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Probation extended but exceeded every objective

(264 Posts)
daimbar Tue 06-Dec-16 08:02:57

Line manager has decided to extend my 6 month probation for 3 months.

His reasoning is 'I was given an impossible task' as every other team member left within weeks of me starting and I was 'fire fighting' to cover off their work.

Despite this I have exceeded every objective I was given.

Should I challenge this with HR? Or just keep my head down and focus on impressing him in the next 3 months.

It's been a big blow to my confidence as I thought I was doing really well.

OllyBJolly Tue 06-Dec-16 09:16:37

Did you ask him to elaborate on why the impossible task led to extending probation? Did the task take you away from the core job?

I'd probably drop it - not a lot to be gained by going to HR 3 months into a new job. Probation is pretty meaningless anyway unless there is some benefit attached to passing e.g. eligibility for pension contributions or a pay rise.

sparechange Tue 06-Dec-16 09:35:17

I don't think I would necessarily go above his head to HR, but would put something in an email thanking him for his constructive feedback at your meeting, and for his praise in you exceeding your objectives during a very challenging time.
And saying you are very keen to spend the next 3 months ensuring you pass your probation, so would like to agree some key deliverables above and beyond the objectives you are already exceeding.
And acknowledging he has currently got a large workload, you are happy to work with HR to define/agree those deliverables if it makes life easier for him.

daimbar Tue 06-Dec-16 10:24:41

Thanks both.

It's meaningful to me to pass probation as i need to apply for a mortgage. It is difficult to get a good deal while still in probation.

I also don't want to face the possibility of being unemployed in 3 months.

I really like the job so will agree exact tasks to achieve to tick the probation boxes and suggest I work with HR.

Am I right to be upset or overreacting? It's really jiggled me

Paddington68 Tue 06-Dec-16 10:29:17

So you were given an 'impossible task' as everyone else left and you exceeded your objectives and your 'reward' is the financial insecurity of another three months' probation.

I'm concerned that everyone else left. It may be time to wake up and smell the coffee. Update your CV and get the hell out of there.

Bagina Tue 06-Dec-16 10:35:12

I would definitely tackle this. His justification doesn't make sense. I'd need to understand it first. It's a big deal to have a probation period extended and would normally suggest something negative had happened. Can you think of an ulterior motive? Was it so they didn't have to give you an increment? Do not leave it at this. There shouldn't be negative repercussions for exceeding targets.

Greenglassforvino Tue 06-Dec-16 10:42:09

Extending probation can mean a few things. They plan to fire you in 3 months. They don't think you've done a good job or if you have maybe you don't fit in with the team. The only positive is that you haven't been fired now. I would put feelers out for new job and if you really do like your present job then set up a new meeting to say that and ask what steps you need to take to be given the role in 3 months. a job isn't all about achieving objectives so maybe look at all aspects of role, your personality etc.

Bagina Tue 06-Dec-16 10:46:25

The op should still be given clear reasons as to why it has been extended.

FetchezLaVache Tue 06-Dec-16 10:58:00

No, you're not over-reacting. The explanation you were given makes no sense. Surely, even if you hadn't exceeded every objective, your boss could have made a judgement based on how you coped with what sounds like a very difficult situation. The fact you clearly coped above expectation should surely make the permanent contract a no-brainer.

Every other team member leaving is possibly a bit of a red flag. Why did they leave? Do they have a high turnover?

I think sparechange's suggestion is excellent. However, it wouldn't hurt to be looking round for a new job - nothing here suggests they really look after their staff.

daimbar Tue 06-Dec-16 11:36:54

Thanks all. It was such a confusing meeting.

He said my personality was great, I fitted in brilliantly with the company, I couldn't have done any more than I had but he wasn't able to 'tick all the probation boxes'

I have emailed him to asked him specifically what these boxes are seeing as I exceeded my objectives. This was yesterday morning. No reply yet.

I am looking for another job, just feel sad as I don't want to leave.

I texted one of the women who left and she said the team all found him sly and secretive which is why they left.

It's a big company who generally look after staff well.

Bagina Tue 06-Dec-16 12:09:32

Make sure you get a response to that email. If not I would seek clarification from hr. I would not be accepting this as it's clearly a load of rubbish and serving his own agenda somewhere. What are the probation targets?

Bagina Tue 06-Dec-16 12:10:04

You should have a copy of this document.

Mbear Tue 06-Dec-16 12:14:06

It's also possible that with the 'fire fighting' you haven't been able to complete parts of your training to pass the probabtion?
Silly example of say working in a shop - to pass your probation you need to be till trained, but since day 1 you've been doing deliveries and being on the shopfloor. So you are great with customers etc but you haven't done some key things which meant you would have passed your probabtion. Email and ask him what boxes need to be ticked, and how you are to do that in the next 3 months, when it hasn't been done in the last 6.

daimbar Tue 06-Dec-16 20:08:59

I have a meeting with my boss on Friday so I am going to politely challenge the extension with printed evidence that I have surpassed expectations.

A friend suggested he might be doing it to save budget. If I'm not made permanent until next year then he's made a saving.

Can he really get away with that?!

Bagina Tue 06-Dec-16 20:21:35

That's when you'd need to bring hr in. You could be in the same position in another 3 months. Try and get hold of all the relevant policies.

HSMMaCM Tue 06-Dec-16 20:31:17

The rest of the team left because he was sly and you are already witnessing this yourself. I'd be looking for another job too.

BobbieDog Tue 06-Dec-16 20:36:39

I always thought even if you had a permanent contract then you didnt have a leg to stand on if you were dismissed within the first 2 years of working there?

flowery Tue 06-Dec-16 21:15:02

"A friend suggested he might be doing it to save budget. If I'm not made permanent until next year then he's made a saving."

How would he make a saving? Does your salary go up on passing probation?

daimbar Tue 06-Dec-16 22:35:31

Flowery no salary doesn't go up but I would get all the benefits like pension and life insurance which are expensive.

I have applied for 4 jobs this evening and feeling more in control.

Dread the thought of starting all over again and being 'the new girl' after spending 6 months learning all the systems in this job and making some good friends... but need a backup plan.

HSMMaCM Tue 06-Dec-16 22:45:56

When you get another job, you can ask HR if there are any jobs in this company, if you want to stay.

LadyLapsang Tue 06-Dec-16 22:54:55

Has your attendance been good; no problems with sickness? The point about budget strikes a cord, but not regarding extending probation, more placing some staff on fixed term contracts in certain periods.I think you are right to politely challenge. Does he know you are trying to get a mortgage and need to be made permanent to get the best rates (if so perhaps he is concerned you may slack off once you have a permanent position).

daimbar Wed 07-Dec-16 07:07:46

No problems with attendance, haven't taken any sick days at all.

I asked him for more clarity yesterday as he still hadn't replied to my email. He said I needed to become an expert on one of our IT systems (I don't work in IT).

This is strange as I asked for training on this system a few times but he has refused! Nobody else in the team including him knows how to use it.

Anyway, I will get that formally written up and at least that is something concrete I can work towards.

tribpot Wed 07-Dec-16 07:11:12

But don't you already have a written probation plan? He can't just unilaterally decide what boxes exist that he can or cannot tick.

Something's definitely not right, I would be asking HR for advice.

daimbar Wed 07-Dec-16 07:51:01

I will see how the meeting goes on Friday and if he is clearly unreasonable I will arrange a meeting both with him and HR.

What is a shame is the trust has gone between us now. I am senior to the rest of the team so helped him recruit replacements for everyone who left and he said he really valued my opinion and we had built a great new team.

All was fine until the past couple of weeks when he has barely spoken to me.

fledglingFTB Wed 07-Dec-16 08:44:16

YANBU, it's a horrible situation and one that regularly happens where I work.

Make sure that you get written proof of what you are expected/need to achieve within the the next three months to gain permanent employment and the date your reassessment should happen on.

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