employee induction
The glorious employee induction and how to get it right
Posted by Stuart Falconer • June 30, 2021

First impressions count. The induction process is an opportunity to present your business in the best possible light to your new employee. It gets them started on a solid footing from day one. If you think your current induction process leaves a lot to be desired, we’ll show you how to put in place a glorious employee induction and how to get it right.

A great example of a terrible induction

At the beginning of my HR career, I started a job in a department of around 20 employees. On my first day, I was the only person who arrived on time. I sat outside the department and waited until my manager arrived – she was rushing down the corridor, papers flying everywhere.

‘How delighted I am to meet you!’ she exclaimed. ‘Now go and sit over there, read the staff handbook and I’ll catch up with you later this afternoon!’

‘Bemused’ and ‘unbelievably disappointed’ only touch on how I felt. It left me wondering why on earth I had taken the job. I felt unimportant. The message that morning’s shenanigans gave me was that it didn’t matter if I was late for work. Everyone else was, so why should I bother?

It’s a great example of a poor induction. They weren’t ready for my arrival. There had been no plan put in place to help me acclimatise and adapt to my new working environment. And yet I was expected to successfully complete my probationary period!

Why on earth would anyone want their new employee to start like that? What message does that send out? (Read more about standards of behaviour.)

What an induction should be

An induction is an introduction for new employees that enables them to do their work in a new profession or job role within a new organisation. It’s a fantastic opportunity to introduce someone to the culture of the business, outlining the goals, standards and expectations. Perhaps most importantly of all, it’s an opportunity to welcome someone, to make them feel important and a valuable addition to the business.

What a glorious employee induction looks (and sounds) like!

‘Hi Dave, great to meet you! Let me introduce you to some of the key people you’ll be working with.’ (Make sure these people are expecting a visit from you and Dave. You want them to prepare accordingly and look genuinely pleased to meet Dave!)

‘Here’s the kitchen, you can use the fridge for storing your lunch. The company provides fruit, so help yourself. Just so you know, we’re expected to keep the kitchen clean, so make sure you clean up after yourself.’

‘Over here is Peter, he’s our social organiser. Pete will take some details down and ensure you’re invited to all our social events. We try and do something once a month, to try and foster a good team ethic and get to know each other.’

Years after my extremely poor induction, I had a completely different experience. When I arrived on my first day, there was my desk, fully stocked. I had my log-in details and passwords for the system, policies and procedures and a detailed two-week induction schedule. The schedule outlined what I would be doing for every minute of every day for the first two weeks. To top it all off, my manager gave up their time at the end of each day to go through how the day had gone.

WOW! What a difference. My new employers were ready for me, I was welcomed and I felt unbelievably excited that they had gone to so much trouble for me. What had they done that was so special? It’s not rocket science – they had simply planned for my arrival.

Don’t miss the opportunity to start off on the right footing. Make sure your new employee is aware of the expectations you have for them. Basically, start as you mean to go on! The induction period can be as short or long as you want, but it must provide the new employee with all the information they need to begin their new role successfully.

The components of a glorious induction
  • Be ready for your new employee and have everything in place in preparation for their arrival.
  • Do the admin first – sign employment contracts, photocopy of passport, issue uniform, etc.
  • Run through T&Cs.
  • Give an introduction to the Owner/Directors/Senior Leadership Team and the company.
  • Conduct a health and safety briefing.
  • Introduce them to their line manager.
  • Introduce them to their colleagues.
  • And, of course, provide an introduction to the job!

The formula for a GLORIOUS employee induction is pretty simple, isn’t it? If you’re an employer or HR manager and you’re still unsure of how to transform your induction process, Morgan Thomson HR can lend a hand. For a chat about getting your induction nailed down, call me on 0345 095 0139 or email stuart.falconer@morganthomsonhr.co.uk.