success factors applied to staff probation

I’ve had a thing about the potential of applying the success factors to staff probation. As indicated in a previous post, I’ve a growing soft spot for success factors. The aim of this post is to apply these to my new starters.

Firstly, what is the aim of staff probation?

The answer is many things, however, I’d suggest the importance of indicating if the new recruit has the skils, knowledge, attitude and motivation to succeed in the post, meet the job requirements (as outlined in the Job Description) and become an effective member of the team and contributing to the team visions and goals.

I’d also suggest the orientation tasks tend to map against the skills and knowledge criteria within the job description. These are because they are very tangible, and relatively easier to monitor performance against. However, the attitude and behavioural requirements are siggnificantly less tangible. Therefore, we could adopt the success factors framework to help quantify attitude type performance indicators. I’ve indentified a number of essential “self” and “others” success factors which I’m thinking are important to include in a probation period. This is a limited range (as probation is 6 months, and a key milestone is the mid probation report), while the FAQs at Newcastle suggest only 3-5 success factors. By the time of the mid probation report the recruit will need to evidence 1 or 2 points which support the success factor being achieved (again recommended practice at Newcastle). Note, essential is defined by Newcastle as … 

“The essential qualities should represent the minimum requirements without which a candidate simply would be unable to do the job properly. It therefore follows that if a candidate does not meet any one of the essential requirements of the post, they must be rejected”

So which one would I choose? As you’d expect I’d choose the same generic success factors for the two posts (although their job descriptions differ), and I’ll choose a success factor from each cluster. 

1. Looking to the future

  • Embracing change
    • comes forward with new ideas and concepts

2. Working Together

  • Team working
    • gets involved with team tasks

3. Inspiring others

  • commuicating
    • can put forward own view whilst listening and respecting the views and opinions of others

4. Taking responsibility

  • planning and organising
    • uses systems and tools to ensure records and audit trails are clear and up to date

The question for me is, this all looks great on paper but how will I actually implement this? Also, after 3 months will it actually measure / evidence what I want it to or will I be in a similar position as before w.r.t probation staff and not being clear enough on what is expected and evidencing it is being embedded within their practice. Well, there is only one way to find out 🙂

So, the nitty gritty is, I’ll contact the two new members of staff (part of the general catch up), provide the documentation from Newcastle, work through it with them, be very explicit on what is expected, and get them to use their blogs as an ongoing diary so they can use this within their evidence.

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