So you have found the PERFECT person for that role you’ve been trying to fill for a while, their contracts are signed and they are due to start with you very soon. So what happens next? How do you make sure that they are going to enjoy the role when they actually join?
This is where induction and on-boarding processes come into play.
What is it?
Once a new team member has been secured, it is vital that they get off to the best start in their new surroundings. Induction and on-boarding is the process by which we try our best to make the transition from old to new as smooth as possible.
Every hire is different, with their own personalities, personal situations and nuances which means that induction and on-boarding should be personal and bespoke to that particular individual. Many more learned individuals than I will tell you that induction is key to improving workforce engagement, driving productivity and retaining employees. It is therefore equally critical for your new employees’ well-being, but also to ensure that the business achieves the return from their investment because as we all know, recruitment is not cheap.
We haven’t mastered it yet, but we are a million miles further on from where we were from this time last year. I’d mainly put that down to the feedback gained from members of the team that have been through or observed our induction process. This has been our most important step to try to get things as accurate as we possibly can. The truth is we are continually discovering new details that we perhaps hadn’t previously considered as relevant.
New role and new surroundings
One of the most important things to be mindful of is the fact that your new team member does not know where anything is or even what to wear. The more laid back among us would probably just take a best guess and not worry, but for the more conscientious it can be an added stress to an already stressful day. It is important to put yourself in their shoes and think about what you have done to remove any elements of doubt or stress from their situation.
We have tried to make things a little easier for new hires by implementing a buddy system (carefully selected) where the selected ‘buddy’ takes the new team member out to lunch and gives them someone to ask the questions we might not even consider (like where the nearest places are to grab food, or what happens with lunch breaks) that they may not feel comfortable asking a line manager.
Communication and feedback
Internal communication is key when bringing new people into the team. The whole process can be unsettling for the new member but also potentially for the team as a whole. Communicating the new team member, their role and expectations internally is critical to ensuring that they are on boarded successfully. But also to ensure that expectations that have been set throughout the hiring process are met by both employee and the employer! I have also found that in a controlled, well communicated manner it is important to involve multiple people in the induction process for a number of reasons.
We have worked hard to improve the processes internally to ensure that new members of the team understand in real time, removing any ambiguity over exactly what is expected of them, what the standards are but also have the resources at their disposal to learn and develop throughout the early stages of their career with us.
We have taken feedback from our existing team to gain an insight into their perception of the induction process making sure we expose any fundamental areas that are letting us down, which has been brilliant for us as a starting point. The next set of feedback from our most recent hires is due back this week – queue biting of nails.
It sounds fairly basic, but making sure your new team member has their desk, laptop, phone extension, email address and so on organised for their arrival on their first day. It is a key action that can help a new member of the team feel like they are welcome, or one of the team as such. Equally so, it can be pretty unwelcoming if you have not got them set up properly on their first day. It has been a revelation to our processes that Leanne (our office manager and organiser of all things that were previously unorganisable) has taken over the administrative side to our induction process.
It may seem like an extra piece of unnecessary work to ensure you follow all the above tips when inducting and on-boarding your new employees however having a solid on-boarding process can make the difference between a new team member feeling fully engaged and hitting the ground running or feeling as though they may have made a huge mistake.