According to a YouGov survey of 1000 staff the majority of employers are failing to inspire and motivate their people, with only 21% of employees believing their company cares about its staff.  

There is an initial window of opportunity during the start of the employer-employee relationship that can make all the difference in producing long term employee engagement, productivity and performance; that is the staff induction. A quality induction plan provides the newcomer with a route-map and signposting for the journey into the company. It is the bedrock of a new employee’s introduction to a company’s culture and managerial style; get it wrong and a business might just as well start putting a shelf life on new recruits.  This can be a very costly mistake. 

Get the induction right and the likely result is retaining talented employees that are aligned with business goals. By focusing on employees from the moment they walk through the door, businesses can integrate new recruits far more swiftly and align them with organisation goals. This can produce both new and existing employees that are motivated and engaged, which can quickly raise performance, productivity and impact in pursuit of goals. 

So, what makes a top notch induction? Here are a few tips for ‘getting the induction right’: 

1. One size does not fit all 

A good induction will be tailored to the new recruit and their intended role; treat each induction as a project bespoke for the situation. Elements of the induction plan can of course be standardised but role specific elements should be planned in detail to ensure a person understands their goals and those of their colleagues.  

2. Provide structure 

An induction process without structure, checks and balances can result in a new recruit with no sense of direction, little affinity with their new employer and a general sense of disenchantment. 

To combat this provide a structured plan that ensures the induction runs in a linear fashion whilst allowing for the flexibility needed for different roles and people. Typical sections would be: 

  • Welcome and administration
  • The Organisation – vision, values, goals, culture, products and people
  • Buddy assigned
  • Introduction to team and their role in the initial few months e.g. organisation and team goals; job role and performance measurement etc.
  • Introduction to policies, procedures, systems and software
  • Evaluation – how well did the induction go?

3. Keep it simple stupid (KISS)  

Don’t over-complicate the induction process; joining a new organisation can be a daunting task without being flooded with written information that is less than relevant. Keep information packs and other interventions impactful and highly relevant to the employee, focusing on but not limited to: 

  • Company culture (vision and values) – give a motivational flavour of ‘the way things are done around here’
  • Policies and procedures – stick to providing the most important ones and telling them where to find others i.e. company handbook
  • Organisation goals and how the new recruit’s goals align with them. This is where you can get ‘buy-in’ to the organisation

4. Buddy-up 

Give new recruits a buddy/mentor – to support new recruits team them up with a trusted employee. To reap the rewards of ‘buddying’ make sure that buddies want the role and that they are trained in effective workplace coaching and mentoring.  

5. Get feedback  

It is important for businesses to evaluate the effectiveness of their induction so that they can continually develop it to be more effective. What better way than asking the new recruit and the mentor what worked and what didn’t.