What to do when an employee’s performance drops after passing their probation period

On-boarding a new hire should be a meticulous process. You’ve done everything in your power to settle your new employee into your company. They’re getting on well with the team, handling the workload and smashing it in the first couple of months. But, what happens when an employee’s performance drops after passing the probation period?

In a small number of hires, after passing their probation period, a new employee may give up on making an effort. This can be hugely frustrating and can leave you with many questions going through your head.

With this in mind, here is our guide on what to do when an employee’s performance drops after they have passed the probation period.

  1. Schedule weekly meetings

Schedule in weekly meetings with your new hire & voice your concern. You never know, their drop in performance might be down to a personal matter.

Therefore, its important not to go in all guns blazing. Get to know what might be bothering your new employee before making any rash comments or actions.

Use these meetings to go through your new employee’s to-do list for the week, and talk about the previous weeks achievements.

  1. Monitor their performance closely

If an employee’s performance drops after passing the probation period, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on them. This will help you gain a better understanding of what tasks they are finding most difficult.

That being said it is important not to micro-manage them. This can be one of the most frustrating leadership styles for employees and make them feel that you don’t trust them.

If done in the right way, keeping a watchful eye can add that little bit of pressure to keep your employee motivated and improve performance levels.

  1. Mix up the workload

One reason why an employee’s performance may drop after the probation period is because they might not be enjoying their workload. After all, if the role is really repetitive, they may have just lost enthusiasm.

If you pinpoint this as a key reason as to why their performance has dropped, try switching and mixing up their workload a bit. Adding a little variety can be exactly what they need to stay motivated.

  1. Issue a warning or a formal disciplinary

If you’ve exhausted all options and you are seeing no improvement, you may have no choice.

If you’ve done all you can and starting to think your new employee has purposely stopped making an effort, you need to address this formally. Speak to HR or gain some advice to discuss your options with a grievance procedure / formal warning.


So, if your new employee’s performance drops after passing probation, remind them that they are in breach of their contract. If they continue, you will have little choice but to terminate their contract. It may not be an ideal solution or a pleasant one, but a necessary one.

I hope this helps and provides you with some options to explore.

All the best

Steve Wyeth