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Top 10 tips on the importance of staff inductions

There is a lot more to welcoming new starters than office tours and buddy systems. Too many businesses think that the first day on the job for the new worker is the end of the recruitment process. 

However, your staff induction is an opportunity to establish the company’s personality. New staff will be given the chance to understand the company values, strategy as well as their role in the organisation. After investing so much in the recruitment process, it makes sense and is sound business practice to offer a thorough induction. 

Here are my top 10 tips on how to conduct a successful induction programme.

1. Invest from the beginning 
Initially inductions can seem like a lot of work but ensuring employees have the right knowledge, skills and attitude for the workplace can prevent issues coming up in the long run, increase retention and generate a happy and productive team. Plus showing any new starter that you are investing in them from the off will develop a positive first impression.

2. Induct everyone
People often feel that inductions are only for junior staff, but inducting senior members too ensures that everyone in your business buys into the same vision. This is your opportunity to ensure consistent standards, expectations and values are kept across your business too. 
It doesn’t matter if you are a small or large organisation, every business should have common standards and visions to follow. This is especially relevant for SMEs to ensure that established ideals remain consistent throughout their rapidly expanding environment.

3. Target different learning styles
The induction process can sometimes be a little daunting for new starters as there is a lot of information to take in. Because of this, it’s important to make a conscious effort to incorporate different learning styles into the process to ensure new information can be absorbed and retained by everyone. 

This could mean incorporating diagrams or videos for visual learners or physical elements for kinetic minds – targeting your inductions to cater for everyone is a worthwhile step that can also make inductions more engaging.

4. Do lunch 
Whether you’ve got 10 employees or 10,000, lunch time can be a daunting time for a new starter. When you’re going to so much effort to create an inclusive, welcoming induction, it makes sense to ensure this vibe continues into lunch and into the afternoon’s session. 

For example, a buffet for new staff enables everyone to lunch together and start getting to know people. It may sound simple but it helps employees feel more comfortable and enables them to begin to understand the team dynamic within the office.

5. Develop key skills
Inductions are a great time to equip your staff with the basic skills they need for their position. Inductions can explore a number of useful techniques to help new employees achieve effective communication skills. 

Although it may sound simple, using role play to learn how to ask open questions or how to listen effectively is a great way to assess and teach these skills, and ensure a consistent standard of communication is adhered to across the organisation.

6. Layer information 
There is a lot of information to share in an induction, so to help your staff retain knowledge, focus on building understanding through separate layers. Doing this will effectively aid learning and boost their confidence. Layering also helps identify gaps in employee knowledge and allows any potential concerns to be addressed. 

7. Play games
Avoid boring new employees to death through PowerPoint and think about how you can make your induction more engaging through, for example, a variety of fun activities. Games are also a great opportunity to bring your businesses culture to life. A game such as Chinese Whispers might sound simple but helps new starters learn how to actively listen to ensure their understanding is correct.

8. Have difficult conversations 
Many companies shy away from discussing subjects such as race, gender or sexuality, but your induction is a great time to address the company expectations. For example, diversity and challenging the causes of stereotypes is a good example. This is a good stage to discuss equality and diversity, to combat any issues and establish an agreed standard across your business. 

9. Meet the managers
A lot of companies forget the recruitment process is a partnership. New starters are helping you grow your business, so it’s important to remember this throughout the induction. 

Getting senior members of staff to take the time to introduce themselves is an effective way to show new starters that you are grateful to have them on board, along with establishing a transparent culture across your business.

10. Tell your story 
Most companies will cover the basics during their inductions, however many forget there is an interesting story behind their success. It’s important to make some time to enlighten new starters about the history of the company for whom they will be working. 

Source: Lorraine Sutcliffe, HR manager