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Implementing an employee induction process

Things to think about when implementing an employee induction process

1. Identify the business objectives and desired benefits

ImageEffective induction can have many benefits including reducing turnover costs, engaging and motivating new and existing employees, contributing to the implementation of good systems and processes and gaining feedback and ideas from new hires looking at an organisation through “fresh eyes”. Thinking about how a new or improved induction process could benefit your organisation will help you determine the focus and shape of the programme. If you are keen to help new hires build internal networks for example, a programme which brings all new hires together may be important. If your key business driver is to ensure consistent standards and messages across a multi-site organisation, an e-learning solution may be most appropriate.

 
2. Secure early commitment

Don’t underestimate the powerful effect that induction can have in developing commitment to a new organisation. A good induction process shows that the company cares and is committed to setting people up for success. It can also help to identify problems or barriers at an early stage and allow the appropriate action to be taken. Conversely a poor induction experience could make some new entrants doubt their decision to join your organisation representing a risk in terms of future retention and reputation.

3. Agree roles and responsibilities of different players in the process

Clearly identify the roles and responsibilities of the different players in the induction process. These may include the HR/ L&D functions, the line manager, the administration function, mentors or buddies and of course the individual themselves. This is perhaps best achieved via a detailed induction checklist which allocates specific responsibilities and timelines to the various stakeholders.

 
4. Think of induction as a journey

Thinking about your induction process as a journey rather than a one-off event is essential. It may be useful to consider the induction journey in terms of the first 3 days, first 3 weeks and first 3 months. This approach might include a mini induction during the first 3 days with an immediate supervisor covering essentials such as security, housekeeping, organisation charts, initial objectives and introductions to key personnel. A more comprehensive induction training session may follow during the first 3 weeks and then a review meeting after 3 months to check that everything is on track. Giving consideration to what post-programme support may be needed is also important. This may include additional training, quick reference guides, key contact lists or personal support which could be provided by mentors or buddies.

5. Engage staff prior to joining

A good induction process should start from the moment an employee accepts an offer with your organisation. Develop a comprehensive induction checklist and also give thought to what could be covered pre-arrival to prepare someone for life within your organisation. This may include a pre-joining visit, regular phone and email contact or access to the company intranet site. Ensuring that all the relevant administrative and IT arrangements are in place will also be a big factor in getting a new employee up and running as soon as possible and creating good first impression.

 
6. Have clear learning objectives for training sessions

When designing content for induction training, it is important to start by identifying the desired outcomes of the training. Michael Meighan advises thinking in terms of what a new entrant “must know”, “should know” and “could know”. The “must knows” will include key policies and procedures, regulatory, health and safety and personnel matters essential for a person to do their particular job. “Should knows” may be things that the person ought know in order to fit in within the organisation and “could knows” may be of interest but would not be essential for a new entrant to do their job e.g. organizational history. When designing the training also ensure that training sessions and induction materials take account of different learning preferences and where possible include a variety of delivery styles.

 
7. Respect the induction needs of different audiences

One size does not necessarily fit all and recognizing that different groups of new employees may have varying induction needs is essential. Within the same organisation, the induction needs of a senior director, a school leaver and indeed a returning expatriate are likely to be quite different. Whilst the fundamentals of the induction process may remain the same, ensuring that the content of induction training sessions is appropriately tailored and relevant to the needs of different audiences will be vital in securing engagement.

8. Ensure a quality experience

For most people, the induction programme will be their first experience with the Learning and Development function within the organisation – and all too often this can be less than positive. It is important to remember that this is a unique opportunity for L&D to “set out its stall” with new hires. Developing carefully tailored content and choosing competent trainers who motivate and engage their audiences will be key ingredients in delivering a high quality experience.

9. Keep induction material up to date

All too often organizations will make a significant investment in designing a new induction process and then fail to keep key content up to date. It is vital that at the outset an owner for the process is identified and it is agreed how induction content will be updated by key stakeholders on an on-going basis. Using e-based induction materials can be one way to ensure that it can be easily maintained and updated. Whilst this may mean a more significant up-front investment, e-based induction materials may also help reduce expenditure on classroom based training and the associated travel and delivery costs particularly in multi-site organisations.

10. Evaluation

Finally, as with any new process it is important to continuously evaluate the success of your induction process and make appropriate changes as required. Some measures which may be helpful in assessing the success of your approach could include:

1) Feedback from new hires who have gone through the process – this could take the from of course evaluation sheets if you are delivering an induction training session or could be achieved via 1:1 interviews with a selected group of new entrants after their first 3 months with the organisation.

2) Retention rates for new entrants – monitoring these will be particularly important for organizations who implemented a new process in an attempt to reduce attrition levels amongst new joiners.

3) Exit Interviews – data from individuals choosing to leave the organisation can provide valuable information about the success of an induction process.

4) Monitoring common queries – where your organisation has a HR Service Centre it may also be useful to monitor the types of common queries coming from new joiners to review whether additional information should be included in the induction process
5) Employee Engagement Survey – where your organisation has a regular employee engagement survey, this could prove valuable in measuring changes in levels of commitment and engagement following the introduction of a new induction process.

Positive outcomes of a good induction process

• High levels of motivation and commitment amongst new employees.

• High retention rates for new joiners within the organisation.

• Positive influence on existing staff involved in the induction process – who are reminded of the positives attributes of their organisation and motivated by their involvement in the process

• Organisation is perceived externally as a good employer, who cares and works hard to integrate new staff – likely to act as a positive attraction tool for new hires.
• Positive impact on the implementation of processes and procedures within the organisation

  1. December 8th, 2014 at 06:42 | #1

    Thanks a lot much, this information ended up being i’m all over this to me. I will save this page for potential upadtes. Thanks yet again.

  1. May 20th, 2013 at 11:55 | #1

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