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Introductory Period
September 18, 2007, Volume 54, No. 4

If you’ve just started working at Penn, or if you’ve recently hired a new staff member, there’s something you should know: all new regular staff members are subject to an Introductory Period during their first four months of employment at Penn (this time period may be extended in certain circumstances, but only after consultation with Human Resources).  The Introductory Period is designed to help new staff members successfully transition into their roles with the University, and to enable supervisors to determine if they’ve made the right hire. 

Communication is integral during this period.  A new staff member needs to understand the job expectations as well as the criteria that will be used for assessing his/her performance.  Supervisors are responsible for providing this information when they make a new hire.  Then, frequent feedback during the Introductory Period can help ensure that things stay on track.

If you’re a supervisor, it’s critical that you provide your new staff member with the tools they’ll need to perform well. These tools include:

• a copy of the staff member’s job description,
• an Introductory Period Performance Plan, which you should review with the staff member during his/her first week of employment, and
• the appropriate orientation to the University, school/center and department. 

If you’re a new staff member, you should ask for these things if you haven’t already received them and ask questions if you don’t understand what’s expected of you.  It’s to the benefit of everyone involved if both the new staff member and his/her supervisor clearly understand the job expectations and keep up an open line of communication. 

You can find more information on the Introductory Period Review Process at www.hr.upenn.edu/staffrelations/introperiod/default.asp. If you have any questions or need assistance in developing the Introductory Review Performance Plan, please contact the Division of Human Resources at (215) 898-6093.  

—Division of Human Resources

Almanac - September 18, 2007, Volume 54, No. 4