Originally published in Financial and Business Advisor Mar/Apr14.
Organisations that value their staff will have an induction programme to provide them with the information and tools they need to be productive and safe as quickly as possible. These programmes should introduce new comers to not only the nuts of bolts of their job, but also to ‘what we do around here’, i.e. your whole organisation’s core business.
Induction is defined as the process whereby employees adjust or acclimatise to their roles and their working environment.
Given the definition it would be safe to assume that ALL staff, full-time or part-time, on open ended or fixed term contracts, new or promoted, transferred and redeployed would benefit from an induction to their role. Quite often, though, senior management, contractors and part-timers are ignored. This oversight may leave the individuals feeling confused and/or demotivated, and the business risks exposure to litigation if the individual has not had the essential safety or compliance training.
As a consultant supporting many organisations in change and growth I have been asked frequently by senior management three key questions:
1. How do I know if my induction programme is delivering for my company?
Has the programme reduced the time taken for a new employee to become effective?
Is the programme supporting staff retention and commitment?
Is new staff being introduced to the ‘culture’ of the company, its values & behaviours?
Does the programme provide a greater understanding of the job and how it fits into the ‘bigger picture’?
In the induction training the beginning of a continuous professional development for the new staff?
Does the programme encourage two-way communication and team work?
Are objectives set during the programme so the new starter has clear understanding of the company’s expectations?
Does the programme meet the necessary compliance training for the role?
2. Who should be responsible for inductions?
Line manager - to manage the process
Individual - to engage with the process.
Immediate and wider team – make new members feel welcome
Health and safety – compliance and behavioural
HR – contractual and developmental
* Appointing an induction ‘buddy’ who is not the line manager but a considerate colleague, will help a new starter settle in much quicker. This is someone who can be approached to explain general or day to day things or simply of whom to ask the ‘silly questions’.
3. What's the best structure for an induction programme?
Housekeeping: This covers checking that the tools, uniforms, IT requirements phones etc have been arranged
Formal Training: The training that is conducted outside the workplace. For example if proficiency is required in a specific software or First Aid certification is essential.
On-the-job training: The training at the place if work, while the individual is doing the actual job. This is often supported by the formal training.
Effective induction is important to ensure that all new comers, regardless of employment type, are quickly engaged in your organisation, the culture and their role.
To maximise the investment of recruiting and selecting a new staff member, ensure that your induction programme delivers all the skills, knowledge and support structures they’ll need to quickly become an effective member of your team.