Don't take your induction programme for granted
While most organisations understand the Benefits of an effective induction programme including; easier integration into the organisation and teams; higher productivity (and fewer errors); time savings for managers; reduced turnover and higher levels of commitment to the organisation, we often take the induction programme for granted.
Induction before day one
An effective review of the induction provision should include consideration of pre-induction support for new employees; recognising that waiting to join a new organisation can be an anxious period. Providing details about the organisation, what to expect on the first day and practical issues in advance can help the employees to feel supported and motivated. Introductions to colleagues can also make day one less daunting and enable the transition into the workplace.
Customising the content
There are common issues that should be covered within the inductions for all new staff but this doesnt mean an overall one size fits all approach should be routinely used. After providing some of the key information on organisational strategy, objectives and key policies we need to focus on the teams that they will join and the role that they will perform. This will be a priority for new staff so it is important that they feel that some of the induction is role-specific.
When exploring strategies and policies we need to ensure that employees understand why it's important to them so that they engage in the process and retain the necessary information. This may mean reviewing the language used so that it is accessible. Finally, we need to ensure that we are covering some of the main practical issues such as arrangements for lunch breaks, how to apply for training support and an overview of the IT systems.
Excellent programmes also feature tailored support for individuals, recognising that some employees may need some additional support (which can often be provided quite easily and have a major impact on supporting new employees). Examples of employees who may benefit include those returning after a career break, new graduates and international colleagues.
When and for how long?
One of the dilemmas concerns the timing of the training and how it is delivered. Traditionally this would be one or two full days, however this can lead to information overload and a sense of frustration from the new employees if it is too ‘corporate ‘. It can be useful to stagger some of the organisational-level information over a longer period so that the employees have more time to settle in and can understand the implications. The same can be true of specialist job-related information which will be more valuable when the employee fully understands their new role.
However, the ability to be able to stagger training or provide it in bite-sized chunks is subject to organisational constraints on time and resources. Where possible it is also good practice to involve a number of people in the delivery of the programme so that new employees have the opportunity to meet a range of their new colleagues.
Finally, once a programme has been updated or revised it is still important to evaluate it and build upon the feedback from the participants. Where extensive feedback would be useful interviews can be more comprehensive then using a standard questionnaire.
Video: Managing inductions, Dr Fiona Robson