Probation, supervision and performance reviews

You could meet in person, over the phone or video call. In a lot of organisations, this is done monthly, but as an autistic person, you may find it helpful to speak to your line manager or a mentor much more frequently than that to make sure you are getting the support you need, clarify expectations or to talk through situations as they come up in your workplace. This can be a reasonable adjustment.

During probation

When you are given a job, it is usually conditional on you completing a trial or probation period. For most jobs this is between 1 and 6 months and is often the period covered by your induction if you have one. It is a time for you and your employer to be sure that you are trained and supported to do the job.

Your employer may extend your probation in exceptional circumstances, such as a period of absence of the employee or line manager. At the end of that period, you will be informed whether you are confirmed in post.

If you are not going to be confirmed in post you should be invited in writing to meet with your employer – you should take a trusted colleague or union representative with you to that meeting which is your opportunity to understand what has happened and why, and to give your views

If it is decided that your employment is to be terminated, you should still be given at least 1 weeks’ notice.

If you decide you want to leave either at the end of or at any time during your probation period, you must also give at least 1 weeks’ notice in writing. Unless you are informed otherwise, you are confirmed in post.

One to one meetings, supervision and performance management

One to one meetings with management are either:

  • Informal: conversations that take place on an irregular basis to help both you and your manager do their job effectively This is helpful to check your understanding and work out alternative approaches to problems, rather than make it formal. These meetings are a chance to discuss any issues you are having without needing to record them.
  • Formal: which will typically be at regular intervals, sometimes in line with a company policy and often documented. If you have a Performance Management procedure which lays out how often you should meet formally and complete any forms your company uses to record the discussion. Formal meetings often have an agenda which is the same for all employees, and might include some of the following:
    • Reviewing your objectives for the past year
    • Identifying your successes
    • Reviewing attendance
    • Identifying where you are struggling
    • Discussing any issues with colleagues
    • Agreeing what support you need to be able to do well
    • Changes to your reasonable adjustments
    • Training and development needs and career aspirations
    • Setting objectives for the next year
    • Talking about pay, pay reviews or bonus

Your line manager should not wait until the annual review to identify any concerns with your performance. These should be raised with you as they arise

Most companies hold a formal performance review at least once a year which should be recorded in writing. Performance reviews and scores can be considered when assessing employees for pay rises, promotion or transfer.