New employee induction is critical to organisation success. The faster you can assist new employees to become productive, the faster you gain a return on their employment. You also reduce the risk of new employees leaving early during to low engagement.
Yet new employee induction can be time-consuming. Many organisations struggle to provide consistent employee induction programs. Some employees receive a great experience, while other employees receive no or limited induction assistance. The information provided in employee inductions can be inconsistent. Staff involved in employee induction can become resentful as they struggle to manage their own tasks, let alone inducting new staff.
So let’s consider five practical ways to improve employee induction efficiency for any organisation.
1 – Have a dedicated person responsible for induction
Induction programs require many elements to come together in the correct order. If various teams, managers or supervisors are responsible for the induction processes around the organisation, it is easy for inefficiencies to creep in. Work can be duplicated and inconsistent.
Ideally, one person needs to understand the entire induction process. This eliminates duplication and ensures consistency. It also means that any improvements are identified and implemented in the next induction.
The person responsible for inductions must have a master checklist, as well as a checklist from each of the team involved and the people listed on the induction timetable. Repetition through checklists builds efficiency and ensures consistency of outcome.
This does not mean this person actually does all the induction themselves. They are merely the coordinator to ensure the process is consistent and efficient.
2 – Have a defined induction plan
Which leads to the next point – have an induction plan. Having a structured plan for the new employee’s first day, week and month can make a stressful time much easier for your new starter.
Your induction plan should decide in advance what the new employee will do and whom they will meet. The plan should cover all the critical meetings, training and duties the new employee will need to undertake during the induction period. This helps your new employee to understand their role, where they fit into the company and their daily responsibilities.
It also helps all people involve in the induction process manage their own time. If each person can understand what everyone else is covering in the induction process, it allows each part of the process to be focused and efficient. It avoids repeating information between people or courses. It also allows the induction process to continually build on prior knowledge learnt earlier in the program.
3 – Focus on the basics
Day one of induction is very important. Day one of an induction program needs to enable the rest of the program to run as planned. Often, however, day one of an induction program overlooks the basics and creates delays or hurdles for the rest of the induction process, creating various inefficient outcomes.
Day one should ensure the basic requirements are addressed. The new employee’s workspace should be set-up and their login details, email address and security access all organised. The new employee should be taken on a tour of the building, complete any necessary paperwork for their pay or safety, and talk through considerations such as company culture, work hours, dress codes and pay periods.
We want to avoid a situation where later parts of the induction program become inefficient because the employee can’t access something, is unaware of key information or simply late or disorganised because of confusion in locations or people.
4 – Treat employee induction as a process
Trying to cram the entire induction process into a single day might seem like an efficient idea, but in reality, this is simply exhausting to a new employee. Information is quickly forgotten and has to be revisited later. Duplication of effort is often the result.
Instead, focus on the basics in the first week, and allow the induction process to last a few weeks or even a month. This gives the employee a chance to get started sooner on some real tasks and being a productive member of their team.
5 – Make it repeatable
New employee induction must be easily repeatable and scalable. All too often, organisations have no induction checklists, courses or materials. Instead, existing staff members “sit down and explain” things to new staff.
That’s fine if you rarely have new staff. However, if you have 5-10 or more staff joining each year, that can quickly become an inefficient process. For example, instead of having a team leader explain the organisation history over 30 minutes to each new employee, you could have that team leader create a short online training course in Tribal Habits on the same information.
Using Tribal Habits’ guided processes, which allow anyone to capture and share knowledge, it might take that team leader two hours to create a 20-minute online training topic on the history of the organisation. Any new employee can then review that topic as part of the induction. The topic can even capture their questions about the history of the organisation which can be automatically directed to the team leader.
The team leader can then simply check the employee has completed their course and answer any questions. This allows the team leader to save considerable time through the year, ensures every employee receives a consistent message and allows the team leader to use their time on more complex matters with new employees.
Building a repeatable employee induction process takes a small amount of time upfront – with the right tools like Tribal Habits – and then has a MASSIVE payback in time saved. It ensures consistent delivery, can confirm new employee understand through quizzes and builds a record of completed induction processes.
Most importantly, a repeatable employee induction process which captures information from key existing staff ensures that your induction process is embedded in your organisation EVEN IF your existing key staff leave. It builds a valuable asset which isn’t impacted by staff turnover.