Induction Process Guide

Make your employee induction process seamless


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Induction process overview


Taking on a new employee is an exciting time for both you and them and it’s essential you get it right from day one.

If you do you’ll get them up to speed and fully productive far more quickly than if you leave them to their own devices. You’ll also help boost staff loyalty and drive down staff turnover and absenteeism – all things that can have a positive impact on your company image and bottom line if they’re in balance.

According to research, British companies are losing a induction 1-minstaggering £2 billion a year through poor induction processes with the average cost of replacing a member of staff put at around £30,000. Another study found one in 25 people walk out of their jobs within weeks or even days because their induction has been handled badly. 

Your staff are one of your most important assets and it’s important to make sure they are fully integrated into your business if you want to get the best out of them. Having a great employee induction plan in place is vital to this process.


What is an induction? 

An induction is the way in which you introduce someone to their new role, the company culture and the processes you have in place. The primary aim is get them up to speed as quickly as possible to minimise lost productivity.

Most businesses will have a process in place which introduces the new staff to their main roles and responsibilities. Depending on the organisation this might be a standard induction programme for all new hires but with variations according to the area of the business they are entering.

For example, if you take a fabrication welding firm, the induction process for a mechanical engineer is going to differ somewhat from that of a personal assistant. The overarching induction to the company culture will likely be the same but will diversify when it comes to specific roles.


When does an induction programme start?

For many businesses, an induction begins from the day their new employee actually starts and normally lasts a set period of time such as a few days or a week. However, just as many companies start the onboarding process before the employee has even set foot in the door. This can include sending company information packs or welcome boxes, to keeping them informed about the process and letting them know what to expect.


Why are employee inductions so important?

Don't fall into the trap of thinking an employee induction is a waste of time. it will in fact set your employees up for success or failure depending on how you plan it. If you dismiss the process you risk an employee who doesn’t feel part of the team, doesn’t understand their job role, who is quickly disenfranchised and who ultimately starts looking for a job elsewhere before the ink is even dry on their employee contract.

If you’ve spent thousands on recruitment or advertising, it can wind up being a costly expense for you.

On the flip side, if you make sure your employee is fully inducted, you are building on the drive and enthusiasm that made you hire them in the first place. It can take as much as two years to get a staff member fully up to speed in a company but this process is accelerated where a solid induction programme is in place.


The purpose of an induction

An induction ensures your new staff are integrating well across all areas of the business. Not only will they be able to grasp the job you have employed them for and become fully productive more quickly but an induction will also help them to understand your company culture and form positive relationships with existing employees.


Who's responsible for providing a new starter with an induction programme?

The responsibility for the induction process will ultimately vary depending on the size of your organisation. If you run a small business with half a dozen employees, then it might well be yourself as the boss and owner who welcomes new staff.

If your organisation is larger it might be the HR manager or department that has responsibility for welcoming new recruits. The HR department in many instances is likely to be the first point of contact, gathering necessary information to do with the new employee such as employment history, records, bank details etc.

However, there may be specific members of staff you wish to assign with the responsibility. This might be the new member of staff’s line manager or it could be someone within your organisation who is particularly suited to that type of role.


What to include in a staff induction process

Deciding what to include in any induction is a very subjective process and it varies from organisation to organisation. But in the main you will be introducing new employees to their role, key responsibilities, how they fit into the department/organisation, what is expected of them and how their work will be monitored or assessed, how they will carry out their duties and how they will be supported. It also includes more practical elements such as meeting colleagues and learning their way around the building.


What to include in an induction programme


  • Physical orientation
    Depending on the size of your premises this can be very straightforward or a little more complex. Regardless of size however, it’s important to get new employees familiar with their place of work. It helps them to feel more comfortable if they know their way around quickly.
  • Health and safety
    By law you are required to provide employees with any information they need to help them carry out their work safely. Provide them with your health and safety policy as well as fire alarm procedures. You may need to have specific policies in place for their job e.g. a baker might need inducting in kitchen safety and food safety.
  • Company organisation and history
    You should give them an overview of the company history and its current structure as well as providing the names of key people within your business. This will also include the company’s history, objectives, culture and vision.
  • Job requirements 
    As well as explaining to them their roles and responsibilities you may also need to provide them with an understanding of the different departments, how they interact and where their role fits into it. You will explain your expectations of them as well as any probationary or monitoring period you might put them under. You should also include the terms and conditions of employment as well.
  • Equipment
    Again, depending on the role you may need to train them on how to use certain equipment, systems or computer programmes.
  • Training and development 
    Incorporate information about any training opportunities for your new employee as well as provide details of interactive training services that might be available such as company intranet. You might also want to create a personal development plan for them at this stage.
  • Meeting key staff
    An induction is the right time to introduce them to key staff members who they may be working directly with or who are pivotal to your business. This gives them a chance to build relationships with colleagues and integrate better into your organisation.
  • Company benefits
    The induction is also a good stage to introduce them to some of the benefits or perks that might be on offer such as dress down Fridays, gym memberships, complimentary food or drink bars and relaxation lounges depending on what you offer.
  • Remote connections
    If your organisation is spread across mobile sites, informing new staff about how they can interact with other staff in different locations via digital means is a great idea.


What to not include in a staff induction process


  • Don't cram in too much
    Depending on the size of your premises this can be very straightforward or a little more complex. Regardless of size however, it’s important to get new employees familiar with their place of work. It helps them to feel more comfortable if they know their way around quickly.
  • Be wary of negative influences
    You want your new employee to remain enthusiastic and driven so don’t sit them next to the office moaner or a poor performer.
  • Pitch at the right level
    If the person you’re hiring is an office junior don’t give them an induction aimed at a senior manager. Pitch your inductions at the right level for your new employees, taking into account their previous experience and new role.
  • Gather input
    Don’t leave it purely up to HR at the expense of input from local managers. Depending on how your company is structured there should be input from both.
  • Don't over-do-it
    Don’t over-egg the induction process and create unreasonable expectations. Equally, don’t concentrate purely on administrative matters at the expense of your company ethos and culture.


Evaluating an induction programme

One of the best ways to evaluate your processes is to have new employees fill out an evaluation questionnaire after some time in the job, three months for example. In that questionnaire ask them what they thought about the process, what was great and
what could be improved upon.

You can also hold a post-induction interview to find out how it has gone, what areas were useful and what require attention.


Induction process examples

There are plenty of companies out there who have launched fantastic induction programmes. Here are just a few examples:

induction 5-min


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