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Requirements for employee’s induction

Even though hiring a new staff member seems a mammoth task at the time, it generally is the easiest part. It is like the courtship stage of any relationship, where everyone is pleasant and on their best behaviour. So while we are basking in the euphoria of at last having found that one individual that can actually meet the requirements of our very important role it is not surprising that sometimes we forget the on-boarding / induction process. The first question we need to ask, is does your organization have an induction policy and programme. If not, why not? Are management made aware of the criticality of on-boarding new recruits in such a manner that they become more effective sooner within the workplace. Is the organization doing everything in its power to ensure that new staff members are supported in what is likely to be one of the most difficult experiences people face in the work place?

Remember your first day in your current job .

Were you given an induction to the ins and outs of the company? Did you feel the warm welcome of an organized; well oiled approach to introducing you to its people; the processes; systems and culture? Did you go home feeling like you had made a good decision with regards your new appointment and that this seemed to be a positive start to what looked like a rewarding and productive relationship?

Or

Were you left at the reception area for an hour while the receptionist hopeless searched the building for your new manager? Did you eventually get rushed up the stairs to meet and greet a hundred different faces in a frantic rush (clearly obvious that your manager had forgotten you were starting today) and then dumped at a desk (sharing it with a rather unfriendly looking person) to familiarize yourself with the company strategy, products and services (a pile of disorganized documents pulled from the shelf of some innocent bystander). If this was your experience, do you remember going home that night feeling drained and exhausted in spite of having achieved nothing at all that day other than to establish where the bathrooms were?

Unfortunately the former experience seems a rare practice in our fast paced and frantic business world and the later is a far more likely experience that most of us have encounter at one time or another.

So the question is, HOW do you get a good; workable induction programme established for your business. Something that balances equally between the fast pace that we have to perform in and still taking the time to make people feel welcomed and appreciated.

To start with, it has to be agreed at the very top that there is a business benefit to having new employees feeling familiar with and welcomed in their new workplace. Executives need to buy into the importance of ensuring that new recruits understand their new roles and responsibilities and that they are able to not only recognize the various people dependencies within their business value chain but also operate the relevant systems; programmes and other tools used in the day to day execution of their roles. Once the people at the top recognize and appreciate the importance of all these aspects then the message can be filtered down to the management and operational teams.

So once we have managed to gain consensus that an induction process has an important business value, we need to then establish the main elements of a good induction process.

These elements should be divided into a few main categories; namely

  • Pre-arrival
  • Arrival
  • Adaptation
  • Productivity

Pre-arrival

Before a new recruit starts on his/her first day the business needs to be prepared. HR / the allocated resources within the department needs to ensure that the person has an allocated working space; allocated equipment and working tools; identified the person/s the new recruit will work with; who they are working for and the terms of their employment. They would also probably have to complete all sorts of administrative work such as access card application forms; petrol card application forms; medical aid forms; HR docs; a copy of the company policy and procedures etc. Once this has all been arranged and a new recruit pack prepared, the receptionist needs to be informed of the new arrival and the manager needs reminding to be at work early or at least on time. Lastly, an induction schedule needs to be determined and planned for.

Arrival

On the day of arrival it is important that the new recruit is given a general welcome; that they are properly introduced to other staff members; given time to settle in at their working space and then later shown around the building so that they are familiar with where other departments; kitchen; bathroom and facilities are. It could also be a good time to allow the new employee time to complete all the administration needed for personnel records and time to go over some carefully prepared induction packs on the organization itself.

Adaptation

During this period, which could differ in period from role to role, the new recruit is shown how the department operates; the departmental mission; organizational chart; hours of work and other important operational procedures. They are introduced to the systems; processes and procedures; the quality and output expectations and any other operational requirements that are needed for them to function well within their new role. Training; whether it be on procedures; systems or business requirements is offered and the new recruit is provided the space to find their feet and adapt to their new environment.

Productivity

A good induction programme provides a good foundation for a long lasting and productive relationship. This relationship has many other dependencies, but like any good relationship if nurtured well from the onset it is more likely to be successful than to fail.

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