The Society for Human Resource Management is the world’s largest HR professional society. It describes an employee induction as the process "through which new employees learn and adapt to the norms and expectations of the organization to quickly reach maximum productivity." Some people also use the term "onboarding" to include the time between offering someone a job and his or her first day.
Induction of Employee is the first step towards gaining an employees' commitment, Induction is aimed at introducing the job and organization to the recruit and him or her to the organization. Induction involves orientation and training of the employee in the organizational culture, and showing how he or she is interconnected to (and interdependent on) everyone else in the organization.
The new employee’s first contact with his or her physical and human working environment is extremely important since it will condition his or her relationship with the company. The employee must feel supported and important. The first person he or she will meet is the immediate supervisor, who should present the corporate profile in addition to providing information on the organization’s background, values, clientele, services offered, staff, and expected behavior. The immediate superior will also specify the newcomer’s role. The points listed below should be covered during this meeting.
An employee has to work with fellow employees and their supervisors. For this, he must know them, the way they work and also the policies and practices of the organization so that he may integrate himself with the enterprise. Any neglect in the area of induction and orientation may lead to high labor turnover, confusion, wasted time and expenditure.
A good induction program should cover the following:
If you are unsure about the best way to pass on the information, then leave it all to whoever will be the new employees superior. However, you may decide that it is relevant to break down the information to be given by the relevant departments. For example, your personnel department may inform them about employment contracts and procedures.
If the new employee will be working with others, you may offer the responsibility to one of his/her future colleagues. This way can benefit the new employee because they will be making a new friend at the same time and could see it as a doorway to their social involvement.
If this isn’t yourself, then you may think it is best to leave the induction to the person who is most interested in the effectiveness of the induction scheme. They will then perhaps make it their responsibility for ensuring that the new employee integrates into the company with the right balance (job/social/personal involvement).
Effective inductions are timely, organized and engaging, and give a good first impression of a company. They inspire new starters, set out an organization's mission and vision for them, and educate them about the company's history, culture, and values. They also teach them the technical skills they need and provide them with valuable information such as "who's who" in the business.
If done well, the induction process will allow a new starter to lay the foundations for important relationships within his team and across the wider organization, and give him the best possible start in the organization.
Conversely, a poor induction program is either too full-on or not thought through properly. The most frequent complaints new starters make is that they're overwhelmed, bored, or left to "sink or swim." This can leave them feeling confused and make them less productive. If a new starter becomes disengaged, it may be very difficult to re-engage her. She'll soon leave, and you'll have to begin the recruitment process again.
The recruitment process can be time-consuming and costly, so you want new joiners to contribute to the business as soon as possible. In fast-growth businesses, this can critically affect whether the business meets its potential or not.
An effective induction program – or the lack of one – can make the difference between a new employee successfully integrating and leaving very quickly. Research shows that this can affect engagement, staff turnover, and absenteeism levels, and the employer brand.
When a candidate accepts a job, he may have to work several weeks' notice in his current role. So it's important that you, as his prospective manager, maintain contact with him and keep him engaged during this time. If you fail to do so, he could lose interest, change his mind, or – worse still – go to a competitor. The Pre-Start Day checklist, below, will give you some ideas about how you can keep in touch.
Don't leave your induction process to chance. Follow these steps, so that your new starter hits the ground running!
There are several important questions to ask when you are designing an induction program. These include:
Ask for feedback from recent hires about their inductions, and integrate any useful suggestions into future programs.
Now it's time to create an induction checklist so that you're fully prepared for your new starter's first day. Divide tasks into a pre-start date, day one, end of the first week, month one, and beyond. Here are some considerations for each stage.
While a checklist is helpful, don't let the induction become just a tick-box exercise. Both you and your new starter should take responsibility for making sure that all items are thoroughly covered.
Start with the basics but don't cram everything into a one-hour session. People become productive sooner if they understand the fundamentals of their jobs first. Focus on the why, when, where, and how of the position before you hand over any assignments or projects.
Incorporate an ice breaker exercise into the start of your new recruit's first team meeting, to ease her into the team.
The induction process doesn't simply end after the new starter's first day, week or even month. It's your responsibility as a manager to engage new recruits, make sure they grow into their roles, and, ultimately, pass their probationary period. Successful employee induction is an ongoing process!
A successful induction is inspiring, organized and fit for purpose. You can tell how effective it is by how well a person adjusts and acclimates to the company. Get your new starter quickly up to speed by creating an induction checklist. Divide tasks into what to do pre-start date, then on the first day, week and month – and beyond. Treat the program as ongoing, and review it regularly by gathering people's feedback.
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