We have all started working at places that just expect us to “hit the ground running” and become productive extremely quickly. Many of us will have worked at places that regard an induction program as a waste of time, or think a quick tour of the building should be sufficient!
The benefits of induction programs are vast and include: increased retention of newly hired employees, improved employee morale and increased productivity. A properly crafted induction program will save you time and money in the long run; money that might have ended up being spent on covering absences and hiring replacements if induction isn’t done well.
Induction is the second stage (after attraction) of contact between you and your new employee, so why not spend some time making sure you get it right?
Ideally an induction program should include:
a) Introduction to important staff (not just a quick hello but sufficient time to get acquainted and understand their job role)
b) Tour of the building, pointing out fire exits, bathrooms, meeting rooms, boardrooms, useful offices such as IT support staff, administration staff etc. Don’t forget to show them where to find office stationery and the position of photocopiers / faxes.
c) Health and safety training as necessary dependent on job role; may include items such as manual handling and where to find the health and safety notice board.
d) How to complete day to day tasks and where to find the necessary folders / files.
The fourth task is the most important but often the most likely to be overlooked. It should take place over a number of days dependent on the availability of the staff carrying out the training. Ideally each task should be explained, then the trainee should be left for a short while to practice. Following this, the trainer should then return to clarify progress, check misunderstandings and then start the next task.
Induction Trainer Guidelines
1) Give the trainee your details to get hold of you by any method they choose – telephone, email, face to face.
2) Provide training materials, at least a quick reference guide – ideally a full manual explaining the task.
3) Call back regularly to check on progress. Just because you haven’t hear from them doesn’t mean they are okay – they may just be the type of person who doesn’t like asking questions.
4) Ensure you ask your manager for sufficient time to carry out your role effectively – point out you need to provide training materials and be available to answer questions at short notice.
5) Consider asking to attend a “train the trainer” course if conducting an induction program is something you enjoy and would like to make it a bigger part of your role.
Once the employee has completed their induction program, ask for feedback on how they felt it went. What could be done to improve the procedure for future staff?