The importance of an induction plan

 

An important consideration for employers is how a new employee is introduced and ‘inducted’ into their organisation. So often this vital part of the onboarding process is glossed over or involves a week shadowing followed by….. nothing.

A thorough induction plan not only familiarises your new hires with the essentials of your business but also sets out expectations and introduces the culture of your company.

An induction process removes a lot of uncertainty and new hire mistakes in that crucial initial period.

Remember, it can take months for a new employee to hit maximum productivity in a role (no matter how skilled they are), so anything you can do to accelerate this process will bring rewards.

In the long term, induction drives down turnover and drives up profits. So why is it that companies still skip over this crucial step of their recruitment process?

In this blog, we’re going to run through what an induction plan should look like and how it can be implemented.

 

The Foundation

This section covers the basics, explaining all the things that employee really need to know when commencing work with the company. This should be compiled in document form, but also carefully explained.

  • Familiarisation with the physical venue: Fire exits, location of toilets, staffroom, parking, etc.
  • Who’s who: An introduction to the key players and team, with leadership and department structures explained.
  • Policies on food, drink and smoking: Carefully detail whether or where staff may smoke, as well as break times and if any food and beverages are complimentary.
  • Dress code: If you want your salespeople to wear suits or dress more formally explain and document that here.
  • Holidays, sickness, absenteeism: Detail all formal policies. There must be no ambiguity or errors, as this is an official document.
  • Grievance and disciplinary procedures. Explain how your employees can go about making complaints, as well as any misconduct that they will be disciplined or dismissed for.
  • Health and Safety: explain any systems, hazards, personal protective equipment, and accident reporting procedures.
  • Emergency Procedures: Fire plans, drills etc.
  • Rights and legal issues, personal data etc.

The ‘Company Mission’

This is where you talk about the culture, values and goals of the company, giving your recruit a sense of what the company stands for.

You might want to tell the story of the company’s growth, the owner’s motivations for starting the business, future goals, and how the new employee fits into that grand plan. Discuss ethical behaviour in the company, and create a mission statement that the employee can identify with and see themselves contributing to.

Your Future With Us’

Many companies elect to include this section in the general knowledge, and that’s fine, but a stand-alone section sends a valuable message to the candidate that their future is considered important, as well as setting out expectations. Things to detail in this part include:

  • Mentoring
  • Training and development
  • Awards and incentives
  • Training and development
  • Appraisals process
  • Career paths in the company
  • Employee expectations: This is also an excellent opportunity to discuss with each new hire which skills they’d like to learn, and perhaps which career they see for themselves in future.

The ‘Role Familiarisation’ Section

This section should be to each role and includes a mix of theory and practical learning.

  • Meet the team in person
  • Explanation of how the departments interrelate
  • Service standards and how service works, expectations
  • Job description
  • Reporting structures
  • Use and care of equipment
  • Who to go to for help-mentors, trainers, managers
  • Training for the job. This might be training about the menu, shadowing other staff, or learning the POS system.
  • Further training and performance evaluation process

 

Expectations and Objectives

This is an area that is vital to cover and needs to form part of the whole induction process. So often employees go ‘off track’ or exhibit behaviours that are not aligned to their role or the company culture. If this hasn’t been pointed out ahead of time, you are leaving yourself wide open for misinterpretation.

Here you can also outline where you expect employees to ‘be’ as time moves on.

For instance, let’s say this is a salesperson.

What do you want their activity to be after 30,60 or 90 days? How many opportunities do you expect in the pipeline?

Human beings are success seeking animals are we perform at our best when we have clear goals and objectives.

 

What Else?

The written document is critical, but so too is thorough explanation of each element. Also, be sure to give your new hires opportunities to ask as many questions as they like.

  • Ensure that each page of the induction is read and then the whole document signed by the employee and kept on file; with both you and the employee having a signed copy.
  • With induction training sessions, be wary not to overwhelm them with too much information in one sitting, or it will not be retained.
  • An induction programme needs to last

With a thorough induction plan in place, your new hires are well-briefed not only on the basics but also on the company goals and their own future in the organisation. Done well, it’s a powerful thing.