06 July 2018

How to create a successful induction program

How To Create a Successful Induction Program

As all of you know, first impressions are crucial, and a new employee's initial experience of your workplace can have a major impact on their future with the company. This is why it’s pivotal to highlight the organisation’s vision, mission, purpose, goals, key roles and responsibilities, also about their culture, services, policies, procedures, and health and safety measures etc.

In this article we will talk about how you can create a simple yet effective onboarding program that will help employees settle into their new role and keep them from feeling overwhelmed or hesitant to find out what their company is about. The most important thing is to make them feel good on their first day, so that when they go home, they want to come back the next day.

1.Set points of contact

An important part of induction is letting employees know who and where to go to for help. Many organisations use a buddy system that allows new candidates to work with someone for a couple of days, which helps them find out what's expected of them, and the company's overall mission.

2.Office tour

When a new employee first arrives an office tour can be one of the most exciting parts of the induction process because they really envision how they with fit in with the company. The office tour includes some of the most vital elements, like where the toilets, the coffee machine are and even external things such as parking, nearby shops!

The basic tour should cover all facilities, including toilets, break-out spaces, kitchen (including any basic rules about usage), stationery cupboard, meeting rooms, smoking area etc.

If your office is large, a floor plan (preferably with names of who sits where) is super useful and can be stored on your intranet for easy access.

3.Administrative Must-haves

These include: Health and safety, fire procedures,first aid, company policies, pay and procedures (absence reporting, time off requests, policies on grievance and discipline and the like) plus any forms that need to be completed.

This can be a little tedious which means that it’s very easy to overload the employee with information at this point. This is why Velpic offers a user friendly approach to ensure that important information such as OHS sticks.

The information should be made available online as a resource for the employee to access whenever they need it, to read at their own speed.

  1. An Introduction to the Company's Mission, Goals and Values

It is essential that an induction highlights the company culture and gives the employee an accurate representation of the overall company goals.

This really helps to improve staff engagement and sets out early expectations in regard to performance, shared values and company culture.

It’s also useful to give a very brief overview of the company history and any changes that have occurred recently, especially when it relates to their team or department.  

  1. Staff Introductions

Most organisations tick this off in the office tour.

If the company is medium to large I would try to avoid introducing everyone by name because It can be slightly overwhelming for the new starter and it’s unlikely they will remember them all anyway. Instead, focus on explaining roughly who works in each section and maybe introducing them to a lead person in each group.

6. Training

This includes training for the specific role, and also general office and IT training such as the telephone system and general office software programs.

Obviously not all training will take place on the first day but anything that the employee will need to use from the get-go should be covered as soon as possible.

To make things easy for new recruits, provide a list of the most commonly asked questions as well as a list of departments and a corresponding contact with phone number and email address.

7.Ease them in

It’s very reassuring to be given a plan for your first week in a new role, even if it needs to be flexible but try to make each employee’s first couple of weeks fairly relaxed and don't assign them any important responsibilities.Being in the middle of a busy office environment might make them feel overwhelmed prematurely, and can turn good, talented staff away. It’s also a good idea to set aside a block of time early on when a senior staff member can answer any questions they have, one on one.

4 tips for powerful induction programs

  1. Planning and design are important, whatever the scale. Even if you’re only inducting a couple of new employees, you will naturally want to make their experience a positive and informative one.
  2. Smaller organisations can apply gamification ideas by deploying them in face-to-face training sessions and injecting some of their principles to strengthen the experience.
  3. If you are using technology (such as a learning management system) to deliver some or all of your induction training it has to look good and be user-friendly.
  4. The delivery mechanism is very important, but don’t lose sight of the content. It needs to be accurate, up to date, helpful, timely and engaging. An efficient delivery system won’t hide poor induction content. Avoid the urge to stack on too much information. This is an area where quality trumps quantity.

Conclusion

By thinking outside the confines of traditional staff induction sessions, you can harness technology to deliver a wide variety of learning and induction programmes, which your staff will remember. You will better equip them to succeed in your business.

How to get started on your induction program: Contact the velpic team today on learning@velpic.com.