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What makes the perfect induction for new employees?

With growing pressures on management time, I am often asked why it is important to induct new employees.

Research demonstrates that there are many benefits to a well-managed induction process.  For employers these include reducing turnover, absenteeism and increasing employee commitment and job satisfaction. For employees, starting a new role in an organisation can be an anxious time and an induction programme enables them to understand more about the organisation, their role, ways of working and to meet new colleagues.

So, what should be included in a good induction programme?

Regardless of whether there’s a formal induction programme co-ordinated by HR, or a less formal programme run by managers, it’s important to provide practical information on areas of compliance and company policy. It is useful to keep a checklist of the areas of induction training received, ideally countersigned by the individual. This list can be a vital source of reference later in employment – for example to produce evidence of training in the event of a health and safety inspection.

The list below outlines the key areas that can be included in an induction process.

  • Key HR policies such as Equity & Diversity Policy, Social Media Policy, Disciplinary and Grievance Procedure
  • Explanation of employee benefits such as private medical insurance, annual leave entitlement, life insurance
  • Role specific information such as job description, break times, introduction to colleagues
  • Facilities and IT policies and procedures
  • Health and safety, and compliance
  • Organisation information such as mission statement and company structure chart

But what should managers also look to avoid when carrying out an induction?

  • Providing too much, too soon – the employee should not be overwhelmed by a mass of information on the first day
  • Keep it simple and relevant
  • HR rather than local managers providing all the information – it should be a shared process.
  • Creating an induction programme that focuses only on administration and compliance and does not reflect organisational values – an effective induction programme should be engaging and assure the new employee that they have made the right decision to join the business.

Induction shouldn’t be treated as a ‘tick box’ exercise; it’s a key opportunity to introduce new employees to the culture and ways of working of the business. It also helps set expectations on both sides, ensuring employees are clear on what is expected from them in the role and allowing them to understand where they fit in the organisation. Managers need to invest time in inducting new employees – an effective induction process can help them settle in, become productive more quickly and avoid confusion down the line.

If you would like to talk to us about this area of HR, or any other matter, please call us on 01302 341 344.

By Louise Turner Dip Mgmt (Open) Assoc CIPDHR Business Partner

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