indicating that discussion has taken place.

6.1.4    At the end of each evaluation period, completely fill out the rating sheet using the Performance Log, making a specific appointment to discuss the rating with the employee in a private interview.

6.1.5    During the interview, explain the ratings as clearly as possible, giving examples where necessary. Elicit feedback from the employee. Work together on setting performance goals for the next evaluation period and record them under the “Performance Development” portion of the evaluation form.

6.1.6    Allow the employee some time alone so that he/she can go over the rating sheet, fill out the “Employee Comments” portion, and sign the form.

6.1.6.1    In the event the employee disagrees with the ratings, and at the employee’s request, a meeting will be held with the employee, the rater, and the reviewer (rater’s supervisor). The purpose of this meeting is to discuss and resolve areas of disagreement. A record of this meeting and action taken will be attached to the original rating sheet and forwarded to the Human Resources & Risk Management Department. A copy should be provided to the employee.

6.1.7    Repeat these procedures for the remaining evaluations.

6.1.8    If there is a question as to whether the employee can successfully complete the probation period, this should be noted on the form, and contact must be made with the Human Resources & Risk Management Department to discuss the problems. If the employee successfully completes the probation period, he/she should be informed that he/she is now considered as a regular employee.