A successful employee induction process can significantly increase employee retention and reduce the time it takes for a new employee to settle into their new environment. A lot of hiring managers speak about wanting staff to hit the ground running, but in the majority of cases it is the induction process and not the previous experience of the new hire that dictates just how quickly they can do that. A successful induction process is proven to increase employee happiness and productivity. A good induction programme will help create a positive atmosphere for the new hire, address any new job concerns and increase their comfort levels and make them feel like they belong in the organisation. It should also facilitate learning about the organisation, its policies, and procedures, plus the values of the organisation and any other job specific information and training. So, what makes a good induction programme?
Before you add all the bells and whistle to your new hire induction programme, you need to make sure you have the basics in place. This means that all the administrative necessities must be complete. The new hire should meet with HR and have all of the company policies explained to them, ensure they have filled out all the required information, their bank details are correct for payroll purposes and emergency contacts just in case. They should also be clear on how to apply for annual leave and claim any employee benefits with a full tutorial.
The same meeting should take place with finance to ensure that expense policies and processes are also understood. They should have someone from IT give them a full walkthrough of the system, all the microsites and the IT helpdesk process if something goes wrong, this meeting should be a comprehensive system training session. This all sounds basic but 90% of firms do not do this properly. I know employees who have been with their company for more than 6 months who still do not know how to do simple things like apply for annual leave on the system or claim an expense.
Introductions to others
Again, this is basic but so many businesses fail in this respect. A comprehensive induction should include not just an introduction to their team, but to all departments within the organisation. One of the biggest reasons that large companies fall into the trap of operating in silos is simply that teams are never introduced to each other. If everyone knows who is in finance, HR, IT, sales, operations etc they will have a holistic view of the organisation and know who to reach out to when a specific issue may arise. Every new joiner should have at least a 30-minute meeting with every department, so they understand what is happening within the whole organisation.
All employees should also undergo mandatory training during their first week at a new company. This will not only be related to the systems training mentioned above, but for all other facets of their role. Rather than having the new joiner starting and instantly trying to have them start doing things, it’s better to start by showing them things. Most managers avoid this as they feel it wastes time and detracts from the job they are hired to do, but the truth is, by taking a few days or a week early on and fully training the new hire, the learning curve is significantly reduced and they are much more productive during their first 6 months.
Finally, its important to provide ample opportunity for new joiners to be social with their new colleagues and to build relationships. This does not just mean assigning them a buddy. The old saying it’s not what you know, its who you know is so often true. By providing opportunities for the new hire to connect with new members socially, they are going to feel more welcome in the organisation and also operate more effectively, as they will be able to leverage this new relationships if they require help. It is also helpful if the new hire is introduced to other new starters and not just the existing team, although this is obviously not possible in smaller organisations. The reason for this, is that new hires often worry about bothering the existing team with constant queries, so by knowing other new joiners, they can share new hire knowledge as they get it among themselves.