How can you ensure you support new staff so that they get off to the best possible start?CrossroadsHR
Staff induction activities are designed to provide new-starters with the practical information they need, as well as getting them up to speed on how the organisation works. Induction processes are vital to ensuring that new staff are productive as quickly as possible.
Yet most organisations have inadequate or ad-hoc staff induction processes — with many relying solely on staff just ‘working it out as they go’.
Staff induction often focuses on the corporate policies: safety, security, anti-discrimination, etc. This is useful information, if not the most interesting to participants.
However, staff induction should also cover practicalities. This includes:
New starters who miss this initial training are left unsupported and untrained. To address this, additional resources must be set aside to provide ongoing training for new staff, or for staff who have moved between different areas of the organisation.
Supporting the orientation of new team members — whether an internal or an external appointment — is often an overlooked strategy in building your employer brand.
New starters are unfamiliar with the environment and processes of the organisation, so it is the ideal time to induct them into a “new” way of working.
In this way, new starters can be “shaped” in order to achieve cultural change, such as:
By formalising knowledge transfer, or providing a more rigorous framework for informal transfers, new starters can be provided with the information they need to conduct their work.
One of the main frustrations for new starters is not knowing who to contact in the organisation if they have a question. This is reflected in the comments of long-serving staff: “Well, I’ve been here for 10 years, so I just know who to go to”.
Staff induction can specifically address this, by introducing the new starter to key people in the organisation.
Approaches such as mentoring or ‘buddying’ are particularly valuable in addressing these issues.
Staff induction is not just a human resources issue. Instead, induction activities should be developed with the involvement of all relevant business units — for example, security, IT, assets, etc — to ensure that new starters are given a complete picture.
Here are three actions you can take to ensure that you support your new appointees in their first few weeks in the organisation so that you increase their chances of staying with you and so that they get quickly orientated to your organisation’s ways of working:
Consider assigning a buddy who they will be able to speak with in relation to day to day operations and who can support them through their orientation period.
These may seem like very straight forward steps to take. However you can be sure that most organisations do not spend time on these actions and therefore put at risk the return on recruitment investment, leaving to chance the success of the new candidate.
Following through with these three steps will support you in building your reputation for an organisation that is interested in new hires getting off to a great start and will support the development of a strong employer brand. The first 90 days in any new role is a challenging time for the new candidate, their team and the organisation. Give them the best possible start and maximise the organisation’s investment in their new employee.
Geoff Musgrove is a partner in the Maddocks Commercial team.
Geoff's principal areas of practice are:
Geoff acts for a wide range of commercial, government, accounting, manufacturing, professional and rural industry clients.
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