By Key Business Advisors HR

Written by HR Advisor, Rebecca Brown

We’ve said it a million times before – staff are the most important asset in any business. Getting the induction process right is vital to the success of your new employees – and your business. It helps ensure that the motivation and engagement you witnessed in their interview continues throughout their employment. A structured, well-prepared induction will help new employees get on their feet as quickly as possible so that they can start contributing to the growth of your business immediately.

The early interactions that a candidate has with your business are so important because they will determine how that candidate sees your business; whether you are the right fit for them and whether their values align with yours. This continues even after their first few days on the job, so failing to provide a solid first impression can lead to early disengagement, poor attitude and poor retention. The good news is that this can easily be avoided by implementing a robust induction program to ensure their first impression sparks interest, excitement and engagement, as well as an eagerness to become a productive and valuable member of the team.  This very much has to do with setting a positive culture that your new employee feels eager to become a part of.

Try following the steps outlined below to ensure your induction process is successful:

How to offer the position

Once you have short-listed, interviewed and completed reference and background checks, you are ready to make a prospective employee an offer. Great! An offer should be in writing and in the form of an Employment Contract. The offer should outline the terms and conditions of employment, your expectations, as well as ‘what’s in it for them’. It should include remuneration, and clearly indicate whether the remuneration amount is inclusive or exclusive of any entitlements employees are eligible to receive under an applicable Award or registered agreement. Once you are ready to offer employment, it is advisable to have the contract of employment reviewed by a HR Advisor or IR Specialist or Lawyer, to ensure that all relevant terms and conditions are included.

Planning for a professional orientation and induction process

You should start planning the induction process at least one week prior to the employee’s official start date. This is to ensure you have everything set up and ready to go. For example, if the new employee is to fulfill an administration role, you should aim to have the following ready:

  • Set up their desk/workstation in accordance with WHS/ergonomic requirements
  • Make sure their computer is clean and in good working order
  • Organise system access accounts and passwords
  • Provide basic stationery they will need to perform their role (e.g. notepads, pens, sticky notes, folders, etc)
  • Notify existing employees of the new employee’s commencement
  • Organise a ‘buddy’ – someone to guide and mentor the new employee in their first few weeks

Give a tour of your business premises and share what you’re all about

Welcome your new employee to your business! Show them around your site, offices and/or store, and take care to include any Workplace Health and Safety information, including emergency exits and procedures.

While you are showing the employee around (or at any time throughout the day) be sure to cover:

  • The background of the business – where the business started, where you plan to go, key goals and strategies, your competitive advantage, etc.
  • Company culture – what it’s like to work in the business and what the company’s key values are.
  • Who’s who in the zoo – who are the different individuals/teams/departments and how they interact with one another.

Facilitating the induction process

Sit down with your new employee and go through their starter paperwork. While it may seem like a lot, this is an important step to ensure you are meeting HR best practice, as well as record keeping obligations as set out in the Fair Work Act. The documents you should request employees read and sign include:

  • Their Employment Contract – (signed by the employee and by someone acting on behalf of the business)
  • Their Position Description
  • A Staff Information Form (covering key employee details such as name, address, commencement date, employee status, emergency contact details, and so on)
  • A copy of the Fair Work Information Statement and Acknowledgement Form
  • Tax File Declaration Form
  • Superannuation Standard Choice Form
  • The Company’s Policy and Procedure Manual

Also, don’t forget to outline how and when Performance Reviews are conducted within the business.  Well informed employees tend to be happy employees, and this will help to avoid unwanted surprises down the track!

Prepare an action plan for their first four weeks, three months and six months

Demonstrate that your business is organised and prepared by developing an action plan for your new employee to help them celebrate milestones and identify any areas that may require more training. Catch up with the employee on a regular basis to begin with, to check they are settling into their new role comfortably. Conduct one-on-one discussions and review your training and development plan with them. Praise them for their efforts and help them with any challenges they might face.

By following these steps you should soon have a successful employee who is well on the way to becoming a productive member of the team.

If you would like any assistance creating an Induction Program designed to build successful employees, contact Key Business Advisors on 1300 4 ADVICE.

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