Staff Induction of each new employee is very important. You want the employee to be fully competent as quickly as possible. The employee wants to be seen as a contributor to the business. And they want to “fit in” quickly and easily. Take the time and trouble to make it successful.
Everybody Wins ….. or Loses
A successful induction helps the new employee develop a positive and helpful attitude towards the company. You gain a committed and conscientious employee. But the reverse is true too. If induction is sloppy and careless, the new employee will be less committed. This will affect the quality of their work.
Final Act In The Selection Process
Selection is complete only when the new employee is comfortable and competent on the job. Induction closes the selection loop. You owe it to yourself to complement your selection process with an equally professional induction.
You won’t have a successful induction without a good plan It should be prepared in advance. Each step in the plan should include
- measurable performance standards
- a maximum time for reaching competence in each step
- tests to check employee competence before training. If the new employee displays adequate competence in a skill don’t waste time training them in that skill
- flexibility: let the new employees move as quickly as their demonstrated competence allows
- a design that enables the new employee to quickly demonstrate some relatively straight-forward competency. Showing competence quickly will boost confidence and self esteem
- a grading of skills from “easy” to “complex”. Use proficiency at lesser skills as the motivation to proceed to more complex e.g. “Once you can do this, we’ll move onto …”
- transparency: the new employee should know the full induction plan in detail before commencing. You should also include some simple way they can check their progress
- review periods. As manager you should review induction progress at regular intervals until the new employee’s considered to be competent. These reviews should be included in the timetable. They can be time or competency based e.g. “after 8 hours” or “after demonstrating competence in …..”
The new employee must do meaningful work during the induction. Reading manuals, “watching Jack do it” and “sit with Nelly until you get the hang of it” type activities are fairly useless and demotivating. That’s why a sound plan is so important. It enables new employees to make a productive contribution, however small, from the first day. Isn’t that why you employed them?
Induction and Orientation
Understand one thing about induction above all else. What every new employee wants is
- to develop on job competence as soon as possible
- to be seen by peers to be making a worthwhile contribution.
That’s what you want too: on job comfort and competence. Other information such as knowing “who fits where around here”, company history and social news is most useful. But not now. Leave company orientation until the new employee is competent and settled. They’ll value the information far more highly then.
It doesn’t require much effort on your part to establish a professional and effective induction. You’ve spent a great deal of time, effort and money to convince candidates that you and your company are worthy of their best contribution. A good induction will reinforce that. A poor one will have the opposite effect.