The importance of a good Induction

A well thought out induction process helps new employees get off to a good start in your business.  It will help them to fully understand their role and the part they play in the wider organisation.  Those first few days can set the tone for the rest of their time working for an organisation.

If you invest time at the start, employees will get up to speed much quicker, and they will also have the tools they need to succeed in their new role.

What should a good induction include:

A tour of the office or department so that employees can see for themselves where things are and how things work.
Information on the structure of the organisation, the key functions of the department they work in, the products/services the organisation offers, the goals and objectives along with the culture and values.
Details on how the new employee will fit into the team and how they will contribute towards the team’s goals.
A clear outline of what the new employee will be doing day-2-day and key terms and conditions of employment.
Introductory meetings with key stakeholders they’ll be working with.
Where possible a buddy to support them in their first few weeks with practical things.
Key health and safety information (this is a legal requirement under the Health and Safety Act).

It’s also a nice touch to let the department and wider business if appropriate have some details on the new employee, so they know their background and can think about what things might be useful for their induction meeting.

Giving a list of questions to the new employee to ask can also help them when meeting with team members so they get the most out of those introductory meetings.

It also helps to have their desk set-up and ready along with any security passes they may need.

Role of a buddy

A buddy can play a key role in the induction process, it gives the new employee an informal contact for their first few weeks who can take some time out to show them simple things like:

Where the toilets are.
Where to make a tea/coffee
Where to get lunch.
Local amenities if they don’t know the area.
Seating plan
Structure chart

Learning about how things are done

Many new employees will benefit from having an initial period of observation where they can watch and learn how things are done.  It can often instil confidence if they know what to expect when starting work on something new.

It’s a good idea to let new employees attend team meetings and watch how key tasks and/or processes are completed before starting to do them, themselves.

Coaching

Depending on the type of role the new employee has, they may need some additional coaching, for example they may be new to having managerial responsibilities so coaching or a mentor may help them with their development.  It’s a good idea to think about what the requirements might be here in advance so you have a clear plan set-up when they start.

Avoid information overload!

Starting a new role can often be a daunting and overwhelming experience so it’s important not to overwhelm the new starter with too much information in those first few days.  It’s always better to avoid throwing them in at the deep end, so set-up some straightforward tasks they can get started with which can help build up their confidence and ultimately progress more quickly into more complex work.

Set performance expectations

Getting the balance here is key, it’s really important to set expectations early on around what performance levels are expected.  Ideally within the first month you should aim to put together personal objectives and have a clear idea on what the roles and responsibilities are for the role.  It’s a great idea to meet regularly to discuss performance so booking in 1:1 meetings will help with this.

Finally, encourage a positive team culture

A new starter will no doubt feel quite nervous and overwhelmed in their first few weeks so setting up opportunities for them to get to know the wider team a little better will help.  A team lunch on the first day is a really nice touch or possibly some team-building activities which can help if you’ve more than one new starter.

It’s so beneficial to invest time in a solid induction for a new starter as those first few days can set the tone for the rest of their time working for an organisation.

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