Are you sitting comfortably? Welcome to my series of podcasts that will help you to navigate those inevitable difficult events that can occur at work if you’re a business owner.
Today, I want to talk about why you need an effective induction process.
Think back to your previous jobs, maybe when you were just starting out. How much do you remember about your induction?
Was everything in place for you?
Were you welcomed into your new place of work?
Or were you left alone, side-lined and unsure about where everything was or what you were supposed to be doing?
Sadly, the latter is quite common. Given how much it costs to recruit a new employee and get them up to speed, there should be a proper induction process in place.
Why is induction so important?
Well, the recruitment process can be long and it can cost you a fair bit of money, so you want to get new employees on board and hitting the ground running as quickly as possible. You also want new employees to stay, so the induction needs to be engaging and effective.
So what makes a good induction process?
A good induction process should give new employees a good first impression of your business. It should be inspirational and allow you to share your values, as well as the practical information they’ll need from day to day.
A good induction should never leave people feeling confused, bored, overwhelmed, and wondering whether they made the right choice.
If you don’t already have an induction process, here’s how to put one together.
First, think about how formal you want it to be. If you’re a small business where you and your employees work quite closely, you’ll most likely want to keep the induction informal. Then think about what new employees need to know about the workplace, policies and procedures, and consider how you can introduce them to other employees (taking care not to overwhelm them with a swarm of new faces).
Next, think about the specifics.
What will your new employee need so they’re ready to do their job from the beginning? Think about their workspace, equipment, and instructions on where they can find things they’ll need.
Training is also something you’ll have to consider. This will include workplace-specific training like health and safety, fire safety, and manual handling, and job-specific training, like learning how to use software or equipment.
It’s good practice to send them an ‘offer pack’ too once they have accepted the job so they can read up on what they need to know before they even walk through the door. The pack should contain an offer letter, two copies of their contract, an employee handbook, and details of any benefits.
Once you have some ideas about what your induction process will look like, make a checklist.
Write down what do you need to sort out before they start, for their first day, first month, and down the line. Putting together an induction plan for their first day will help you and them. The plan might include attending meetings, shadowing colleagues, or doing some e-learning. The new employee should be given a copy so they know what they’re supposed to be doing and when.
On their first day, make sure they know who they should report to (if it’s not you). Introduce them to other employees and show them where the toilets, staff areas, and fire escapes are as you walk around. Next, complete the admin tasks, such as new starter forms, going through health and safety information and other policies and procedures, and completing the paperwork for access to the computer network and ID cards if required. Then it’s important to talk about your business and how their role fits into the bigger picture. If they understand that, it’s a very good place to start.
Going forward, arrange to meet with your new employee regularly to check they’re getting on okay, and give them feedback on their performance. This is also a chance for new employees to tell you what their first impressions are and what they thought of the induction programme. Use this as an opportunity to make improvements to your induction process.
As a business owner, it’s your job to make new employees feel welcome and engaged, so they can settle into their new role with ease. Put your efforts into putting together an effective induction process and you’ll be rewarded with employees who integrate fast, feel supported to do well, and want to stay.
Do you need help with business or employee issues?
I help Businesses just like you to feel confident in their team and content with the way their business and their team runs every day. My goal is to create a less frazzled life for you by offering you and your team, mentoring and workshops tailored completely to your needs.
Once you’ve got your team members up and running, you need to start delegating tasks across the team. Read this blog for more insight on delegating.