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Probationary Employees

First-Year Staff Performance

Probationary: All university staff employees newly hired to the Commonwealth of Virginia and re-hired employees returning from a break in state employment are considered probationary employees for their first 12 months of university employment, as per Virginia Tech's Policy 4260: Probationary Period for Salaried University Staff Employees

First-Year Employees: A broad category that includes probationary employees, as referenced, and Commonwealth of Virgina state employees who transferred from another Commonwealth of Virginia state institution or agency without a break in employment. Even though the employee is not subject to a probationary period, per Virginia Tech's policy, it is recognized that the goals are going to change significantly during the first year during as the employee learns and adapts to the Virginia Tech and team culture. 

This first-year performance plan provides the employee and the employer an opportunity to assess whether the employee and the job are a good match. First-year employees should receive training, coaching, mentoring, and feedback from their supervisors frequently during this time.

Probationary Reviews

Formal probationary reviews are required at six months and 12 months of Virgina Tech employment. Managers are encouraged to consult with their Human Resources Division Director and/or Employee Relations if a probationary employee is not meeting expectations.

In the first 30 days, a First-Year (0-6 months) performance plan must be created using the PageUp Performance Management System (PfM). In PageUp PfM, first-year performance plans are launched mid-month and at the end of the month. For the first six months, it is a best practice for supervisors to create the goals. At six months, a formal probationary review is required to be completed by using the same plan in the PageUp Performance Management System. 

If the employee’s performance is rated “does not meet expectations” at six months, the employee has the right to appeal to the reviewer as they do not have the option to provide a self-evaluation. Additionally, the supervisor should set up a specific employee development plan and provide more frequent feedback to the employee. 

Prior to the end of the 12-month probationary period, another formal evaluation is required to be completed using the First-Year (7-12 months) performance review in PageUp PfM. If the employee is rated “meets or exceptional,” they become a non-probationary employee.

Extending Probation

In some cases, it is possible to extend an employee’s probation beyond the initial 12-month period. This extension only applies to those who are subject to Virginia Tech's Policy 4260: Probationary Period for Salaried University Staff Employees. Requests to extend probation must be made to their Human Resources Division Director and/or Employee Relations. Once requested, a Form P146, Request to Extend Probation, needs to be completed with the guidance of the Human Resources Division Director and/or Employee Relations.

Extensions of the probationary period (not to exceed a total probationary period of 18 months from date of hire) can only be made for the following reasons:

  • Performance reasons beyond the employee’s control: If probation is extended for performance reasons beyond the employee's control, the employee must receive training that was unavailable during the first 12 months of employment.
  • Leave: Probationary periods must be extended when probationary employees are on any leave with or without pay for more than 14 workdays. Eligible leave includes Workers’ Compensation, Family Medical Leave, Military leave, or Virginia Sickness and Disability Program (VSDP) short-term disability (STD) leave or long-term disability (LTD).  Also included are periods of short-term disability where the employee is working in an active employment status with restrictions/modifications. Extensions include the first 14 days of absence, as well as those days in excess of 14, up to the return-to-work date.
  • Change in supervision: If the employee’s supervision changes during the first 12 months of the probationary period, the new supervisor may request an extension of the employee’s probationary period.

Probationary periods may not be extended for poor attendance, poor attitude, or poor performance that is not a result of a lack of training.

Probationary Termination

At any time during the 12-month probationary period the probationary employee may be terminated. Managers are encouraged to consult with their Human Resources Division Director and/or Employee Relations if a probationary employee is not meeting expectations.