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Blog • 22.02.24

What is an induction?

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When a new employee starts in your business, the first few weeks are key in ensuring they settle in well and feel supported by you as an employer. You’ll need to equip them with all of the information, training and knowledge required to do their job to a high standard, without overwhelming them.

Sounds tricky?

With a clear and streamlined induction process, it doesn’t have to be. The purpose of an induction is to help your new employee to feel welcomed and valued, while also paving the way for them to be a productive and positive asset to your business.

What is a job induction?

Induction definition

Within the workplace, an induction refers to the process of getting new employees acquainted with your business, helping them to settle in and giving them the information required for them to become a valuable team member.

How it works

An induction process is slightly different to onboarding in that it usually encompasses the very beginning of the new employee’s work life, whereas onboarding can stretch to a year and beyond. An induction can also focus more on introducing the new starter to the role and what’s expected of them, while onboarding considers more of the wider organisational culture.

It’s a good idea to have an induction process template ready for when a new employee starts, which can then be changed or adapted if necessary. Remember that some employees, such as graduates in their first job or those returning from long-term sickness, may require more support than others.

The importance of induction

The key thing to remember about inductions is that they’re mutually beneficial for both you and your employee. The new hire feels well-adjusted, which means they’re less likely to start looking for another job; they’re happier and more settled and you’re less likely to lose them to a different organisation.

Eight out of ten staff who leave organisations are new employees, so it’s ultra-important to make the effort to get them settled.

Benefits of an induction programme

  • It’ll save on time and resources, as you’re less likely to have to start the recruitment process all over again.
  • It’s an opportunity to get creative. Instead of just treating an induction as a tick-box exercise, use it as an opportunity to show why your company is so great and to showcase its best bits.
  • The better the induction process, the more efficient and effective the employee will become in their role. Armed with knowledge and training, they’ll be able to quickly start contributing to the wider company through their work.
  • Feeling supported and listened to will boost the individual’s confidence and feed into the wider team morale, helping to sustain a positive company culture.

Employee induction procedure

An effective induction brings together more practical elements with activities that allow the employee to become immersed in the company culture.

The key parts of the employee induction programme are:

1. Meet colleagues

Getting to know who they’ll be working with is so important in getting the new employee comfortable and easing their first-day worries. Introduce them to their team (and assure them that they don’t have to remember all the names straightaway!) and consider assigning them a buddy for extra support. The employee will be more eager to start working if they’re made to feel welcomed and like they’re part of the team already.

2. Tour of workplace

Familiarise your employee with their new surroundings, showing them where they can find the toilets, the first aid box, the fire exits and any kitchen facilities. Ensure you’ve sorted out their workstation ahead of their arrival and that they have everything they need to get started. By showing them their surroundings and having their workstation and equipment ready for them, you can help to make your employee feel valued and important. It’s worth noting that not doing these things can have the opposite effect.

3. Health and safety

On the first day of the induction process, the new hire should be taken through your health and safety procedures and receive any necessary training. Different types of roles will require different levels of training, but as a minimum requirement, employees should know how to assess and minimise common workplace risks, and be informed about emergency procedures.

4. Get all the necessary documents sorted

All employees need to have received and signed a written statement of employment (usually in the form of an employment contract) on their first working day. You’ll also need to collect from them copies of proof of their right to work in the UK, their P45 and their bank details for payroll.

5. Get to grips with company policies

It’s a good idea to grant all new employees access to an online employee handbook which covers all policies and procedures for your business. This will detail any legal requirements they’ll have to abide by, as well as company policies surrounding dress code, annual leavesickness absence and any other areas of importance.

6. Understand their role

Early on in the induction process, it’s important to invite the employee to a meeting where you explain the key responsibilities of their new role, what you expect from them and how their work will contribute to the wider company. This will give them a good overview to get started with and will, hopefully, encourage them to work hard and excel in their role.

7. Identify any training needed

By the end of the induction process, you’ll likely have a good idea of how well the employee be able to perform their role and will have identified any gaps in their abilities. This way you can organise further training or tasks in order to ensure they’re fully equipped going forward.

8. Organise first probation meeting

Giving feedback to new employees is essential in keeping them on the right track and giving them motivation to maintain a high standard of work. Make sure you set a date for their first probation review and ask them to answer some questions beforehand so you gain an understanding of how well they’re settling in.

What makes a good induction programme?

It’s a good idea to make an employee induction checklist which lists all of the tasks and training that your new employee will have to undergo during the induction process. This way, it’ll be easy for both parties to remember what’s still to do, and will be evidence that the individual was given all necessary information. Just ensure they sign it and hand it back when the induction is complete.

Checking in regularly with your new hire, to make sure they’re settling in comfortably and not feeling overwhelmed, is key. The more supported the individual feels, the quicker they’ll start to become an essential and productive member of your team.

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If you need any advice on creating an effective induction programme, our HR consultants can help.

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Two male colleagues in a meeting which seems like an interview