The employee induction program is the first real insight that a new employee will have into your business. Make the process engaging, welcoming and informative, and you’ll set you and your new employee up for success.
The program needs to encourage your new employee to imagine themselves in the business, learn about the organisation and connect with other employees. Here are five key items to include.
Prepare a comprehensive induction checklist
This may seem obvious, but a checklist will set you on the right path from the beginning.
Pre-start (contacting them before day one, return of employment contract and newstarter paperwork, computer, email and systems access, etc)
On the first day (introduce to other staff, go through relevant procedures etc) and
During the first week (meeting with key staff and customers, training sessions, larger overview of organisation).
You can include items such as;
- Email all staff to notify of the new employee
- Introduction to team leader or direct manager
- Performance standards and expectations of new employee
- Copies of position description, policies and procedures
- Office/work times
- Team roles and responsibilities
- Organisational chart
- Useful documentation ie. phone list, birthday’s
- Security issues and access
- Safety procedures
Have both yourself and the new employee at the end of the induction program sign that all items on the checklist have been discussed and understood. Place the document on their employee file.
Make your new employee feel welcome and engage other staff
There is a lot of information that you want to give to your new employee to get them up to speed. However it is just as important to provide them with the opportunity to feel welcome and engage with the rest of their team.
You can consider;
- Having staff assist in areas of the induction
- Enjoy a welcome morning tea or lunch on day one
- Assign a buddy
Outline your expectations clearly
While the employee would have read through the position description during the recruitment process, it is important to discuss with each new employee the expectations you have of them.
It is also relevant to discuss important processes such as what if they are sick, how to apply for leave and how meal breaks are structured.
It can be helpful to develop an induction manual or a section on your intranet which outlines all the information for future reference.
Look for creative ways to make your induction different
There are many different ways in which you can inject some creativity into the induction program. This can include providing a gift pack with client products, a welcome video from a recent hire or the business owner. See what you can come up with.
Check in regularly and ask for feedback
It is essential to have regular and structured formal check-ins with your new employee throughout the year.
It is just as important to check in often throughout those early days to ensure they are getting the support and information needed about the business and their role. Schedule reminders in your diary to do this.
The induction program will lead into the probation review. This involves further structured discussions regarding the new employees progress and additional support they may require.
New employees need to be welcomed and informed to enable them to become as productive as possible in the shortest amount of time. A well planned induction program can make a big difference. Contact Small Business Society for a discussion about your employee induction process.
The information provided in this document is for your guidance only and is general in nature. It does not constitute as legal advice. It is the responsibility of the individual to seek legal advice where required. If you are a small business with less than 15 employees your obligations may vary from the advice provided.
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About Kate Tongue
Kate Tongue is the founding Director of Small Business Society.
She is a qualified and experienced Human Resources professional with more than 10 years of experience across the private and public sectors.
Her particular interest and experience is in managing the employee life cycle, delivering process improvements, and Human Resource strategy.
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