6 essential elements to any employee induction
Employee Induction’s can vary in success. I’ve seen all singing all dancing big-budget inductions delivered from head office and I’ve also seen basic low-cost inductions delivered locally by line managers. Regardless of your budget or who’s delivering it, there are 5 things that every employee induction should have in common. And the good thing is… everything that makes this list is budget friendly!
Caveat: A lot of the success of the below hangs on the competence and commitment of the line manager to the employee induction process. If your line managers leave a lot to be desired, you might want to start there first!
The Essential Employee Induction Elements
1. Clear probationary objectives
How do we know if we’re headed in the right direction without objectives? You might think this is a basic, but you’d be surprised how many line managers overlook setting clear, measurable objectives. Measurable, being the key word there. We set people up to fail when we don’t make it crystal clear what good looks like, and how to achieve it. Objectives help the person to be clear and enable the organisation to measure the individual’s success during the probationary period.
When setting objectives, these should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound).
For example, to:
- Generate 20% revenue from online sales before 31st April
- Increase web traffic by 15% in quarter 3.
- Conduct 1:1’s with all direct reports on a monthly basis
2. Time with line manager on day 1 to discuss probationary expectations
Alongside the probationary objectives the new starter should have time with their manager to discuss and agree the objectives. It’s important the employee agrees to them, and is committed to their initial plan. It’s useful for the manager to identify any concerns about the objectives, or further support/development the employee feels they need to achieve them.
The manager should also discuss with the employee all the other essential information they need to know regarding their role, the wider team, who their key stakeholders are, needs/wants of customers etc.
3. A clear induction plan that inducts them into both the job, and the company.
A new starter needs inducting into both these areas. It’s no good fully understanding your job, without the wider context of how it fits into the bigger strategic picture. Equally, if you get the bigger picture, but don’t get that job that’s even worse!
For the role, the individual needs time with relevant people to understand and learn systems, processes, get context, meet their team, stakeholders, customers etc.
Organisationally they need to know why they do what they do and how it fits into the bigger picture. You can provide organisational context to employees via a central induction programme, via the line manager, or a mix of the two.
4. An induction plan that addresses any skills gaps unique to that person that they may have shared at interview.
From interview the line manager should have a pretty good idea where this individual will excel, and equally where they may need more development. Build this into their plan! The new starter will feel much more valued joining knowing time has been spent creating a plan that’s unique to them and where they need to develop (how’s that for gaining early buy in!?)
5. Regular time with their line manager throughout the induction
Tt’s no good the employee seeing their line manager on day one and then, ‘poof’, they disappear into thin air for the rest of the induction. Ensure there is regular contact time built in to determine progress and assess if any additional development is required to support them in their new role.
6. Any essential compliant related training or development
Data protection, safeguarding, health and safety, you know the drill. Build into the induction anything that’s of a regulatory nature within the industry/profession. This will differ organisation to organisation and role to role, so you’ll need to identify what’s required in your org. This can be delivered via your Health and Safety team (if you have one), if not provide your line managers with a clear health and safety induction checklist, to make sure they cover everything that’s expected of them.
So that’s my top 6, hopefully you’ve already got a lot of this in place. Like I said at the beginning of this post, a lot of this hangs on your line managers commitment and competence when it comes to managing the induction process and equally understanding the importance. If your line managers aren’t the most engaged with your employee induction process then you might find my other blog post on how to improve line manager engagement with workplace learning a useful read.
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