The provisional period: What it's all about
Clerical and service staff who are new to the University serve a 90-day period of provisional employment. This policy does not apply to employees who transfer from one University position to another. In addition, there is no provisional period policy for administrative/professional staff.
The provisional period is a time for supervisors and employees alike to determine if the position is the right fit for the employee. Supervisors should use the initial 90 days as a time to evaluate the employee's skills and abilities and to help new employees start their positions in a positive environment.
Supervisors should sit down with the new employee on his or her first day and set expectations for the position. Talk frequently with the new employee to make sure that the employee understands the expectations of the position. If performance issues arise, supervisors should not wait until the end of the provisional period to let the employee know he or she has not been successful.
While supervisors should meet regularly with their new employees, supervisors should have a more formal meeting at 30 days, 60 days, and just before the end of the 90 days to discuss the employee's job performance, as well as to provide an opportunity for the employee to provide input and ask questions. If the supervisor fails to address issues with the employee before the final day of the provisional period, then the employee automatically becomes a regular employee.
If the employee is having problems learning the job or with other aspects of the position, supervisors have the ability to make a one-time extension of the provisional period, adding up to 90 days. For example, if the supervisor extends the provisional period for 30 days, the supervisor cannot decide to extend the provisional period again for another 30 days.
Employees who are new to the University should not begin looking for other jobs until they have successfully completed their 90-day provisional period. Should extenuating circumstances arise, employees may possibly be allowed to look for another job. However, if they transfer before the end of the provisional period, they will be required to serve another 90-day provisional period in the new position.
If you have questions about the provisional period, or if you would like assistance in setting expectations with employees, please contact your Employee Relations consultant.
- Sharon Williams, manager and senior consultant
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LeadingEdition is an electronic newsletter for Purdue University supervisors. It is produced and distributed by Purdue University Human Resources four times annually. If you have questions, comments or suggestions relating to the newsletter, please call 49-41679 or email us. Thank you.