Handbook EL-312 Revision: Procedures for Evaluating Nonbargaining Employees During the Probationary Period

Effective July 31, 2008, Handbook EL-312, Employment and Placement, is revised to incorporate Section 584.6, Nonbargaining Employees, which was reserved. Section 584.6 is updated to provide procedures for evalu­ating nonbargaining employees (supervisors, managers, and executives) during the probationary period. This includes instructions for:

Section 584.6 requires managers to conduct perfor­mance evaluations of probationary, nonbargaining employ­ees at intervals of 30, 80, 150, and 170 days.

Handbook EL-312, Employment and Placement

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5 Suitability

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58 Post Hire Suitability

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584 Employee Evaluation

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[Revise 584.6 as follows:]

584.6 Nonbargaining Employees

The Postal Service has identified the personal attributes needed for the successful job performance of nonbargain­ing employees. These attributes are described as behav­ioral examples in competency models for leadership and functional/technical competency. Competency models and evaluation forms have been developed for supervisory, managerial, and executive levels of leadership.

584.61 Conducting the Initial Discussion

During an employee’s first week at a work site, the imme­diate manager must have an initial discussion with the employee to clearly outline performance expectations for the probationary period. This discussion is documented on the appropriate form, as follows:

  • Supervisory — PS Form 5956-SUP, EAS Supervisory Employee Probationary Period Report.
  • Managerial — PS Form 5956-MGR, EAS Managerial Employee Probationary Period Report.
  • Executive — PS Form 5956-EXE, Executive Employee Probationary Period Report.

These forms are available online at http://blue.usps.gov/formmgmt/forms.htm.

584.62 Establishing Individual Core Requirements

As governed by the Pay-for-Performance (PFP) program, the employee and the evaluator establish individual core requirements through an interactive discussion. The indi­vidual core requirements must be established within 30 days after the employee assumes the position.

Individual core requirements are documented and tracked in the Performance Evaluation System (PES). For more information, see the PFP Web site, which provides the “Administrative Rules for EAS Employees,” many other documents, and a link to PES.

584.63 Performance Evaluation Intervals

The probationary period for nonbargaining employees is 180 days. In addition to providing the ongoing feedback necessary for successful performance management, the manager must conduct four formal discussions with the employee. After the initial meeting during the employee’s first week at the work site, the manager should conduct and document interactive discussions at the following intervals: 30 days, 80 days, 150 days, and 170 days. Both the employee and manager are required to initial the form to indicate completion of these discussions.

On the final (170-day) evaluation, the manager must rec­ommend definitively that the employee be either retained or separated. The employee and the manager both must sign the evaluation form. If the employee refuses to sign it, the manager should indicate that the employee was offered the opportunity to sign, but declined to do so.

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We will incorporate these revisions into the next online update of Handbook EL-312, available on the Postal Service™ PolicyNet Web site:

(The direct URL for the Postal Service PolicyNet Web site is http://blue.usps.gov/cpim.)

Handbook EL-312 is also available on the Postal Service Internet: