How to Conduct an Employee Induction
You will learn
- What information will be the most important during an employee induction
- How to make sure they are receiving the correct support as they settle in
If you have a new member of staff starting and you want to make sure that they will settle in as quickly as possible, this can be done by a well thought out and planned employee induction. I have had an experience where, on starting a new a job, I was shown to my desk, given a computer, had a quick meeting with my boss explaining who was who, where the toilets were, where to get lunch, and I was then basically left to get on with it. Although that may be a good test of resourcefulness, it is not, I would argue, the best way to bring a new employee on board. How familiar is that scenario in your experience? If you are honest, how familiar is that scenario within your business? So, what should you be looking to do?
1. Before the employee starts
Send out a welcome pack with more details about your organisation. Include the statement of main terms and conditions of employment, and a handbook if you can. Maybe also include an organisation chart, or whatever you feel is appropriate.
Plan the induction, and have a checklist of what is to be covered and when, so that the employee can take ownership. Have all the equipment ready e.g., phones, laptops, IT sign-ins, email account, car (if they are having one), etc.
You could also allocate them a buddy or a mentor who can help them when they start.
Develop a training plan for the employee and who will carry it out and when. This should include the main tasks the job involves.
2. Day 1
You should use day 1 to pick up any essential matters, then focus on building on the new starters’ enthusiasm by giving them a real feel for your organisation, your brand, your values and workplace culture.
Arrange a meeting with their mentor and make sure they have people with them at any breaks, lunch etc.
Give them a tour; show them where all the vital bits are like, the toilets, kitchen, drinking water, first aid, etc.
Handle vital documents like, right to work, NI number, info for payroll, T&Cs, etc. Try not to overload, but make sure you have the essentials done.
Health and safety essentials should be covered like, fire drills and exits, any safe working procedures, risk assessments, what training they may need and when it will be done.
3. First Week
Clarify who’s who. Use pictures, charts, anything that helps. Build on the introductions you did on day 1. They will have been bombarded with names, so a revisit does not do any harm. Explain how the organisation works, its aims and plans.
Start focusing on the job role, explain the new employee’s role fully, how it fits in with their team and the organisation as a whole, the expected performance, how it will be assessed, possible opportunities for development and training, and routes for promotion in the future (if any).
Let them start doing the job. Break them in gently.
Discuss relevant T & Cs, answer any questions and start going through some basic rules, e.g. work practices, what to do when sick, what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour, how problems with absence, performance, discipline and grievance are handled, dress code etc.
Provide any other health and safety information that they need to know to stay safe in your workplace environment.
4. First Month
The focus should be to help the new employee gain a reasonable grasp of the organisation and their role.
Keep doing more of the job and completing any planned training. Make sure they are well supported and the mentor/buddy is still actively involved.
Start your regular 1 to 1s if you are their manager or make sure their manager has started. You should be looking to get feedback and pick up on any possible issues early and dealing with them. Start as you mean to go on, it enables you to provide feedback to them also. Start building that relationship while the bonds are strong.
Have the first probationary review meeting and record it.
5. First 3 Months
This is often a crucial milestone, although it is likely that the new employee is not the finished article, you should have an idea of their strengths and development needs, especially if you have been doing your 1 to 1s.
Many organisations have 3 months as their probationary period if so hold the review and record it. It should build on the reviews you should have done after month 1 and month 2. If you want to extend the probationary period, do so and say why and identify what additional support they may need and provide it.
If you think that they are not suitable, you can dismiss but do it fairly. Remember people can claim if they feel they have been discriminated against, or for whistle-blowing etc. Don’t assume that because they have been with you less than 2 years you can dismiss without repercussions.
A good induction can be the difference between having a good, loyal motivated employee or not if you keep it simple and relevant.