Lorraine Sutcliffe shares her 10 tips for conducting a successful induction programme.
1. Invest from the beginning
Initially, inductions can seem like a lot of work, but ensuring employees have the right knowledge, skills and attitude for the workplace has many benefits.
It can avoid issues arising in the long run, increase retention and generate a happy and productive team. Plus, showing any new starter that you are invested in them from the outset will develop a positive first impression.
2. Induct senior staff members too
People often feel that inductions are just for junior staff, but inducting senior members too ensures that everyone in your business buys in to the same vision.
Whether they’re a director or member of an operation team, everyone should have a staff induction.
This is your opportunity to ensure consistent standards, expectations and values are kept across your business too.
It doesn’t matter if you are a small or large organisation, every business should have common standards and visions to follow. This is especially relevant for SMEs to ensure that established ideals remain consistent throughout their rapidly expanding environment.
3. Target different learning styles
The induction process can sometimes be a little daunting for new starters as there is a lot of information to take in. Because of this, it’s important to make a conscious effort to incorporate different learning styles into the process to ensure new information is absorbed and retained by everyone.
This could mean incorporating diagrams or videos for visual learners or physical elements for kinetic minds – targeting your inductions to cater for everyone is a worthwhile step that can also make them more engaging.
4. Arrange a buffet so everyone can have lunch together
Whether you’ve got ten employees or ten thousand, lunchtime can be a daunting time for a new starter.
When you’re going to so much effort to create an inclusive, welcoming induction, it makes sense to ensure this vibe continues into lunch and into the afternoon’s session.
We arrange a buffet for our new staff so everyone can have lunch together and start to build that team and get to know people.
It may sound simple, but it helps our employees feel more comfortable and enables them to begin to understand the team dynamic within our office.
5. Equip your staff with the basic skills they will need
Inductions are a great time to equip your staff with the basic skills they need for their position.
Although it may sound simple, using role play to learn how to ask open questions or how to listen effectively is a great way to assess and teach these skills.
It can also ensure a consistent standard of communication is adhered to across the organisation.
6. Focus on building understanding through separate layers
There is a lot of information to share in an induction.
To help your staff retain knowledge, focus on building understanding through separate layers – doing this can effectively aid learning and boost their confidence.
Layering also helps identify gaps in employee knowledge and allows any potential concerns to be addressed.
7. Play games to reinforce company messages
Avoid boring new employees to death by PowerPoint and think about how you can make your induction more engaging.
For example, a game of Chinese Whispers can teach new starters how to actively listen to ensure their understanding is correct.
8. Address issues surrounding race and gender
Many companies shy away from discussing subjects such as race, gender or sexuality, but your induction is a great time to address the company expectations.
It is important to discuss equality and diversity, to combat any issues and establish an agreed standard across your business.
9. Ask senior staff to introduce themselves
A lot of companies forget the recruitment process is a partnership.
Your new starters are helping you grow your business, so it’s important to remember this throughout the induction.
Getting senior members of staff to take the time to introduce themselves is an effective way to show new starters that you are grateful to have them on board, along with establishing a transparent culture across your business.
10. Tell the story of how the company was built
Most companies will cover the basics during their inductions. However, many forget there is an interesting story behind their success.
This story is an important part of your corporate identity and influences your actions and employee expectations.
All business actions are shaped by previous experience, so it’s important to make some time to enlighten new starters about how the company grew.
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With thanks to Lorraine Sutcliffe at Baxter Freight