Policy Number: HR-40
Effective Date: July 2002
Last Revision: March 2013
Responsible Officer: Senior Vice President of Student Life & Administrative Services
This policy was established to ensure that all new Professional Staff Member are provided an Introductory Period of employment. During the Introductory Period the new Professional Staff Member and the supervisor shall evaluate employment suitability in terms of skill, knowledge, performance, and compatibility. During this period the Professional Staff Member shall be given the support and resources needed to learn and demonstrate the duties and competencies required in the new position and to achieve clearly articulated goals.
This policy applies to all eligible non-faculty Professional Staff Members, excluding any Professional Staff Member who is affiliated with a collective bargaining unit.
Implementation of this policy is the responsibility of the Department of Human Resources.
The Senior Vice President of Student Life and Administrative Services is the Drexel University official responsible for the administration of this policy.
The Introductory Period is used to determine if a new Professional Staff Member’s performance successfully meets the expectations of the role and if continued employment is warranted. The Introductory Period shall consist of the first ninety (90) days of employment (including transfer or promotion within the organization). During this time, the Professional Staff Member’s supervisor will work with the Professional Staff Member to establish clearly defined performance goals; will educate the Professional Staff Member about the competencies of the position; will provide the Professional Staff Member with positive feedback regarding the Professional Staff Member’s strengths and progress, will share constructive feedback in reference to any deficiencies observed; and will assess whether the Professional Staff Member’s performance meets the expectations of the position.
If deficiencies are identified during the Introductory Period, the supervisor will provide an opportunity for the Professional Staff Member to improve performance, demonstrate competencies, and/or achieve stated goals. If deficiencies are significant or persist throughout the Introductory Period and appear to compromise the Professional Staff Member’s ability to successfully perform the job, the supervisor must take immediate action. Such action may include termination of employment or extension of the Introductory Period. A decision to pursue termination of employment or extension of the Introductory Period must be made in consultation with a Human Resource Partner. The first ninety (90) days of employment for all regular full-time or part-time non-faculty staff is considered an Introductory Period. Completion of the introductory period does not guarantee continued employment and does not change the at-will nature of the employment relationship.
- At-Will Employment: At all times during the Introductory Period, either the University or the Professional Staff Member may terminate the employment relationship for no cause as it is at all times, an at-will employment relationship.
- Transfer to Another Position: A Professional Staff Member must remain in a position at least six (6) months before voluntarily transferring to another position within the University; thereafter, the Professional Staff Member will be subject to a new Introductory Period.
- Rehire: Individuals rehired into a new position in the University must complete a new Introductory Period.
- Paid Time Off: During the Introductory Period, Professional Staff Members accrue, but cannot use, paid vacation and personal time off. In unusual circumstances, the supervisor has the discretion to grant a Professional Staff Member time off. In the event that a Professional Staff Member must take time off for medical reasons during the Introductory Period, such leave will be granted as paid time off if the Professional Staff Member has accrued sufficient sick leave to cover the absence. If sufficient sick leave is not available, such leave will be granted without pay.
Professional Staff Member is defined as an individual employed in any non-faculty category by Drexel University, including an individual who is deemed to be either exempt or non-exempt under the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and/or applicable state law.
- A Professional Staff Member receives notice of the Introductory Period in the formal employment offer letter.
- During the first 30 days of the Introductory Period, the Professional Staff Member’s supervisor should:
- Provide the Professional Staff Member with a copy of his/her job description and orient him/her to the position.
- Establish written performance expectations and goals for the position and identify criteria to be used to assess the Professional Staff Member’s performance. Record goals for the introductory period in the online performance management system (EPM).
- Throughout the Introductory Period the supervisor should meet regularly with the Professional Staff Member to discuss the Professional Staff Member’s performance and provide constructive feedback as to whether the Professional Staff Member is meeting the expectations for the position, determine if the Professional Staff Member needs further training, support, or resources to be successful, and if necessary, the supervisor may provide the Professional Staff Member with a plan for improvement.
- Prior to the conclusion of the Introductory Period, the supervisor must determine if the new Professional Staff Member meets the required performance expectations for continued employment and complete an Introductory Period evaluation of the Professional Staff Member using the online performance management system (EPM). The supervisor will then meet with the Professional Staff Member to discuss the evaluation and the University’s decision regarding continued employment.
- If the supervisor determines the Professional Staff Member’s performance to be satisfactory, and the new Professional Staff Member receives an overall rating of Achieved on the Introductory Period Evaluation, their employment may continue. The supervisor will then initiate an annual evaluation and work with the Professional Staff Member to develop their performance and developmental goals for the year.
- If the new Professional Staff Member’s performance is not satisfactory, the supervisor must consult with a Human Resource Partner and take the appropriate action as soon as it becomes apparent. Appropriate action includes termination of employment or extension of the Introductory Period.
If the new Professional Staff Member does not meet expectations of the position during the Introductory Period (ex., the Professional Staff Member received an overall rating of Partially Achieved or Did Not Achieve on the Introductory Period evaluation), the supervisor has two options:
- Extend the Introductory Period by 30, 60, or 90 days. If the Professional Staff Member receives an overall rating of Partially Achieved on the Introductory Period evaluation, the supervisor must speak with an HR Partner to determine if extending the introductory period is the best course of action. If extension is determined to be the best option, the supervisor and the HR Partner must determine the appropriate length of the extension. If a decision is made to pursue this option, HR will launch another Introductory Period evaluation, and the supervisor will work with the Professional Staff Member to establish and record new performance goals, including those that address areas in need of improvement. The Introductory Period may be extended for up to three (3) additional months to allow the Professional Staff Member to correct any performance deficiencies. The Introductory Period may not be extended for longer than a total of six (6) months.
During the extended Introductory Period, the supervisor will establish goals with the Professional Staff Member, particularly targeting areas where improvement is needed, record these goals in the online performance management tool (EPM), and will meet regularly with the Professional Staff Member to review progress and provide constructive feedback regarding performance. A second Introductory Period evaluation must be completed prior to the end of the extended Introductory Period.
In the event the supervisor determines that employment should be terminated as the result of continued performance problems during the extended Introductory Period, the supervisor must immediately notify a Human Resource Partner.
- Terminate employment. If the Professional Staff Member demonstrates significant performance issues during the Introductory Period and receives a rating of Partially Achieved or Did Not Achieve on his/her Introductory Period evaluation, the supervisor may consider termination. In this situation, the supervisor must consult with their HR Partner to discuss his/her options. If, after consulting with the HR Partner, termination is the decided course of action, the supervisor must complete a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) form indicating Termination as the appropriate action and detailing the reason for termination. The HR Partner will prepare a letter of termination, and the supervisor and HR Partner will meet with the Professional Staff Member to terminate employment.
AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT NOT AFFECTED
Notwithstanding anything to the contrary stated in this policy, nothing herein is intended to alter the at-will status of any Professional Staff Member. Drexel University at all times retains the right to terminate any Professional Staff Member at any time for any lawful reason, or for no reason at all.