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Five ways to ensure new employees get the best possible induction

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A YouGov survey of 1,000 staff revealed that the majority of employers are failing to inspire and motivate their staff, with only 21 per cent of employees believing their company cares about them.

So how can companies reassure employees that they are valued? I believe this starts from the employee’s very first day with the company.

The old adage that you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression is so true when it comes to welcoming new team members to your workforce. A good staff induction plan helps to build engagement from the outset, assists newcomers to settle in and helps them start their career journey with the best possible impression of you, their new employer.

By focusing on employee wellbeing from the moment they walk through the door, businesses can integrate new recruits quickly and align them with organisational goals. This helps ensure new team members are motivated and engaged, boosting performance and productivity.

So, what makes a top notch induction?

1. One size does not fit all 

A good induction should be tailored to the new recruit’s role, so it’s vital to personalise each plan to meet the needs of your new employee and the business.

Elements of the induction plan can of course be standardised but role-specific elements should be planned in detail to ensure a person understands their new position, what is expected of them and how they can support their colleagues.

2. Provide structure 

An induction process that lacks structure can leave a new recruit with no sense of direction, little affinity with their new employer and a general sense of dissatisfaction.

To avoid this issue, it’s important to have a structured plan in place, a checklist if you like, while ensuring there’s enough flexibility to suit different skill sets, roles and personalities. A typical induction would include:

  • Welcome and administration
  • The Organisation – vision, values, goals, culture, products and people
  • Buddy assigned and introduced
  • Introduction to the team and their role in the initial few months e.g. organisation and team goals; job role and performance measurement etc.
  • Introduction to policies, procedures, systems and software
  • Evaluation – how well did the induction go?

3. Keep it simple

Don’t overcomplicate the induction process. Joining a new organisation can be daunting enough without being given irrelevant written information. Keep it simple and ensure information packs and other materials are impactful and relevant to the employee. This could include:

  • Company culture (vision and values) – provide a motivational flavour of “the way things are done around here”
  • Policies and procedures – provide the most important ones and tell them where to find others i.e. company handbook
  • Organisational goals and how the new recruit’s goals align with them. This is where you can encourage “buy-in” to the organisation

4. Buddy-up 

A great way of supporting new recruits is by teaming them up with a trusted employee.

To reap the rewards of ‘buddying’ make sure that buddies are happy to support the new recruit, and they are trained in effective workplace coaching and mentoring.

5. Get feedback 

It is important to evaluate the quality of an induction so that you can improve it if necessary.

The best way to do this is to ask the new recruit and the mentor to work together so they can give honest feedback on what was effective, and any suggested areas for improvement.

Matthew Channell is operations director at TSW Training.

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