Build an employee induction program without the stress

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If your organisation is considering starting to build an employee induction, one of the first hurdles to overcome is ‘Where do we begin?’. Starting an employee induction program can feel a little overwhelming. The key is to take an iterative approach – start small and enhance the program in stages over time.

Starting an employee induction program that tries to capture every possible topic and role can often lead to no program at all. The workload involved in starting an employee induction program can become so much that the entire program becomes bogged down and never gets to a first version.

Besides, there will be significant lessons learnt from the first version of your employee induction program – lessons which may change your thinking about subsequent revisions or additions to the program.

In this article, we’ll review a staged roll-out of an employee induction program – what to initially focus on and what to leave until later versions of the program. At the end of it, you’ll be ready to get started creating your first version. From there, you can then create the employee induction program of your dreams!

Employee induction version 1 – Key information

Version 1 of your employee induction program should be as simple as possible. It needs to provide some immediate value, to help justify further use and expansion, while also testing several different ideas, to help provide feedback for improvements in the next version.

Start with two key introduction modules.

  • HR Introduction. This module or session should cover the critical HR items – payroll, holidays, sick leave, policy locations, performance reviews, HR contacts and so on. This module is typically the same for every employee and so can have maximum value. If you can create this module online, with perhaps a short HR 1:1 afterwards, you can also generate a LOT of saved time from not repeating this session manually for every new employee. This can help demonstrate the value of online induction modules.
  • Team Introductions from 2-3 of the most popular/largest teams. Team introductions form a large part of employee induction programs. You should aim to complete just 2-3 team introductions in version 1. Once again, if these team introductions are created as online modules, then you can demonstrate time savings to key stakeholders in those teams. These team introductions can also involve many staff in the process of creating employee induction training, helping build a culture in which everyone is responsible for employee induction.

If you are using Tribal Habits, you can access template modules for both HR and Team Introductions – then it’s just a matter of filling in the blanks. Tribal Habits will take care of all your branding and formatting for you.

Next, add in the essential safety training modules.

  • Work health and safety. At the very least, you should have a module or session on fundamental issues of work health and safety.
  • IT security. As almost every role involves IT and every employee will likely have email access, you should also include some key IT security (and, ideally, phishing prevention) training.

Finally, add in key behavioural policy training sessions. This list can vary, but as a minimum we recommend.

  • Anti-bullying, anti-harassment and anti-discrimination modules or sessions. These sessions should be aimed at individuals so they are applicable for all employees. Specific training for managers on these issues can follow in a later version.
  • Code of Conduct. You should then have training on your organisation’s Code of Conduct. Simply providing a Code of Conduct may not be enough to ensure employees have fully understood. Providing some training, with explanations and some assessment to demonstrate understanding, is important.

It is also important that your safety and behavioural training is compliant with Australian guidelines. If you use Tribal Habits, you can always simply import the required modules from our Development or Compliance libraries, which have been vetted by Australian lawyers. These modules appear in your branding, so seamlessly integrate with your own induction materials.

Employee induction version 2 – Enhanced information

Once you have completed version 1, you can start to review the program and think about improvements. You can also begin work on expanding the program content.

Ideally, your next module or session will be about your organisation. This module will also apply to every new employee, so there is great scope for efficiency gains. In addition, this module can help build a consistent culture with all new employees, in every role and every location. This module would typically cover the following items.

  • Organisation history
  • Mission or vision statements
  • Ownership structure
  • Organisation values
  • Organisational chart
  • Executive management
  • Current organisational goals

Once again, you can obtain a template Organisation Introduction module to use in your Tribal Habits portal to accelerate this program.

Now move onto update and expanded team introductions. Start by revising your initial 2-3 team introductions with feedback from your first group of new employees. Once those team introductions are updated, roll-out the team introduction process to all teams, using the initial modules as templates or inspiration.

You should now expand the safety training by adding some additional modules or sessions around the most common rules. This may include topics like office ergonomics or manual handling, depending on the requirements of each role.

Additional behavioural and policy modules could now be added, including important issues such as equal opportunity employment and mental health awareness.

At this stage, you should have enough content to have core modules for all employees with some streaming of modules for different roles. As an example, using the Pathways function in Tribal Habits would allow you to easily group modules together and assign them based on employee demographics like role, title or location.

Employee induction version 3 – Adding automation

The next step in your employee induction program should be to automate the process as much as possible. This may include actions like…

  • Pre-employment ‘Welcome’ module. This module, typically delivered online, can help new employees prepare for their first day AND provide/capture key forms for them to complete.
  • Your HR Introduction module can be updated with additional forms or automated processes for IT and Payroll. Using Activities in Tribal Habits modules can make this process easy.
  • Automatic Week One and Month One review sessions. These sessions should be run by both HR and Managers. These sessions can help capture feedback on the induction process, but also address any potential issues as early as possible. Once again, you can automate these sessions – both standard online survey processes and follow-up 1:1 sessions – within a Tribal Habits topic.

At this point, you can update the employee induction pathways for each role to include these before, during and after processes.

Employee induction version 4 – Role specific

You have now developed robust employee induction programs for a variety of roles, covering many key aspects of your organisation. With version 4, your induction programs can now focus on on-the-job requirements for each role.

At this point, you will likely need to engage your internal experts in each role and consider what knowledge a new employee can ‘learn as they go’ compared to best knowledge ‘taught in advance’. The latter category – information which is useful or important to be taught correctly, rather than discovered over time – can include

  • Using key internal systems and platforms
  • Completing internal forms
  • Following important internal processes
  • Understanding product or technical knowledge

This information may well be covered in 1:1 or small group training sessions run by experts in each team. Alternatively, you can direct your experts into Tribal Habits where they can capture their knowledge in a more permanent format reducing their on-going workload. Tribal Habits allows your employees to share their knowledge with new employees in any location at any time. Your internal experts may only need to conduct shorter Q&A or assessment sessions afterwards.

“Why didn’t we create employee induction sooner?”

The value of an employee induction program cannot be overlooked. While it may seem overwhelming at the start, if you breakdown your workload into focused objectives, it can be relatively easy to get the first version of your program up and running (and significantly easier with a platform like Tribal Habits).

Once your organisation has an employee induction program, the payback on your upfront effort is quickly realised. New employees are more engaged, become productive faster, are more aligned with your organisation’s culture and build an attitude towards collaboration and sharing from the start. You’ll soon be wondering why you didn’t start your employee induction program sooner!


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