Induction plans play an important part in bedding new employees into your business, and their benefits extend both ways. For you as an employer, they:
Ensure new starters settle in as efficiently as possible
Have proven to improve long-term retention rates
Set the working relationship off on a good foot
Instil a positive and enthusiastic attitude among new starters.
And for new employees, they:
Give structure and aid a smooth settling in process
Help forge positive, business-wide working relationships
Provide the building blocks to hit the ground running
Enable self-sufficiency – providing you introduce them to all the relevant teams, processes, documents, and software, etc.
10 tips to help with your induction plan
When it comes to putting the actual plan in place there can be a lot to cram in, but it’s important not to overbear new starters with overwhelming amounts of information – this could send them running for the hills!
So, here are a few simple steps and pointers to help you achieve that all-important balance:
Write it down: This’ll help both you and the new starter keep track of where they’re up to and what’s coming up. For the newbie especially, seeing their first week or two mapped out can bring a lot of structure to their days and chop out any of those “what now” moments. The induction plan doesn’t have to be elaborate, literally jotting down a top-line overview of their agenda on a piece of paper will do, just make sure it includes key details like: dates, times, locations, and the name and title of people they’re meeting with.
The day-to-day: Don’t forget to clue new starters up on day-to-day, non-work related info, like parking, public transport, local shops, cooking facilities, and cloakrooms, etc. This will help them settle into their new surroundings and reduce their reliance on others.
Start with the bigger picture: If your business has a two, three, four or five-year plan, share this with new employees in the early stages of their induction. This’ll ensure they’re bought in from the off and will allow them to piece together how their role will contribute to it.
Include all key contacts: It’s a good idea to set aside one-on-one time for new starters with each of the key individuals and/or teams they’ll be working with. This’ll help them a) build a rapport with them, b) understand their role and responsibilities, and c) get a feel for when and how they’ll work together.
Keep checking in: Make a point of regularly checking in with the employee to make sure they’re getting everything they need and aren’t feeling overloaded. This’ll also give them an opportunity to raise any questions or concerns.
Give them time to digest: Don’t make your induction plan back-to-back for days on end. Give the employee time to take a step back and digest all the information that’s being thrown their way. If you’re in an office environment, this might mean giving them an hour or so to sit at their desk and read through their notes and browse through your systems. Or if you’re in a nursery, for example, it could be time out to sit and observe others.
Team bonding: Settling into the job is one part of the induction, settling into the team is the other. When everyone’s got their head down it can be hard to really gel with one another, so consider organising a small team outing (literally a team lunch would do) to give everyone chance to properly chat away from work.
Run through your processes: To make sure you’re both singing from the same hymn sheet and to avoid any confusion down the line, although it should be in your employee handbook, run through things like your sickness policy, probation periods, annual leave requests, dress code, and working from home policies in person. This’ll give you chance to share any exceptions to the rule and be clear on your stance, and it’ll enable the new starter to put forward any questions.
Training: Whether it’s for Health & Safety, hygiene, GDPR or your phone systems, allocate plenty of time for new starters to get stuck into their required training – and make sure they know support’s available if they need it.
Order it chronologically: Last but not least, when you’re putting an employee’s induction plan together, make sure you think carefully about the order in which they’ll be doing things. For example, let’s say you’re in the call centre industry. As part of someone’s induction, you want them to sit down with one of the team leaders, as well as do a bit of call listening with one of their team. It’d make sense to organise the former first, so they have an understanding of what the team does, how they work and their targets, etc. to provide context for their sit-in session.
Need a hand?
When it comes to the world of HR & Employment Law, we really are the experts. Whether it’s help pulling induction plans together, monitoring absences or creating watertight policies – and everything else in between, we’ve got you covered.
To see how we could start supporting your business today, contact the team using the form on this page.