Idea in short

Whether you're a new starter or you've been put on probation for performance reasons, there are lots of things you can do to shine during your trial.

The probationary period serves for mutual learning and can help companies avoid missed occupations. Anyone who uses the probationary period properly can meet expectations and position themselves firmly in the company.

The application procedure has been successful and employment contract has been signed. As a rule, in the first few weeks or months, the probationary period follows. During this time, new employees must prove themselves, in order not to lose the job directly.

Mutual benefits

For most companies in Germany, it is common for a new employment relationship to begin with a probationary period. This is usually defined in the employment contract or in collective agreements. There is no statutory requirement for probation. However, the legislature has restricted the probationary period to a maximum of six months. In practice, a probationary period of three to six months has proven to be normal and meaningful. Within this period, employers have the opportunity to get a clear picture of the new employee and his / her abilities. However, the probationary period serves not only the employer, but also the employee. This can also use the probationary period to find out if the chosen position is actually the right one for him / her.

Tips for the probationary period

Within the probation period, new employees and their abilities are scrutinized by their colleagues and their superiors. Who knows what is important can better prepare for this period.

Teamwork

In a successful team, it is important to work collaboratively. A new employee should be able to join the team and start contributing to the collective goal. Disturbances caused by conflicts or restlessness are not welcome.

Willingness to learn

A new workplace is often a new challenge. Through willingness to learn and to balance the challenges, it is easier for employees to find themselves in new situations. Should one face unusual circumstance or special skill requirements, then one should take the initiative to acquire the missing skills and fill any knowledge gaps.

Communication

In order to work effectively in a team, communication is important. Excellent communication skills are, therefore, appreciated. This is especially true when dealing with customers or business partners.

Professional competence

The professional competence can be verified through degrees and certifications. However, a new employee should also be able to demonstrate this knowledge during working hours in a practical setting.

Absenteeism

Punctuality should be a basic trait. Unpunctuality or absenteeism carries the risk of the employee losing his / her job within the probationary period.

Adaptability

There are predefined service routes in each company. New employees in particular should be particularly aware of this.

Lack of self-criticism

Errors are quite common in the early days. It is only important to properly deal with the mistakes and learn from them. It is important to be self-critical, especially during the first weeks, and accept the feedback from other colleagues or supervisors. A conversation with employees or supervisors can also help better assess the performance.

Summary

As an employee, you may feel a probationary period is all about you being on trial, and to an extent it is. But a probationary period cuts both ways; it’s about your employer getting to know you and you getting to know them. It’s in the interest of both parties to ensure a probationary period is a success. You: because (of course) you want a job, salary and a career. Them: because hiring people is expensive and time-consuming, because a reliable, competent employee is a valuable asset and because if you fail it potentially raises some difficult questions about their own recruitment and management processes.