An induction program is the process used within organizations to introduce a new hire to the company and vice versa and train the new employee for their work assignment.
An induction program is an important and critical process for the effective integration of staff into an organization. It provides an introduction to the working environment, the company culture and the role of the employee within the organisation. The process will cover the employer and employee duties, rights and responsibilities and the terms and conditions of employment. As a priority the induction programme must cover any legal and compliance requirements for working at the company and also pay attention to the health and safety of the new employee.
An induction program is part of an organizations knowledge management and transfer process and is intended to enable the new starter to become a useful, integrated member of the team, rather than being confused without a clear understanding on how to do their job, or how their role fits in with the rest of the company.
Good induction programs can increase productivity, employee engagement and retention. They help in reducing attrition and short-term turnover of staff. They can also help improve employee morale, provide clarity of their work responsibilities and motivate the employees to see the bigger picture and work towards fulfilling the organizational objectives. These programs can also play a critical role under the socialization to the organization in terms of performance, attitudes and organizational commitment. They also serve the purpose of setting expectations and short term goals for the employee to focus on. In addition well designed induction programs can significantly increase the speed to competency of new employees thus meaning they are more productive in a shorter period of time.
A good induction programme will include the following activities:
- Introduction to terms and conditions (for example, benefits, how to apply for a leave, working hours, holiday entitlement, how to make expense claims, etc.).
- Company policies, practices, objectives and regulations.
- Organizational hierarchy and structure.
- Job description along with key duties and responsibilities.
- A basic introduction to the different departments within the company.
- Rules governing working hours, expected behavioral standards, dress code.
- A guided tour of the office space.
- Set-up of login and payroll details.
- Introduction to key members of staff.
- Information pertaining to benefits, incentives and appraisals.
- Specific job-role training.
In order to fully benefit the company and employee, the induction programme should be planned in advance. The timetable should be prepared, detailing the induction activities for a set period of time (ideally at least a week) for the new employee, including a named member of staff who will be responsible for each activity. This plan should be circulated to everyone involved in the induction process, including the new starter. If possible it should be sent to the new starter in advance, if not co-created with the new starter
It is also considered best practice to assign a mentor to every new starter. If possible this should be a person who the new starter will not be working with directly, but who can undertake some of the tasks on the induction programme, as well as generally make the new employee feel welcome.