5 Top Tips for a Great Employee Induction Process
You may think that once your new employee has signed on the dotted line of their employment contract, the recruitment process is over. Unfortunately, you’ve still got lots of work to do to ensure the success of your recruit, even if the job ad stipulated ‘candidate must hit the ground running’.
Yes – we’re talking about the employee induction process! We know that many employers invest lots of time and money into ensuring they recruit the most suitable candidate for their company. Yet when it comes to the employee induction, they take a casual, ad hoc approach. But failure to provide an adequate induction programme often leaves the new recruit feeling so unwelcomed and undervalued that they chose to resign. And with the average cost of recruitment estimated to be £30,000 per employee, it’s an expensive mistake to make!
Providing a thorough, structured induction programme has been proven to play a big part in improving long-term staff retention. Why? Because your new employee’s first few weeks are critical to their engagement and long-term success, and this is a determining factor in whether they stay with your company or not.
So, what does a great employee induction process look like? Follow our five top tips to ensure the success of your new recruit!
1. Make them feel welcome
We all know that awkward feeling of being the new employee. It’s just like being the new kid at school. An onslaught of unfamiliar faces, alien company jargon, foreign and sometimes, seemingly bizarre routines… it quickly becomes overwhelming! But putting some simple steps in place can help ease this awkwardness. Here’s how you can speed up the time it takes for your new employee to integrate into your business:
- Ensure the rest of the team are expecting your new employee. Ask them to come away from their day-to-day tasks for a few minutes to introduce themselves to their new team member. Because let’s face it, there’s nothing worse than feeling ignored!
- Consider buddying them up with another team member to ensure they have a companion for their first few weeks. Having someone to answer questions and show them around on a more informal basis often makes the new employee feel much more comfortable.
2. Teach them about your organisation
Build on the conversations that took place during the recruitment process. Explain how the organisation operates, how it’s structured and where they fit in that structure. Discuss what the company’s vision and values are, the strategic direction the business is taking, and who the senior leadership team are.
There’s going to be a lot to take in! So, don’t bombard them with everything on their first morning. Break it down into manageable chunks of information and deliver it steadily over their first week or so.
You may want to split this task up amongst others. For instance, can you arrange a coffee break with the office manager, or someone else in your team, or even one of the senior leaders? Hearing other points of view is always useful. Plus, it will help your new employee build connections, network across the business, and even make new friends!
3. Cover off the legal bits
There are some essential rules and procedures that you need to make your new employee aware of as soon as they start their employment with you. This will ensure the employee remains safe and keeps your organisation compliant with employment and health and safety legislation.
So, take them on a tour of the premises, point out fire exists, toilets and any other welfare facilities. Spend time going through the employment contract, your employee handbook and any key operational polices.
4. Create an induction schedule
Allowing your recruit lots of free time may seem like the right thing to do to help ease them in to their new role. Unfortunately, this often leaves them feeling like a spare part. As a new starter, they will be keen to get stuck into their new role and show you that you made the right decision in hiring them.
So, to avoid too much thumb-twiddling, create an induction schedule for their first few weeks that combines the following:
- time to shadow colleagues
- individual tasks
- training sessions
- inductions with HR and IT (where relevant)
- coffee breaks or meet ups with key people in the business
- time to read and digest relevant information (e.g. the employee handbook, company policies, intranet news etc.)
- check ins with you
If you can, create their schedule a few days in advance of their first day and send it to them before they join so they know what to expect. Just be careful what you put on there – you don’t want to cause any undue panic about what’s required of them in their first few weeks!
A thorough induction schedule will take time and effort, but it will enable your new employee to contribute quickly and show their value to the business.
5. Conduct regular check ins
As part of the induction process, it’s important to arrange regular meetings with your new employee. This will show them they’re valued, and it will give them the chance to discuss how things are going.
Starting a new job brings with it many questions… ‘Have I made the right choice?’ ‘Should I have stayed where I was?’ ‘Is this company right for me?’ Do I like this role?’ ‘How do I feel about my new manager?’
No matter how fabulous you think the job and company is, your new employee will potentially feel uncertain whilst they’re taking it all in – and that’s normal! The best thing you can do is create an open, honest line of communication between you both.
It might be they feel anxious about something that you can easily fix. But you don’t know what you don’t know. So, get those regular check ins booked in; weekly for their first month. And then – depending on how they’re doing – slowly ramp it down to monthly check ins.
When things don’t work out…
Whilst a thorough recruitment process and employee induction helps to reduce new staff turnover, it doesn’t eliminate it. Sometimes you – and/or the employee – just make the wrong decision in terms of job or organisational fit. Whatever the reasons are, it’s better for everyone involved to approach the subject honestly and take the required actions as soon as possible.
Further Advice and Support
If you have concerns that a new recruit isn’t working out or you’d like assistance with your employee induction process, call our Advice Line on 0345 073 0240 (select option 2).