If you’re in human resources, your job doesn’t end once you’ve hired the best candidate for a vacancy at your company. Equally important is helping your new hire settle into their role. Poor onboarding results in low morale, which in turn causes high employee turnover.
In other words, if you don’t provide a great induction process, you risk wasting the time and resources you spent on hiring a great candidate.
This is where an induction program comes in. With an effective induction program, you can guide your new hires as they settle in and assume their new role. Read on to learn exactly how you can create that program.
Using An Iterative Approach
There are many things you need to think about as you create your induction program. This is why it’s important to adopt an iterative approach when creating one.
An iterative approach means you start small, and then enhance the induction program in stages as you go along. With this approach, you can roll out a program for new hires far more quickly. You can then learn as you go along and plug in the gaps in each version, improving the experience for each new batch of employees.
In other words, approach it as an ongoing journey of learning and continuous improvement.
Creating An Induction Program In Stages
Having said that, let’s look at the things you should focus on at each stage of building your employee induction program.
Induction Program Version 1
Since this is your first version, start with ensuring you include all the most basic of information new hires need to know to function well in the company.
Here are some things you might wish to include:
- Pay dates and policies
- Sick leave and PTO policies
- Performance reviews.
- The dress code, if there is one.
- How work patterns and shifts are arranged. For example, perhaps you use a work schedule maker to create the rota? Your new hire will need to know how this works.
- The main responsibilities of the new employee’s role.
- Whom they report to and where they can go if they have a problem or question.
- The key members of their team and those individuals’ roles.
Your new employee should receive all this information in writing. You should also ensure they’re introduced to all the key people they’ll be working with during their first week.
You’ll also need to include relevant health and safety training, and vital information such as data protection policies and IT security training.
Finally, ensure you include your company behavioral policy in version 1. It’s essential to have anti-bullying, anti-discrimination, and anti-harassment policies in place as part of your company’s Code of Conduct. This helps to ensure everyone feels safe and comfortable in your workplace at all times.
Induction Program Version 2
Once you have your basic induction program in place, it’s time to expand it.
At this stage, you can start to include more information about your company. This helps to build a consistent culture that all employees can buy into.
Your expanded recruitment program should therefore also include:
- Your organization’s history. Your new hires should know how the company came about and how it got to where it is today.
- Ownership structure. What is the leadership structure, who reports to whom, and what is the organizational hierarchy? A simple organizational chart can be useful here. If possible, new hires should meet the senior team in their first few weeks. However, in large companies, this may not be possible.
- Organization’s mission and vision. New hires should understand the company’s mission, vision, and values. Employees that fully understand their company’s mission are more likely to feel invested in it and take those values to heart.
- Current organizational goals. New employees need to understand the company’s immediate goals and the part they will play in achieving them.
Improve your team management, too. If possible, introduce your new hires to all teams in the company so they can get to know their colleagues. Some companies like to hold a short welcome meeting, like this one from Workable:
However, I recommend asking your new employee how they feel about this before you organize it. For shy people, it would be a nightmare! Many introverts prefer to meet people one-to-one or in small groups.
In version 2, you can also expand your health and safety training to cover issues such as office ergonomics and mental health in the workplace. Ensure your employees know about any services and support systems that are available to them.
At this stage, you should also include training modules that are specific to a job level. For example, training for newly hired managers will be different to that for entry-level employees.
Induction Program Version 3
By version 3 of your induction program, you should have included all the relevant core information. What’s nextg? Automate!
Automating your induction program will help ensure consistency in all aspects of the program. That means all your subsequent new hires, regardless of when they were hired, will learn the same things. Consistency of onboarding helps ensure all new employees acquire the same company values and adopt the same company culture. In other words, automation gives you more control over the outcomes of your induction program.
Here are some of the things you can automate:
- Pre-employment module: This stage of the process welcomes new hires to the company. You can also include any essential forms they need to fill in or information they need to provide, such as bank details for payroll or emergency contact information.
- HR processes: Automate your HR processes to cover payroll, records management, and scheduling performance evaluations for each employee.
- Week one and month one review sessions: Solicit feedback from your new hires on your induction process as soon as possible. You can use surveys or conduct one-on-one sessions. Their views will help you make adjustments to your induction program.
Automation also enhances the HR department’s efficiency by freeing your employees from tasks that take a lot of time to complete manually.
Induction Program Version 4
Remember those job-specific training modules in version 2? In version 4, you can refine these even more. If you provide your new hires with all the relevant information specific to their role, they will easily adjust and be productive more quickly.
Job-specific training might include training on specific platforms and systems, product knowledge, internal processes, and so on.
An expert can conduct one-to-one training sessions with new employees, or you can run small group training sessions for all your new hires at once. Make the information available online. This way, if your new hires have questions, they can easily access the answers they need anytime.
Creating a Successful Induction Program
Every company needs a successful induction program to welcome new hires and help them settle in and be productive employees. But it takes time to create the perfect program. The key is to use an iterative approach: roll out your program in stages, and make gradual improvements at each stage.
Ensure that your final induction program covers all of the following:
- Information about the business, colleagues, and important stakeholders.
- Job description and main duties. What exactly does the new hire’s job entail?
- Work schedule. Do employees work shifts, or set hours? Can they flex their hours at all?
- Company handbook and HR manual including all relevant rules and policies.
- Workplace safety (layout of premises, fire exits, accident reporting, first aid, and so on).
- Access to IT accounts, any IT rules and procedures.
- Training on specific tools or platforms, such as databases or collaboration tools.
There may be other aspects you need to add, depending on your company and context. The purpose is to create a uniform process for each new hire, allowing them to get settled in and acclimate to your company culture.
Don’t forget to get feedback from each batch of new hires that undergo your induction program, too. Incorporate their feedback into the subsequent versions of your program to ensure you keep improving upon it. A great induction process is a continual learning curve.
With a well-thought-out induction program, you welcome your new employees as they start their new job, and influence them to be the kind of employee you’re looking for. In other words, you help them to thrive. A great induction program has a significant impact on job satisfaction, ultimately increasing your employee retention rate and bringing you closer to building a team that will help you achieve your goals.