I had a conversation recently with a small business owner who had just hired their first employee. He was excited to tell me that he had successfully recruited an excellent candidate for his company and wanted to ensure his new employee felt welcomed from his first day. I was delighted that he recognised the importance of taking the time to think about his new employee’s integration into his company.
So many small, and large organisations fail in this crucial step in the recruitment process. They put huge effort into creating a job description/person specification, sourcing candidates, carrying out a structured competency based interview (hopefully!) and having finally selected the best candidate for the role they pat themselves on the back and say ‘job done’!
What they may not realise is that all the effort that went into securing their ideal candidate may be wasted time if they do not take the time to put together an effective induction plan for their new employee. According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) “It’s important that induction is not just treated as a ‘tick box’ exercise, but is seen as a great opportunity to introduce new employees to the culture and ways of working of the business. Managers (with guidance from HR) need to invest time in inducting new employees to help them settle in, become productive more quickly and to help prevent them from leaving within their first six months in the job.”
Small business owners may think induction is something that is done in large organisations. However, I believe that it is even more crucial to smaller companies to ensure the investment of time and money put into recruitment is underpinned by the integration of the employee into their company, thereby helping to retain that employee.
An induction plan does not have to be complicated or be costly, in essence it requires thought and time to put together steps to effectively welcome and help your new employee settle into the team with ease, feeling motivated and excited that they have made the right decision in joining your company.
So what elements should an effective induction include:
- Logistics – ensure they have all the equipment required to do their job on their first day. This will depend on the role but may include for example, a desk or work space, a computer or laptop, a telephone, tools, protective clothing or business cards.
- Communication – ensure they get all the information they need to settle in. This will include, going through their terms and conditions (Employee Handbook), their job description and role, Health and Safety (legal requirement), office opening hours, telephone, IT systems etc.
- Facilities – ensure they know where all the facilities are located, where they can get lunch, car parking, public transport, smoking areas and anything else they may need to feel orientated with the facilities.
- Introductions – to their colleagues, management, suppliers and any key people they will be in contact with in their day to day work.
- Company details – history, culture, structure, range of products or services, any regular social events or customs e.g. dress down on Fridays.
The above is not an exhaustive list and can be tailored to your company and be provided over a period of time as you do not want to overload them with information on their first day! With the help of your HR Consultant, you can put together an induction plan, identifying who will be responsible for providing each step of the induction for the employee. I would also suggest thinking about introducing a buddy system where practical, so they have one person as a go to, who can answer any questions that come up during the first month(s) of their employment.
I would also mention as part of the induction they should be advised about the probation process from their line manager/supervisor – outlining what is expected of them, when probation review meetings will take place, any training to be undertaken and when and how they will be informed whether they have passed or if their are any issues.
Induction, on-boarding or new hire orientation – whatever you want to call it, should matter to small businesses if they want to avoid low morale, loss of productivity, poor integration into the company and possibly the employee leaving or being dismissed within their first 6 months and the additional costs of hiring a replacement.
If you require any help or further information about Induction or Probation, give Michelle a call on 01737 910628 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will be happy to provide you with a free consultation.