New employee induction plan template & checklist

7 min read  |   24 May, 2024   By Laura Sands

Two colleagues shake hands with a new employee, smiling

With over 16 million people employed by UK SMEs, it’s fair to say that inductions are something UK small business owners and managers are familiar with. Having an induction checklist is an easy way to make onboarding new employees simpler.

With Breathe’s people-first HR management system, first days on the job are a breeze for new starters & managers alike. 


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What is an induction checklist?

An induction checklist is a well-planned list of activities for a new starter to complete. It covers basics such as how lunch hours work as well as formal activities such as how to submit expenses.

It doesn’t cover tasks that need to be done by the employee’s manager before the new employee arrives. Equipment, uniforms, passwords and software access should be planned well in advance so that your new starter has everything they need from day one.


What’s the difference between an induction and an onboarding?

An induction (sometimes called ‘orientation’) focuses on an employee’s first few days in a company. Inductions concentrate on showing a new employee the basics of how your company operates. An induction is part of a broader onboarding process.

An onboarding covers everything from the moment an employee accepts their job offer right through to several months into the role. It’s about giving them the necessary skills and knowledge they need to do their roles effectively.


Why have an induction checklist?

An induction checklist helps your employees settle in more quickly. This will mean they’re productive more quickly. Induction checklists don’t only benefit employees however, they can also make a manager’s job simpler.


How an induction checklist can help new employees

Not only can starting a new job feel daunting, but it can also leave employees feeling vulnerable. Even the simplest things such as finding the bathrooms or knowing where the stationery is kept will feel difficult. Having an induction checklist helps reduce that feeling of vulnerability and welcome your employee. It’s the administrative equivalent of holding their hand as they find their way around.

Welcome aboard final

How an induction checklist can help managers

In an SME, it’s the managers who are most likely to take care of their employee’s induction. However, busy managers will already have:

  • other team members who need their attention

  • important meetings booked into their diary

  • urgent work to complete

  • reduced capacity because they’ve been potentially short-staffed. 

With all of this going on, having an induction checklist removes some of the pressure.

There’s no need to waste precious headspace on wondering what to include. Instead, you can take the checklist and then decide how to implement it. Having a checklist also means some of the induction planning can be handed to a team assistant or VA leaving them to book meetings or arrange phone calls for the new employee.

Breathe's onboarding tasks module can help streamline the new starter process & reduce admin. 



Do remote employees need an induction checklist?

They may not be in the office, but that doesn’t mean remote employees don’t need an induction checklist. If anything, a well-thought-through induction is even more important because remote employees can feel isolated or get inadvertently left out. For that reason, we’ve added some remote-employee-specific induction details to the bottom of this checklist.


New employee induction checklist

Here's a list of topics and activities to cover in a new employee induction checklist for on-site employees.

Company background

  • Company history

  • Vision and purpose

  • Company culture goals

  • Current high-level aims

  • Introduction to the directors and other key people


  • Car parking

  • Kitchen facilities

  • Stationery

  • Security - locking up

  • Smoking/alcohol/drugs policies

  • Health and safety - First Aid/accident procedures

  • Web access policy

  • Email & phone use policy

  • Office opening hours, flexible working arrangements

  • Lunch hours

  • How to answer the phone

  • Holiday rules and leave booking

  • Dress code

  • Flexible working policy

Job role information

  • Job title

  • Areas of responsibility

  • Contribution of the role to the business

  • Introduction to their immediate team and key collaborators

  • Priorities

  • Performance reviews

HR documentation

  • Signed contract

  • Sharing the employee handbook

  • P45

  • Completed information sheet for HR

  • Pension

  • Pay – when in month

  • Benefits

  • Expenses

  • Salary reviews

Remote employee induction checklist ideas

Out of sight doesn’t mean out of mind. Make sure you take your remote new starters through the above checklist, adapting it where necessary for their new location. You could include:

  • Video call meet and greets with key people such as directors and team members.

  • A video tour of the building so they can get a feel of the way you work.

  • A meet and greet call with key supports such as IT and their HR contact.

  • Details of your remote working policy and expectations.

  • A remote workplace health and safety review.

  • Online meeting and remote working etiquette.

  • Introduction to collaboration software.

Covering these details in an employee’s first few days will help them settle in more quickly and help them start doing their jobs sooner, contributing to a stronger and more productive workforce. It’s worth remembering, however, that there’s no fixed way to give your employees a great induction. Make sure you cover the important details but feel free to get creative with how you deliver them, just like the companies in these induction examples.


Keep track of new starters with Breathe's induction plan template

Download Breathe's free induction plan template to help manage new starters whenever, wherever. 

Manage your new employee admin easily with Breathe's HR task management software. Find out how Breathe can save you time today by taking out a free 14-day trial


Author: Laura Sands

Laura is a writer who enjoys getting into the detail of subjects and sharing that knowledge with snappy, interesting content. When not typing away, she enjoys walks in the woods and curling up with a good book and mug of something hot.

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