A well planned and tailored induction will significantly improve the effectiveness, engagement and the outputs of new employees. It’s also going to help with the Happiness-meter. Latest research points to it being more important than ever in recruiting and retaining talent and in filling new employees with confidence in their new employer, role and company knowledge, from the outset.
So, what is a good induction? Here’s my 5-step approach to a great induction.
Relationships: Have planned introductions and dedicated time with those people your new employees need to work closely with. This is all about starting to build relationships and trust within the team. It is also worthwhile thinking about how new employees connect as a group and support each other through the early stages.
Vision: Think about who is going to share the company vision with new employees. Is it a company director and what a powerful message that sends to new starters, or is it their manager? Either way is great and there needs to be a clear link between the company vision and how their role helps deliver the company goals.
Clarity: Schedule time to go through new employees’ job descriptions and what you expect them to achieve by month one, three and six. Include some engaging objectives to focus new employees and to avoid drift or becoming overwhelmed.
Resources and Access: Ensure new employees have the right resources to do their job. The number one frustration from new starters is not being able to do their work because IT doesn’t work, they don’t have access to drives or they haven’t got their PPE in time, etc. You know the drill… so let’s get organised.
Check In: It’s so important to schedule time to check in with new employees and have meaningful conversations about their experience so far and what support they need to succeed. Every organisation has its own ways of working so this is a great opportunity to go through “how things work round here” and help them understand the company culture. Simple things such as how to claim expenses, how the photocopiers work, how to fill in timesheets are all part of the learning curve for new employees. Some companies have a Culture book, work instructions, policies or procedures to read. Other companies offer a buddy system to learn from a competent colleague. Whatever the company set up, it is prudent to take time to make sure everything is explained and understood.
You might now be thinking that an induction is much more than just day one and you are right. The induction period is more than the five-slide company overview that hasn’t been updated for 2 years. For me the induction period is like a giant dot to dot game, it’s the start of a new journey, it helps create a greater understanding and gives people a chance to be involved from the start. Every organisation has an opportunity to make the first steps count and create a sense of belonging for every new employee.