Starting a new job can be exciting, but it can also be very daunting for many workers. From nerves about getting their tasks right to social anxiety about where to sit at lunch, being in a new working environment is often not only isolating but can also set the tone for your employment relationship with your employee.
But, when your business takes active steps to help new employees settle in through a robust employee induction process, it's more likely you'll be setting your new employee up for success.
What is employee induction?
Employee induction is the process of introducing new employees to your business.
This is where you share key information about the business such as;
Your business culture, values and company's history
Introduce them to their team
Define their roles and responsibilities
Provide orientation, training and more to
When you do this from the very beginning, it will help familiarize them with your business practices. It also presents a chance for you to make a good first impression on the new employee.
Employee induction even goes down to the basics, like showing new starters where the kitchen and washrooms are to having introductory sessions with everyone they will be working with.
Why is the employee induction process important?
It's important to conduct induction for all new employees for many reasons. They are now part of your business and will interact with co-workers, managers, supervisors and sometimes clients.
So, it's important that induction programs prepare them to live and breathe the company culture, learn health and safety procedures, understand the company's history, values, mission, and vision, and how each team member works.
Businesses that fail to put new employees through a successful employee induction program in the first few weeks of their employment, risk having high employee turnover, making costly mistakes, and wasting time and resources.
Recruiting and hiring the right candidate can be time-consuming and expensive, so it's important to get your new employees integrated into the business quickly and efficiently. This will help you to save time and help both your business and the employees reach their goals easily.
What are the benefits of employee induction?
As mentioned earlier, one of the benefits of induction programs is that they set your new employee up to be successful in their role. But there are many other benefits for the employer and employees when there is an induction process.
Improving company culture and reducing social anxiety for new hires, as it helps them get familiar with the workplace.
Reducing turnover and recruitment costs. New employees who go through induction training are more likely to succeed in their roles and less likely to seek out new employment possibilities in a short time.
Increasing productivity and operational efficiency as employees feel prepared to perform their duties well. They also feel more valued, and this can lead to them working harder and more efficiently. They'll feel more comfortable and perform better, knowing guidance is available when they need it.
Helping new employees settle into their roles much faster and understand how they contribute to the business's success. This gives them a sense of pride in their work, so they feel more respected and accepted.
Fitting in is much easier for new employees when they get comprehensive information on everything worth knowing about the business. It also builds a foundation for great communication between the new hire and team members, supervisors, or managers.
Employee inductions help promote a safe workplace as new employees get familiar with company policies and procedures, such as giving information on what to do when there is a health and safety emergency.
What are the main steps for employee induction?
These three steps are key components in the employee induction process that you should follow for all new employees.
The first step is a general orientation that happens within the first 30 days of employment. This is where you introduce the new hire to the rest of the team. Many businesses do a company-wide post or email to let the team know a new team member will be joining the business.
You'll also do a general introduction of the business, including its values, mission and vision, culture and values to the employee.
The second step happens within the first 90 days of the new employee's hire. It is a more specific orientation by the job supervisor where you give the new employee more details about what they'll be doing in their role and how they can apply their skills to achieve the business goals.
You'll also outline who their supervisors or managers are and how they will be managed.
The third step happens later in the employee's time with your business. It can be after their probation period or a follow-up orientation whenever there are new responsibilities added to the employee's role.
This step is important to make sure your employee has settled into their role well, has adapted to their tasks and offer them support when needed.
What should an employee induction include?
Now that you know what steps to take during the employee induction program, let's take a look at a list of things you should cover during the induction process.
This list is not exhaustive and can be tailored to your business's unique needs and requirements.
Your code of conduct
How to handle confidential information
How to respond to emergencies and incidents
How to use business resources such as the internet
Rules for workplace health and safety
The business's history, culture and values, structure, etc
Internal and external customer service best practices
A breakdown of important management information
environmental protection practices like waste separation
Understandably, this can be a lot to keep track of. If you're wondering how to make this process as seamless as possible, having an employee induction checklist is the answer.
Why does an employee induction checklist matter?
A successful employee induction program should be structured to cover all the key components of your business. This helps new employees settle into their working environment and integrate into their team much faster.
Having a checklist helps you keep track of all you need to do and creates a well-defined framework you can refer to at every stage of your employee's time with your business.
What must be included in an induction checklist?
Here are a few examples of what to outline in your induction checklist so you're sure you touch all bases and everything is ready when your new employee arrives.
Introduce them to their coworkers and other relevant stakeholders
Share an overview of the business structure, vision and mission
Give them the employee handbook; this is usually where the code of conduct is outlined
Provide a copy of their employment contract and relevant policies and manuals
Detail their job responsibilities
Share health and safety information such as location of first aid kits, fire exits and more
Hand over their equipment and tools like company phone, name badge, keys or ID
Set up their IT systems or workstations
Share the team's schedule
Other important information you should collect from your new employees during the initial induction period. This includes:
Their signed employment contract
Emergency contact details
Bank account details
Personal ID such as passport, license, or visa
Work authorization information, where applicable
Should you have an employee induction day program at work?
Some businesses may want the new starter to begin work immediately without a formal induction process. They may want to take the 'learning on the job' approach and incorporate bits of what they should know as they go along.
While this is better than having no induction plan at all, it's much better to have a whole day or several days dedicated to onboarding so there is enough time to go over all you need to without overwhelming your new starter.
Should every new employee have an induction day?
It's important for every new employee to have an induction day.
Asking a new hire with no previous interaction with your business to begin work without an introduction to the workplace will be equal to setting them up for failure. This will most likely result in wasted time and resources for your employees and business.
During the initial induction, every new employee gets introduced to the purpose and values of the business. It's also a chance for you to set clear goals and expectations of what you expect the employee's performance to be.
Who should conduct a new employee induction?
It's usually best for an employee's supervisor or manager to handle the employee's induction. In some instances, a combination of different people are involved in the process.
If the employee is working across multiple departments, their team members can also take on the responsibility of showing them what their duties will be.
Having multiple people conduct inductions can also be a chance for the new starter to make friends and have more social interactions
What makes an induction program successful?
A great way to know if you've had a successful induction is if the employee is engaged and the process is organized and completed on time.
An effective induction program gives the employee a great first impression, which is also beneficial for employee retention.
When done well, the induction program provides valuable information, teaches technical skills, introduces the new employee to key senior employees and lays the foundation for a positive workplace culture.
Features of a good induction program
If you find yourself wondering whether your current or intended induction process will be successful or not, here are a few features of a good employee induction program to look out for
It's a mix of both 1 on 1 and group session types
It provides mentorship to help the employee build positive relationships while learning how to do their job well
It's adaptable so that it can be personalized to each employee's background and needs
It uses a mix of innovative and creative training styles to promote a positive learning environment
It encourages two-way communication and encourages employee feedback to improve future inductions
Things to avoid during an effective induction program
We have broken down the benefits of employee inductions, how to conduct them and the features of a good induction program.
To understand all aspects of an employee induction program, it's also important to know the negative things to avoid doing during employee induction training.
Providing too much information
It's important not to try to give the employee too much information to deal with at first. It's tempting to want to get them up to speed fast, but remember, there will be tons of new material for the new hire to process.
Loading them up with excessive information can wind up having the opposite effect. It could be overwhelming and cause them not to retain any information at all.
Setting unrealistic expectations
This is fairly common, as most employers expect new hires to hit the ground running and get everything right in the first few weeks. This isn't feasible and might make for a toxic work environment, so strive to avoid having too high expectations.
It's better to focus on providing further training and providing support to equip them to succeed in their new role.
Leaving them idle
The first few days on the job are critical for both the new hire and employer to form their opinions about each other.
It's best to find the right balance between providing just the right amount of information and giving the employee enough time between induction sessions.
Don't leave the employee to spend all day signing forms or with no tasks for too long, as this can be bad for employee engagement.
Conducting employee inductions with BrightHR
As this article explains, employee inductions help new hires get familiar with the company culture, mission, vision and values, company strategy and other pertinent information about the business. It also helps the employee feel valued.
While inductions are mostly conducted for new hires, it's important to remember it's an ongoing process that happens throughout the employment lifecycle.
As employees get promoted or move into new roles, they will likely need additional support to get acclimated to their new roles again.
That's why it's important to have a well-ironed-out employee induction program so you're always ready to support your employees when they need it.
BrightHR's suite of people management software and tools can help you make the employee induction process simple and straightforward.
Our extensive library of HR documents, checklists and policies has all the essential documents you need to leave a positive first impression on your new hires.
If you need help customizing your documents or have questions about the formal induction process, our team of employment relations experts is just a quick phone call away, and our phone lines are open 24/7, 365.
Not yet a BrightHR client? Are you eager to learn more about how we can help you onboard new team members? Book a FREE demo today.