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Inspire Success

Providing hints, tips and ideas that help you maintain high performing workplaces that are customer focussed and free of conflict

Getting HR Right in your Start-up

Rae Phillips - Friday, August 15, 2014

We see a lot of owners going into business without a clear understanding of the value and importance of the human resources strategy. It seems that most startups believe that HR only manages day-to-day activities and administrative duties that they, or other employees, could possibly manage on their own. Additionally, hiring an HR specialist is not viewed as cost effective. It is difficult for startups to justify hiring a non-revenue generating employee at an early stage.

As a result, the owner and their teams are burdened with tasks that take time away from core business, which ends up with a strained workforce, inefficiency, a high attrition rate, and possibly even legal ramifications. This is not the way to set yourself up to success!

Having someone who is completely focussed on the people plan will do wonders for getting your startup off the ground. HR is important for any company, particularly those in the crucial developmental stages. Why is it so essential? Below are just a few reasons why your business needs HR:

1. HR Supports Your Company’s Brand

It is imperative that you establish a supportive network of individuals with whom you trust. To add value to your company an HR specialist will need to understand the ins and outs of you and your company. One of their purposes is to support the attainment of your overall strategic business plan and objectives.

An HR Advisor can help you create and maintain a cohesive work environment from day one. They will ensure your employees embrace your company’s philosophy, strategy, and purpose and that anyone hired will be a good fit. 

2. Attract Great Talent With A Dedicated HR Department

When you have only a handful of spots to fill, you need to be sure you are selecting the right person for each job. Every person on your team plays a pivotal role in getting your business off the ground. They all contribute to its growth and development and in the end its success.

To ensure this, you need a HR Advisor who can focus on recruiting the perfect individual for each position when or before the need arises. This task is made all the more challenging when the company is a startup, not only do you have to find the right people, you have to inspire them to commit to a company that is not yet established and secure.

3. You’ll See Better Retention

As your company grows, employees need to be kept happy, engaged, and productive. You want to keep good people around you. This will reduce recruitment and training time and cost.

During periods of growth, inevitable challenges and conflicts will arise. An HR Advisor is trained to identify, resolve, and restore employee relations matters. They also work with the operational teams to set up feedback mechanisms, incentive programs, salary reviews,internal promotions and leave.

4. HR Can Help Sustain And Improve Your Company

A HR Advisor should be tasked with developing a suite of policies and processes to help things function at the business. They can also work with the operational teams to create structure with standard operating procedures. Even with a small team, organization goes a long way. Additionally, the more your company expands, the more the business model must be able to work without the owner.

5. Compliance Is the Framework

Right from the start, owners need to be aware of the laws in place that  affect the business and their employees. As the company grows, the more confusing legislation related to employees and workplaces can be. These requirements are not optional, they must be set up and managed effectively. 

With out a HR Advisor to lead this process, ongoing issues could cause distraction in the business, impact productivity and result in payments to employees or fines.

Is this something that could help at your business? Inspire Success helps startup businesses get their systems right, right from the start. We specialise in setting up systems and providing support in an outsourced model. You only get us when you need us! 

Give us a call on 1300 620 100 for a no obligation chat about your situation, or email

3 Steps to the Easiest Ever Induction

Rae Phillips - Thursday, July 31, 2014
Did you know that the first 4 weeks of employment are when our new starters are deciding whether they are staying or not? This is the time to make sure we set them up for success and make the most of the money we have already spent on recruitment.

If you include at least these 3 steps to your induction, we believe you are on your way to building a positive employment relationship with your new starter and will have a much better level of engagement (read higher productivity, less conflict, less complaints, easier work for you!):

1. Deliver on what you promised
2. Set the standards up front
3. Follow up at regular intervals

Setting employees up for success in a new role requires planning and action. There are times that things won’t go according to the plan, but the system should be flexible enough to allow for this, and help it get back on track.

1. Deliver on what you promised.

Your recruitment systems should help here – what did you agree to in the interview? The letter of offer needs to be clear on what the job role is, what the pay is, when they start and how it will be reviewed.
Try to have this set up before the new starter arrives – it shows organisation in the business if their tools and workspace are ready, there is a name-badge and PPE, a handbook ready and an email address all sorted.
If you can, send the letter of engagement, personal details form, super and tax forms out in advance (we call this the starter pack). If this is completed at home and sent back in, you can set them up in payroll in advance and ensure there are no issues in getting that first pay. And if you pay monthly and they just miss the pay run – show them some flexibility by organising an end of month manual pay so they don’t have to wait 6 weeks!

TOP TIP: Have a checklist that you use to prepare for new starters, but that doubles as their checklist during Induction.

2. Set the standards up front.

You should have a standard checklist that is used by you or your key personnel so that you know every new employee gets exactly the same information. This checklist should include information on the company history and your service expectations, the focus of the division or department (this helps them understand how their position fits into the big picture) and very specific details like hours of work, where to park, uniforms, safety, timesheets, calling in sick etc.
Make certain that the checklist has a link to the position description so that the key personnel can work through the PD, letting the new starter know exactly what is expected of them and how their performance will be evaluated. Maintaining high standards during the Onboarding period will ensure that they continue.
By involving team members in establishing high standards of performance, you will build their pride and self-confidence. It has been shown time and again that setting high standards at the start improves staff retention and customer feedback.

TOP TIP: Your position description should be general enough that the employees understand the scope of their work, but specific enough that you can explain the standards (quality, quantity and time) you expect.

3. Follow up at regular intervals.

Specify on your checklist that there will be a weekly catch up, with a 6 weekly performance review mid probation. These catch ups should be casual, but structured, using the checklists as a guide.
Ask lots of questions, go over the information they have learned, ‘test’ that they have understood it and check to see where there are still gaps. During this time you should be listening for underlying problems with what the employees expected and what they are experiencing.
The 6 weekly probation review is a formal opportunity to provide feedback on their take-up of the new role, where they are going well and where there are performance issues. Document this discussion using a review form that you can go back to if necessary.

TOP TIP: These follow ups will work best if they are two way discussions. Ask the employee how things are going, listen to their response and then give your feedback. Resist the urge to jump in first.

Is this something that could be helpful at your place? Inspire Success is all about Practical, Stress Free, Timely Human Resources - no matter what size your business is. 

Contact us for further information

Your TOP THREE Work Health and Safety questions answered

Rae Phillips - Monday, May 12, 2014
1. How do I know if my business is WHS compliant?

Individual state health and safety legislation and the WHS Act impose obligations on businesses to:
1. Provide a safe place to work
2. Provide safe systems of work and
3. Consult with employees about safety

There are also secondary duties to:
1. Identify hazards
2. Manage risks and
3. Implement and monitor control measures

To ensure your business is carrying out these essential duties your business could require an audit and will require ongoing inspections and management reviews. All Managers within a business must know and understand their legal duties and ensure they are carrying them out correctly.

An audit is a documented process where the health and safety systems, policies and procedures in the workplace are reviewed. The audit will determine whether your policies, procedures and systems etc comply with legislative requirements and best practice in health and safety. An audit can be completed by an external provider or an employee who is appropriately trained. An inspection is an actual examination of your workplace for hazards and could involve a walk around your workplace or a formal planned inspection. An inspection can be carried out by senior management, management, a health and safety representative, your health and safety committee or an employee. Your inspections should be frequent and should be monitored. Your audits should be checked regularly also to ensure the requirements are being met continuously.

2. Who has health and safety duties in relation to first aid?

A person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) has the primary duty under the WHS Act to ensure (so far as is reasonably practicable) that workers and other persons are not exposed to health and safety risks arising from the business or undertaking.
The WHS Regulations place specific obligations on a person conducting a business or undertaking in relation to first aid, including requirements to:
  • provide first aid equipment and ensure each worker at the workplace has access to the equipment;
  • ensure access to facilities for the administration of first aid;
  • ensure that an adequate number of workers are trained to administer first aid at the workplace or that workers have access to an adequate number of other people who have been trained to administer first aid.
A person conducting a business or undertaking may not need to provide first aid equipment or facilities if these are already provided by another duty holder at the workplace and they are adequate and easily accessible at the times that the workers carry out work.

Officers, such as company directors, have a duty to exercise due diligence to ensure that the business or undertaking complies with the WHS Act and Regulations. This includes taking reasonable steps to ensure that the business or undertaking has and uses appropriate resources and processes to eliminate or minimise risks to health and safety.

Workers have a duty to take reasonable care for their own health and safety and must not adversely affect the health and safety of other persons. Workers must comply with any reasonable instruction and cooperate with any reasonable policy or procedure relating to health and safety at the workplace, such as procedures for first aid and for reporting injuries and illnesses.

One of the regulations (42) under the new act states that when considering how to provide first aid, a person conducting a business or undertaking must consider all relevant matters including:
  • the nature of the work being carried out at the workplace;
  • the nature of the hazards at the workplace;
  • the size, location and nature of the workplace;
  • the number and composition of the workers at the workplace.

3. What obligations does my company have to vehicles owned by the company and to vehicles owned by employees and driven in the process of carrying out their duties?

Both private and company owned cars will be considered ‘plant’ within the Work Health and Safety Act 2011. This means that the company is under an obligation to provide and maintain the vehicles so that employees are not exposed to hazards.

Some good practices would include checking vehicles annually and asking employees to sign a declaration confirming they have their vehicles maintained regularly. Ensure your employees receive any refresher driving training courses as required.  

Inspire Success can help you to complete a WHS Audit and provide you with important recommendations and guidance to ensure your business is WHS compliant.

Is this something that could be helpful at your place? Contact Inspire Success for further information             Inspire Success is all about making HR SIMPLE - no matter what size your business is. 

Improving Employee Communications

Rae Phillips - Monday, May 12, 2014
Internal communications includes all communication within a business. It could be oral or written, face to face or virtual, one-on-one or in groups and of course via social media. Today there are a plethora of techniques and technologies used to communicate, both up/down and side-to-side within an organization.

Whereas the ‘top-down’, employer-driven communication is great for setting a communication agenda or discussion point, it is the peer-to-peer employee communications that often determines the tone of the business. As you may have experienced in the past, employees are given a message and then informally discuss with each other their views and opinions, out of earshot of ‘the boss’. Smart organizations recognise that employees will always talk with each other and to others, so it is better to set the agenda and informal discussion points than have them dictated by uninformed staff.

We know that communicating more effectively with employees is a useful and powerful way of improving greater ‘engagement’ – but what can you do? 

Smart businesses realize that in environments where employees are able to move from one employer to another with relative ease, it is in the company’s best interests to retain the smarter and more productive employees; doing all they can to communicate with them, inform them, influence them and entering into some sort of psychological contract with them is a wise move.  

Think about how you recruit, what messages do you send to potential new employees? What about at induction, how do you help them come on board quickly , with support from the business and their team mates? How do you follow up how they are settling in? How are you checking that any issues have been addressed? What do you do when someone is not performing to your expectations? And how do you exit your people - are they leaving with dignity regardless of whether the decision was theirs or not?

Successful employers recognise that an unhappy and trapped employee is a potential liability. Of  great concern are the findings that just under half of all employees who left their employer did so because of a bad experience, such as being passed over for promotion, because of ongoing unresolved issues or their direct manager. How can your human resources structure and systems support your  internal communications?

Is this something that could be helpful at your place? Contact Inspire Success for further information             Inspire Success is all about making HR SIMPLE - no matter what size your business is. 

Our favourite ways to introduce flexible work practices

Rae Phillips - Saturday, April 12, 2014

Improving employee engagement will improve productivity and profit at your place. One of the things we can do to help is to make sure our workplaces provide flexibility. Flexibility at work means different things to different people, so have a look at this list of our favourites:

Job-share: When two or more people share the responsibilities, hours, salary and benefits of one full-time job.

Part-time: When an employee works less than full-time capacity and has reasonably predictable hours of work. They receive the same entitlements as a full-time employee but on a pro rata basis.

Employee-choice rostering: This allows employees to elect or choose shifts on a permanent or rotating basis that best suits their caring responsibilities.

Working from home: Involves employees working away from the office, usually at home. It can occur on a full-time, part-time, temporary or permanent basis.

Flexible working hours: When a set number of hours per week or month are determined with flexibility about when they are achieved.

Hours’ bank: Additional hours may be worked and stored in a ‘bank’ for quieter periods.

Annualised working hours: Involves rearranging the hours that staff work throughout the year to meet seasonal or fluctuating workloads. These hours are paid at a standardised weekly rate, even though the hours actually worked may vary during the year.

Compressed workweek: Usually involves working full-time hours over fewer days. For example, 3 38 hour x 5 day week may be worked over 4 days.

Seasonal start and finish time: Usually applicable to outdoors industries – summer work starts at dawn and finishes early while winter work starts later.

Purchased annual leave: Enables an employee to purchase additional leave during the course of the year. That means an employee would receive an additional 4 weeks’ paid leave per year as the employee’s 48-week salary is paid over 52 weeks. This can also work on 2- or 6-week purchase plan.

Extended unpaid leave: When an employee has exhausted their leave entitlements but still requires more time off. Additional leave days are granted without pay or loss of job and are usually for short periods.

Make up time: Where time away from work is made up at another time, usually within close proximity to the occurrence. No pay changes occur as a result

Change travel and overnight stays: When travel is reduced or timings changed to accommodate employee requirements, e.g. they do not have to travel during school holidays.

Sabbaticals: This is an extended period away from work to pursue study or other development activities. Some employers pay employees while on sabbatical, while others do not pay but allow the time away.

Is this something that could be helpful at your place? Contact Inspire Success for further information            Inspire Success is all about making HR SIMPLE - no matter what size your business is. 

Thanks to 

Charles Power of the 

Employment Law Practical Handbook for many of these ideas.

Benefits for Small Businesses of Outsourcing your HR

Rae Phillips - Monday, April 07, 2014
Small business owners might think that outsourcing HR functions only benefits large companies. The perception is that outsourcing is designed to help only these larger operations streamline their business functions and cut down on costs. But in today’s economy, there is an increasing need for small businesses to consider the financial and other potential practical benefits of outsourcing human resource functions to a trusted provider.

Some of the advantages of small business HR outsourcing may include:

1. The ability to focus on business productivity: Instead of spending time handling routine administrative tasks, employers can focus on more strategic functions of the business that can have greater rates of return.

2. An enterprise-class solution: Small businesses may be able to enjoy enterprise-class benefits from HR outsourcing, which can help them save costs and compete more effectively with other small businesses and their larger counterparts.

3. Access to latest technology at a manageable cost: Growing enterprises may have minimal resources to invest in infrastructure and state-of-the-art equipment to run their businesses. With an outside expert running some of the functions, businesses may enjoy better technological systems without necessarily having to own them. This may help cut down on their operating costs.

4. Help with compliance: This is one area where many small businesses struggle to keep up, especially with the changing laws pertaining to hiring and firing, insurance and bullying claims, work health and safety and payroll, penalty and overtime requirements. The greatest challenge is that failure to comply can lead to serious financial consequences. Outsourcing HR functions to a trusted provider can help business owners understand and take action to comply with these laws and regulations.

When you’re ready to outsource HR functions, consider a company’s experience, “How long have they provided these services, and for how many businesses?”, their financial stability, “Is their financial information a matter of public record?”, and do they offer personal service, “Can I work with an HR professional on-site?”, "Can I call them only when I need them?"

Is this something that could be an issue at your place? Inspire Success is all about making HR SIMPLE - no matter what size your business is. Contact Inspire Success for further information 

Making your place a Great Place to Work

Rae Phillips - Sunday, September 01, 2013

What is a Great Workplace? 

What the employee wants

Having a list of special deals, discounts or benefits for your employees is not going to make a great workplace. We believe that it is the daily experiences and relationships that guide the employee perspective. 

Without doubt though, the key to the relationships is TRUST. So the employees need to trust the people they work for, be proud of the work they do and like the people they work with each day.

Our experience and many many years of employee engagement surveys show that trust is the defining principle of great workplaces — created by the credibility of the Leaders, the respect with which employees feel they are treated, and the extent to which employees expect to be treated fairly. Pride and a real connection other team mates are also important.

What the employer is looking for

It isn't rocket science is it? As employers, we want to meet the goals we have for our business. We want to do this with our employees who are focussed on giving their very best and who work together as a team to deliver great service to our customers. 

Great workplaces achieve organisational goals by listening to their people, inspiring them and by keeping in contact. They have employees who give their personal best because they are recognised individually and as part of a team, they grow in their roles and as people. And they work together as a team because they feel part of the business, celebrating and commiserating together.

Is this an issue at your place? Contact Inspire Success for a no obligation chat about the situation

7 Key Elements to Measuring Performance and Setting Targets

Rae Phillips - Wednesday, July 31, 2013

As your business grows, the number of people you employ is likely to increase. To keep on top of how your employees are doing, you need formal ways of measuring their performance and setting the targets they have been set. If you dont - how do they (or you) know if they are doing a good job?

Informal meetings and appraisals provide a very practical and direct way of monitoring and encouraging the progress of your people. The formal appraisal allows you to monitor employees’ development and get their feedback, set targets and plan their development needs. Many of our customers do this quarterly or bi-monthly and they find that while it takes planning, the meeting is a lot shorter than when they did them annually.

Appraisals can assist in driving up productivity and performance through setting employee targets and measuring progress towards achieving them. Regular staff meetings can also be a very useful way of keeping tabs on wider developments across your business. These meetings often give an early indicator of important concerns or developments that might otherwise take some time to come to your attention.

Here are the Seven Tips to remember when setting performance targets with employees;

1. Goals must align with your organization’s mission and strategy
2. They must be clear and easy to understand
3. They must be accepted and recognized as important by everyone who will have to implement them
4. Progress towards goals must be measurable
5. Goals must be framed in time, with clear beginning and ending points
6. They should be supported by rewards
7. They should be challenging, but achievable.


By evaluating an employee’s progress in terms of performance and development you are able to set new objectives and plan tasks effectively. First, examine the employee’s job description to ascertain whether roles or responsibilities have changed since the last appraisal. If you are making changes, ensure that these are in the best interests of the company and not just the employee.

Allow the employee to self assess. Let them know in advance that you will be talking about their progress and to review their position description against how they feel they have gone. This process makes it so much easier to have the conversation on the day - you are both on the same page.

Praise Successful Employees 

Bring up aspects of an employee’s performance that are worthy of praise. Encourage the employee to keep up their high standards and check that the employee has been rewarded sufficiently. Remember rewards are different to everyone - it could be as easy as a thank you or providing time off for a special family event. 

If an employee’s performance has fallen short of what is expected, consider the possible reasons for this. Constructive feedback is much better than ignoring the issue - don't leave it to get worse, that conversation is a lot harder!


The next step in performance management is to check whether staff have the time to focus on development. It is important to ensure continuous development, so it may be worth shuffling resources if necessary. If development targets set at the last appraisal have been met, it shows you that the time and money spent developing staff is worthwhile. 

Its very important to ensure that the goals you set for your employees align with those of your Company. And you must make sure that your employees understand, accept and commit to those goals. The more you can involve your employees in setting goals for themselves and the group, the more committed to those goals they are likely to be. Write down the goals for your employees, and then revisit those goals on a regular basis – perhaps every three or six months, but at least once a year. 

The key to success is ensuring your employees recognize that achievement of their individual objectives advance the company’s overall objectives.

Is this something that could be an issue at your place? Inspire Success is all about implementing practical solutions that help create high performing workplaces which are customer focussed and free of conflict - no matter what size your business is. Contact Inspire Success for further information

The Employee Handbook

Rae Phillips - Tuesday, July 30, 2013

What is an employee handbook?

Starting a new job in a new company can be daunting for anyone. The induction and on-boarding process ensures the detailed introduction of a new employee to their new work environment and job and is a very important process. Good processes at this time will result in staff retention, job satisfaction, productivity and a reduction of any costs of staff turnover. 

Effective Induction processes means that new employees understand how your business works and start to feel welcome and comfortable early on in their new job, which results in them becoming a productive employee sooner. 

A lot of information can and should be provided during the new employee’s induction. This can be a little overwhelming and therefore a comprehensive and well-structured employee handbook is an excellent idea. 

It is particularly important for small and medium businesses, who may not have a human resources department to handle queries. An employee handbook is also a good way of helping new employees understand the values, key policies, benefits and expectations of your business.

What is in an employee handbook?

The handbook is a great way to communicate to your new employees and inform them about the policies within your business. It can then be used by employees as a reference (encourage employees to keep their handbook with them) and will help them on a number of topics -  in knowing the conditions of their employment, what is expected of them, where to find things, and who to ask if they have any further questions. 

A good employee handbook should contain the following:-

  • Introduction and welcome note from the Leader /s;
  • Company background;
  • Information on your corporate culture and approach to business;
  • Hours and conditions of work;
  • Training expected and opportunities;
  • Expectations around dress code, email/internet/mobile phone etc usage;
  • HR policies around bullying, sexual harassment, health, safety and the environment; holidays and leave; performance management; privacy; code of conduct, discipline and grievance procedures.

Why have an employee handbook?

The policies of your business should be discussed and distributed widely throughout the company and your employees well informed of them. Discuss them in your induction training and include them in your handbook to ensure they understand the policies of your business. 

It is an excellent way of documenting the expectations and obligations of both management and staff. 

Not only is the handbook used to share the policies and information of the company, it is a great way to advise on information your business is legally obligated to provide. This results in the boundaries, rules, expectations, rights and responsibilities of your company being known and understood by your team.

Finally, when you give a new employee a copy of the handbook make sure they sign an employee handbook declaration and acknowledgement form. This receipt acknowledges that the employee has read and understands the policies and guidelines presented in the handbook and how it applies to them in their work. This statement should contain a disclaimer that the employee understands that the contents are policies and guidelines, not a contract or implied contract with employees. 

Is this something that could be an issue at your place? Inspire Success is all about implementing practical solutions that help create high performing workplaces which are customer focussed and free of conflict - no matter what size your business is. Contact Inspire Success for further information

Significant dates for new employees

Rae Phillips - Monday, July 29, 2013

Significant dates for new employees

Now you have selected your new employee and provided them with their letter of offer, it is important to manage some critical dates. These include induction, probation and confirmation of the new employee. 

1. The induction should always include a standard check-list to ensure that everything is covered. It also helps in the case that it is not the same person conducting the induction each time - you can be sure that the same information is being imparted.

2. The very important probation period (generally the same as the relevant qualifying period) is a time for both the new employee and for you to see if things will likely work out. The length of time and the process that will be followed should be very clear to them.

3. Prior to the confirmation date, there should be a formal conversation with the employee and their supervisor to check that they are meeting the requirements of the role. Stepping outside of the probation period means moving into tighter workplace legislation, so we recommend using this time wisely.

1. An Effective Induction

Important date 1 is always the start date right? Not necessarily - before that the prospective employees are judging you and your business. It is critical that you get the process right during recruitment and selection because this will help you win them over, get a positive answer to your offer and have them arriving in a positive state of mind on day 1.

Before they start they should receive their letter of offer. On acceptance (and generally on day 1) they receive their starter pack with the signed letter, position description, employee details form, Fair Work Information Statement, taxation declaration form, super choice form, employee handbook and any company collateral. Give them a week to get the paperwork back to you completed fully and signed. 

Use the induction check-list to work through the safety, policy and service elements of your business that are important. Their employee handbook should be with them always to write notes and refer to people and details. At the end of each day and each week, meet with them to talk about their progress so far. Help them feel good about their progress, but also remind them where there is room for improvement.

2. Getting the Probation/Qualifying Period Right

The length of the probation period and the terms around it will be set out in the terms and conditions of employment and then be managed carefully. A ‘probation period’ is usually a three or six month period from their start date, where you assess the suitability of the employee for the role and the employee has the opportunity to settle in and to determine if the role meets their needs. 

A key thing to remember is the probationary period must be set in advance and must be reasonable. Three months can be suitable for some roles but for a more senior role you could have a probationary period of six months (as long as there are reasonable grounds for this). For a ‘small business’, i.e. less than 15 employees by head count and including associated entities (see s.383 of the Fair Work Act), the period can be increased to twelve months.  

During this period you should be validating your selection decision and making sure there is a good fit between the new employee and the role. There should be open communication between you and the new employee and some assistance given to them to settle in.  In essence, an employee on probation has been appointed but not yet confirmed in a permanent role. The purpose of a probationary period is to provide:

  • Time for induction / onboarding and training
  • An opportunity to assess the employee and their ability to perform in the job
  • Time to assess fit into your business

The benefits of a well managed probation period include;
  • allows the new employee settle into the workplace
  • provides a focus for you and the new employee on what knowledge and skills are required to be developed during probation for them to succeed in the job
  • provides some structure for the new employee on the key aspects of their job and the key people they will be interacting with
  • allows you to give and receive feedback on a new employee’s progress during probation.

If you are generally happy with the performance of your new employee but continue to have a few concerns at the end of their probationary period, then you can extend the probation via a review on or before the end of it. You will also need to provide information in writing, detailing the period of the extension and the areas which require improvement. Provided you act sensibly, you can let the person go if they are not working out without having to carry out the usual disciplinary procedures once an employee is confirmed.  

Review the new employee’s progress regularly and provide them with feedback so they know how they are progressing – either with praise or with explanations as to where improvement is required.  We think it is a good idea to do a Probation Review at the mid point of the probation period so that you can document progress and your plans for rectifying any issues.

Overall, the probationary period is an excellent tool to ensure that the new employee is performing in the way you want and is motivated, committed and happy working with you and your organisation. It allows you to be fair and highlight areas which require improvement, and it provides time and scope for the new employee to improve in those areas. The result should be that at the end of the period, the decision to continue or not is easy and clear for both parties.

2. Confirmation of appointment

As the probationary period nears its conclusion, you need to decide whether you wish to retain the new employee or not. If you do, then confirmation of appointment is the process used to end a probation period and appoint an employee permanently. 

Ideally, a letter is given to the employee confirming the date their probation period ended and affirming the details / conditions previously agreed upon of their employment. The letter states that the employee's performance has been satisfactory and it confirms the employee's appointment to the job. It is good practice to give your new employees a confirmation letter when they successfully complete their probation but it also provides affirmation to the employee that they are doing well in their role and have peace of mind that their job is now confirmed.

Alternately, if your decision is not to keep the employee, you will arrange a meeting and provide the details in writing. 

Is this something that could be an issue at your place? Inspire Success is all about implementing practical solutions that help create high performing workplaces which are customer focussed and free of conflict - no matter what size your business is. Contact Inspire Success for further information -

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