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Checking employee wellbeing: five essential questions for probation review meetings

Employee wellbeing is fundamental to a thriving and productive workplace. As a manager, it's vital to ensure that your team members not only meet their performance targets but also feel supported and valued in their roles. Probation review meetings provide a valuable opportunity to gauge employee wellbeing and address any concerns early on. 
 
Asking the right questions and sharing personal experiences or vulnerabilities can create a safe space for more genuine conversations allowing you to work together to create a supportive environment where authenticity is valued and respected. You should also come prepared with ideas of how to make improvements in each of these areas so you’re able to take the first step in helping your employee should there be any concerns. 
 
Here are five essential questions you can include in probation reviews to pulse check employee wellbeing: 

1. How are you managing your workload and prioritising tasks?

Balancing workload is crucial for preventing burnout and sustaining wellbeing. By discussing the challenges they face in managing tasks, you can gain insights into potential stressors and areas for improvement.

Exploring strategies together to optimise workload not only promotes a healthier work-life balance but also fosters a sense of support and collaboration. Sharing your own experiences with workload management can create a safe space for them to open up about their struggles and seek guidance.

2. Are you feeling supported by our team?

You can break this down into whether they feel supported in day-to-day task completion, and overall feeling of professional growth being encouraged. Address any concerns they have and identify opportunities to strengthen team relationships. 

3. How well are you adapting to the company culture and dynamics?

Ask about their experiences with the culture, including any positive aspects they've noticed and areas where they may be experiencing challenges or discomfort. Reminding them about upcoming events or initiatives can help reinforce their sense of belonging and integration into the company culture.

4. Do you feel empowered to take ownership of your work and make decisions?

Inquire about their level of autonomy and decision-making power within their role and address any barriers they may encounter in exercising autonomy. Providing opportunities for growth and development can further empower them to take ownership of their work.

5. How are you managing stress and maintaining work-life balance?

Ask about their coping strategies for managing stress and explore ways to promote work-life balance, such as through flexible work arrangements or time management techniques. By discussing stress management openly, you can identify potential stressors and provide support where needed.

By incorporating these five questions into probation reviews and fostering an environment of authenticity, managers can gain valuable insights into employee wellbeing and take proactive steps to support their team members' success and fulfilment in their roles.

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