A good induction is crucial to building a relationship between a member of staff, their immediate team and the employing organisation. Many larger organisations will have formal induction events often lasting 1 or 2 days which it is compulsory for all new staff to attend. However a proper induction into an organisation and team needs to consist of more than this and should last longer.
Not Just For New Staff
A well planned induction is a necessity not just for those new to an organisation. Although it may not need to be as all-encompassing as for a totally new member of staff, thought should be given to inductions for staff who have been promoted or have been absent from the workplace for a prolonged period of time due to family reasons or illness or those who have taken a sabbatical.
All staff have a need to understand the basics of how their organisation works. These include:
- When and how they are paid
- Car parking
- The aims and objective of the organisation
- Health and safety considerations including fire procedures and personal safety
- Information governance
- Organisational policies and procedures including information about acceptable use of IT and how to access IT support
If this information is not covered at organisational level then it is essential that it be dealt with by the line manager or a designated person. It might be useful to put together a check list to ensure that all the basics have been covered (see ‘What Should a Good Induction Include?’ below). If you have an HR department they should be able to assist with this. The CIPD and ACAS both provide useful guidance on what an induction needs to cover.
- ACAS (2015) Starting staff: induction. [Online] Available at: http://www.acas.org.uk/media/pdf/3/0/Starting-staff-induction.pdf [Accessed 11 January 2017]
- CIPD (2016) Induction. [Online] Available at: http://www.cipd.co.uk/hr-resources/factsheets/induction.aspx [Accessed 11 January 2017]
What Should A Good Induction Include?
Induction will vary from post to post and from organisation to organisation. The following list covers just some of the topics, conversation points and activities which you might want to consider including in an induction plan for a new post holder.
- Organisational objectives
- Identify and arrange meetings with the key people within the organisation. Who these are will vary depending on the level and scope of the role
- Service strategy and other important documents e.g. marketing plan
- What are the key tasks of the role?
- What are the post holder’s expectations of the role?
- How often will the post holder and their line manager meet in the first few weeks?
- If the post holder is managing staff encourage them to set aside time to get to know their team on an individual basis and as a group
- What are the post holder’s training/development needs? How will these be addressed?
- What committees/departmental meetings should the post holder attend? Who is the key contact for these? Where are the minutes and other relevant documents stored?
- Would the post holder benefit from having a buddy or a mentor?
- Visits to other departments and organisations can be useful
- Ensure the post holder is aware of any relevant networks that would be useful to them. These could be at national or local level and could include membership of virtual/email groups
If the new post holder will not have the opportunity to spend time with the outgoing post holder the first step to a successful induction will be the exit interview with the person who is moving on. At this interview try and ascertain what the outgoing post holder wishes they had been told when they started, what they would like to share with their successor and any useful contacts. If it can be arranged for them to spend time with the new person then do this.
If the post is a new one then the line manager needs to think about these questions and prepare answers for the incoming staff member. There is a form on the HCLU website aimed at departing managers which might be useful in assisting with this process.