Onboarding & Induction tips

When it comes to thinking about your updated or new company induction, there are many aspects to consider to ensure you get it right.

Firstly it is important to recognise what its like for your new employee (no matter what level of role they are commencing). For most people, they will be anxious – its not easy being the new kid on the block. It is vital to ensure they feel welcome and have access to appropriate human contact (ideally, their direct report as a starting point).

First impression count and last. If you have a good induction process, your new starter will gain a sense of what it is like working for you. If you have a bad induction process the employee’s first encounter may be setup for failure. Remember, statistically most attrition occurs within the first 90 days and there are reasons for that.

Your induction should be short and sweet. No-one wants to be sat down for hours or days on end trawling through online content which is too long. If you have copious amounts of information which you feel the new starter must know and understand – think about breaking this information up into digestible chunks of information. If possible, break up the online components with human face to face elements. People are social beings and like being around people.

It is not uncommon to have your employees perform a component of two prior to arriving at their new workplace on day 1. You can provide them with a welcome pack of sorts which may include checklists and a basic overview type induction about your organisation.

The check list may be a simple document (or online form) which outlines all the documentation they will need to complete and what company policies they need to work through as part of their induction process.

The first online component should be a welcome to your organisation and may include items such as:

  • Welcome message from the CEO
  • About us (which outlines the organisational structure, its brands, its core services and products)
  • What’s in it for me? (which may include your work-life balance program, employee schemes etc)
  • What’s expected of you (outlining a short blurb around what is expected of all employees. This may also outline the corporate culture you are wanting to create or sustain).
  • Where to find what you need (which includes where documents from the checklist can be found, where to locate key personel – HR, Management etc)
  • Your first month (you should provide a simple guide to what to expect in their first month. It could simply be a visual roadmap to the on-boarding process. Remember, keep it simple – you do not want the employee feeling overwhelmed on day 1).

This module should be visually appealing. Unfortunately with eLearning content these days – as good as your content is, if it looks poor, the audience will not engage. It is vital to show off your company at this point. Invest sufficient time and money ensuring the look and feel is right. You can always reuse this investment with following content etc.

Next, ensure your management team is ready to welcome and support your new employee. I have worked with clients over the years and following some research into attrition rates, lack of management support was sighted as the number 1 reason employees left the organisation. Management support is crucial. It sets the tone of your organisation and ensures the new starter has a good understanding of your culture and the way things work around here…

Finally ensure the employees work environment is “ready to go”. There is nothing worse than having gone through all the above to then get to work and nothing is ready to hit the ground running…

My final tip for this post is to consider induction as on-boarding. This essentially involves multiple steps and sufficient time (no rule of thumb, but 90 days would be ideal in many instances). Employees will (and should) have many questions, although may be shy in week 1, so by providing the appropriate levels of induction support, as they feel more comfortable, they will open up and ask the right questions.

Given the cost of replacing an employee when compared to retaining one, the induction process is the first crucial step in a harmonious journey.

We have only touched the surface here, however we hope we have given you a few pointers when considering your next induction program. The team at ZIS is well experienced in developing effective and engaging induction programs and would love to work with you on your next program.

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