Federal Manager's Daily Report

The DoD bill also includes language to extend the probationary period for newly hired DoD employees from one year to two, a concept that has been proposed often over the years but previously never advanced this far.

The statement by the House-Senate conferees says that they “expect the Secretary of Defense to ensure that supervisors optimize the additional probationary time by educating supervisors on the importance of tracking when an individual’s probationary period is ending and directing the supervisor to make an affirmative decision or otherwise take appropriate action.

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“The Secretary should take steps to ensure DoD supervisors are aware of the range of tools and guidance available through the Office of Personnel Management, including on-line and in-person training and guidebooks. The conferees note that the probationary period extension will be beneficial only if an agency has effective performance management practices in place and uses the extra time for the purpose intended,” it says.

In addition, DoD is to assess the adequacy of leadership training provided to supervisors “in order to ensure supervisors obtain the skills needed to effectively conduct performance management responsibilities.”