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How to set up an employee induction

How to set up an employee induction
Ashley Heeley
HR advice
Find out more about Ashley Heeley

In this article you’ll learn

  • What you should do before the new employee starts
  • How to create an employee induction process
  • The importance of a job induction

You have a new employee starting and you want to make sure that they will be an effective member of staff as quickly as possibly which 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 and 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.

So what should you do to prep for your employee induction process?

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 handbook if you can. Maybe an organisation chart or whatever you feel is appropriate.
  • Plan the job induction, have a checklist of what is to be covered and when, so that your employee can take ownership of their induction, and include who they are going to meet and make sure they know. Have all the equipment ready e.g. phones, laptops, IT sign-ins, email account, car if they are having one etc.
  • Allocate 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.

Woman giving an employee induction to her new male colleague over coffee

Day one:

  • You should use day 1 to pick up any issues 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, where all the vital bits are such as, the toilets, kitchen, drinking water, first aid etc.
  • Handle vital documents including, 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.

First Week:

  • Clarify who’s who. Use pictures, charts, anything that helps. Build on the intros you did on day 1. They will have been bombarded with names, so a revisit doesn’t 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, their expected performance, how it will be assessed, possible opportunities for development and training, and routes for promotion in the future (if any).
  • Start doing the job. Break them in gently.
  • Discuss relevant T & Cs and 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

First Month:

The main 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 deal 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.

Two business people having a 1 to 1

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 1’s.
  • 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 whistleblowing etc. Don’t assume that because they have been with you less than 2 years you can dismiss without repercussions.

A good induction procedure can be the difference between having a good, loyal motivated employee or not if you keep it simple and relevant.

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Ashley Heeley explains how to create an employee induction process and why it's important.