It might come as a surprise to some, but the most likely time for employee dissatisfaction, low productivity, and turnover to occur is during the first few months of employment.
A well thought-out employee induction process will combat this and will enable your new employees to become productive members of the organisation quickly.
Time invested early will pay off with substantially higher employee retention and productivity levels down the road.
A good induction process needs to be specific to each position and cover at least a few months. It should incorporate a range of topics from organisational values, vision and strategy to compliance requirements such as safety and specific on-the-job training.
When you are developing your company’s induction program, make sure you consider the following 3 factors:
#1 – PLAN FOR INDUCTION
The challenge is to find the right balance between speed and meticulousness. Your new employees need to receive and understand the information that is essential to their role – matters of legal compliance for instance – and they need to be brought up to speed on the organisation’s culture and values with detailed and readily accessible information. However, this process can’t be interminable. Make a list of the topics to be covered in the induction process and consider carefully what is and isn’t essential.
#2 – DELIVERY METHODS AND TECHNIQUES
A comprehensive yet engaging induction process will use a variety of mediums to maintain engagement and attention.
The following are all excellent induction program delivery options (for optimal results, combine several of these):
- 1 to 1 with the CEO (depending on the size of your company)
- Guided tours of the workplace
- Practical demonstrations of products and/or services
- Videos: these are extremely engaging, and they allow for a consistent message. Use them for a variety of purposes (e.g. a welcome message from the CEO, product information, video tours of other workplaces/company sites, company information from relevant people in the business, etc.)
- Online induction training is highly consistent, and its reach is beyond compare. Use online training to help cover mandatory training topics and any other parts of the induction program that don’t require face-to-face interaction
- Old-school printed information if that’s the best option for your employees
HERE’S A TOP TIP:
A great tactic to incorporate into your induction process is to buddy your new employees up with one of your star performers, so they will have a clear understanding of the level of work expected from them.
#3 – NEW STARTER BASIC INFORMATION
As stated above, your induction process should differ by business and position. However, there will be some necessary information that all your new starters, regardless of position, will need. Providing this information is key to them assimilating successfully into your business.
You will need to provide materials that clarify what has been explained face to face. These materials, including product and service lists, policy and procedure handbooks, workplace maps, contact information, etc. should be readily available for your employee’s future reference.
You will also want to provide a basic “survival” information pack on day one. This should contain the following:
- Introduction and welcome from the CEO or line manager
- Basic employment terms and conditions – although there will be a written employment contract or award/agreement that covers everything in detail, a separate list of the basic essentials will also be useful.
- Working hours and time-keeping arrangements
- Leave provisions
- Amenities/facilities (e.g. washrooms, parking, public transport, eating facilities, etc.)
- Work health and safety procedures and rules, first-aid, and worker’s compensation
- Employee benefits (also guide them to more complete information sources)
- Policies that employees need to know immediately, such as dress codes, personal use of office equipment (e.g. email, Internet, phones), confidentiality, and discipline and grievance procedures
- Names and contact details of key people the employee may need to contact
- A basic organisation chart
- If employees have difficulty with English, make the form available in other languages and/or use an interpreter.
The best workplaces invest in their new people by welcoming them into the business and training them in how things are done from day dot.
If you give your new employees time to get up to speed before unleashing them on your highly valuable customers, you’ll be doing your business and customers a big favour.
NEED ADVICE ON DEVELOPING YOUR INDUCTION PROCESS? TALK TO HARRISON HUMAN RESOURCES
With our HR Consulting service, we can provide practical advice and guidance on implementing a comprehensive induction process as well as strategies for improving employee performance.
Simply click here to request an obligation-free 15 minute phone consult to get some initial advice on your HR needs.
Claire Harrison is the Founder and Managing Director of Harrison Human Resources, a flourishing HR consulting business that sprouted in 2009 from Claire’s passionate belief that inspiring leaders and superstar employees are the key success factor to any business. With over 20 years’ experience, Claire has worked as a HR Director of multi-national organisations, as a Non-Executive Board Director, and a small business owner. Claire’s corporate career includes working with companies such as BHP, Westpac, Fonterra and Mayne Nickless.