Starting a new job is a daunting experience. New starters will rarely know anybody, they may not fully understand their role and what is expected of them, and they will not know the organisation and how it works. It’s a feeling most of us can relate to.
Induction is a process that welcomes new recruits and helps them integrate into the organisation so that they can quickly become productive. It involves informing the new starter about the organisation’s policies and procedures and explaining what their individual role will involve.
It is also the start of the process in which the new employee is assimilated into the firm’s organisational culture.
It is unproductive, for both the employee and employer, to just to leave a new recruit to their own devices and expect them to get on with it.
A basic induction programme will typically involve the following:
- A Health and Safety induction. This may include knowing what to do in the event of a fire or knowing who the first aiders are.
- A tour of the building.
- An explanation of the Human Resources procedures.
- Who does the employee report to?
- What is the remuneration for the role and how/when will the employee be paid?
- What is the holiday entitlement and procedure for booking leave?
- What is the staff sickness policy?
- Setting up the employee on all relevant systems e.g. ICT equipment, payroll
- Informing the employee about any staff benefits.
Induction will also involve making the employee aware of the organisational structure and where they fit in. Where possible, introductions should be made to senior members of staff, as well as the employees’ team-mates, who they will work with on a day-to-day basis.
It is also important to tell the employee about the history of the organisation, its values and mission.
However, the formalities listed above should be just the beginning of the induction period. Ideally, the process will continue for the length of the employees’ probation period, as a minimum.
It is vital that the new employee engages with their job specification. Their required competencies must be established and fully understood and demonstrated by the employee throughout their induction.
Regular 1-2-1s are essential, in order to evaluate how the new employee is feeling about their performance and where additional coaching may be required, in order to meet expectations.
A robust induction process will allow the employer to feel confident that someone is right for the role, within a three month probation period.
It’s important to remember that a new member of staff will spend weeks and months orientating themselves in the new workplace, even once they’ve proven their suitability for the role, and this is a crucial time to help them fit into the organisational culture.
An organisation with a strong, positive organisational culture will want to ensure that the new recruit shares the values, ethos and beliefs of the organisation. To aid this process, some organisations assign the recruit a ‘buddy’, who will serve as a positive role model who can provide support to the employee and make them feel welcome. It is important to make sure that the new employee is included in any work social activities (e.g. lunches or lunchtime activities).
If the organisation has positive beliefs, values, practices and norms, they will be transmitted to new employees. However, on the other hand, if there is a negative culture, this too can be transmitted, and problems can perpetuate. The FCA, through the Senior Managers and Certification Regime, has emphasised the importance of healthy organisational cultures in the financial services sector. Firms will want to make sure that positive values and behaviours are instilled in new employees from day one and that the organisation itself fosters and encourages a positive organisational culture.