A successful onboarding and induction experience can be the difference between a new starter becoming an effective employee and opting to leave within the early stages. Recruiting and onboarding is a time consuming and costly process, so it is important to ensure new starters (onboardee’s) can be up to speed and contribute to your organisation as quickly as possible.
What does a well-structured induction plan look like?
The inductions should be well organised and engaging, to give an onboardee a good impression of your company and inspire them to fulfil their role.
You may have a lot of information you want to impart to your new starter, but no one wants to be talked at for hours on end. It’s also easy to overestimate how long it will take someone to complete a task, such as reading documents or doing some research, especially if they have previous experience.
Melanie Guy, HR Manager of webexpenses recommends planning a good mixture a learning and doing and building in time to interact with new colleagues and reflect on what they’ve learned. If possible, provide scope for the onboardee to manage part of their induction themselves, by booking onto required courses for example. This helps them feel actively involved in their induction.
Who should be involved in induction?
Let the team know that there will be a new starter and arrange a get together or lunch. It’s vital that everyone knows when to expect a new employee and how they can help get them off to a great start. No one wants to be left not knowing where to go, when they can go for lunch or who to talk to on their first day, so internal communication is crucial.
Train up your internal employees to deliver parts of the induction and ensure that sessions always run on time and are only cancelled as a last resort.
How long should induction take?
The length of an induction period depends on the nature of the role and your business.
Melanie Guy, HR Manager of webexpenses says:
We prepare a four-week structured plan starting with orientation in week one, through to an understanding of what their role is, expectations and their objectives in week four.
It’s important to consider what experience your new hires have. An onboardee starting their first job will need different levels of support and detail compared to a senior hire with plenty of experience. It’s essential that everybody understands what your business does; where their role fits into the wider organisation and what’s required of them.
Make time for feedback
Gathering regular and timely feedback during the induction period can help you spot if things are going off track and do something about it. As part of their four-week induction process, webexpenses gather daily feedback in week one, to see how the onboardee is getting on and weekly thereafter.
Finding out what works well and what could be better from an onboardee’s point of view will help you refine and develop an effective induction plan.
A well-planned induction can ensure a smooth transition into your company and ensure your new employees get off to a great start.