December’s issue of ask the expert is all about inductions. From the purpose of inductions to the impact of positive induction experiences and how to make an effective induction, we’ve explained it all.
What is an induction?
An induction is where employees get the information and support they need when starting a new role. Typically, this involves new hires, but it can also include employees seconded into other parts of an organisation or returning to work after a long period of absence.
What is the purpose of an induction?
An induction is about getting employees up to speed, so they understand their role, the business and ways of working. Importantly, it’s also a key way to ensure new employees feel welcome in the business, and that they’ve made the right decision to join the company!
It’s also a chance for organisations to share their culture, values and services. It shouldn’t be treated as a tick box exercise, rather as an opportunity to create a positive experience for new employees and enhance employer brand.
What’s the impact of a positive induction experience?
When done well, inductions can have a positive impact on productivity; if an employee is clear on their role, responsibilities and how the business operates, they will be able to be productive more quickly. It also creates a positive first impression of the business.
If an induction process is ineffective, it risks leaving new employees unclear on what’s expected of them and without the tools to do their job effectively. In the long term, this can have an impact on their impression of the business, and research suggests that a poor induction process is linked to higher turnover rates.
How can you make an induction effective?
The CIPD’s 2017 Resourcing and Talent Planning Survey finds that, of businesses that do undertake specific interventions to improve retention, around half are addressing their induction process.
To understand where induction processes might be improved, it’s important to evaluate the effectiveness of your current approach to understand where the process could be improved. New starter and manager feedback, along with retention data, can help guide this.
It’s also important that induction programmes aren’t seen as one-off events – the induction experience can start before the new hire’s first day and extends beyond their first week in a role. Employers should pay attention to the communication they have with employees before day one and can share information as appropriate ahead of the start date.
Beyond the initial induction process, buddy programmes can be helpful to ensure that a new starter has a point of contact for informal discussion and guidance about the workplace.
Who should be involved in an induction?
An induction is typically the role of a line manager, however HR and L&D professionals often are the first point of contact for new employees and may be involved in delivering and designing the overall induction programme.
Colleagues and other managers may also be involved in inductions, whether this is delivering subject-specific sessions on the business or having introductory meetings with new hires individually to discuss their job role and how they will work together.
What should an induction programme include?
The components of an induction programme will vary based on company size and job role. However, there are some key elements that should be present in any induction programme.
Whilst inductions shouldn’t be a tick box exercise, there are compliance aspects to inductions. This might include pre-employment checks, right to work checks and company compliance training.
Next, day-to-day operational information should be shared as soon as possible, so employees are clear on the basics. This should include information on facilities and building information, IT systems and key workplace processes such as business continuity arrangements.
New employees should also learn about the company’s culture, values and services, and where their role sits within the organisations’ structure and strategy. This is also a good opportunity to make sure employees are aware of HR policies and employee benefits; from reward to development.
Finally, managers should ensure that employees have the information they need to do their job effectively and set clear objectives on what’s expected.
Thanks to Mel Green, Research Adviser, CIPD for this month’s advice.
What’s happening next month?
Next month’s topic is all about coaching and mentoring!
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