The importance of a great inductionJun 15, 2021
Why is induction important? In the induction you need to talk about the culture and values and how it underpins everything you do.
From the very first day you must start to embed those values with employees. What happens in the business, what their role includes, what the culture is about, what the values are, what the expectations are, what the job involves, and how it's going to work.
In theory, that sounds great, but in practice it doesn't always happen in the way that it's meant to because most companies don't spend the time putting together a really good induction process for new starters.
I was speaking at an event recently to a room full of business owners. I started talking about induction and said this is a typical company induction. On their first day the new starter is shown around the building and introduced to the team.
You explain where the toilets are, where the kitchen is if there is one and the coffee machine. Then you show them their desk, go through health and safety, fire exits, go through some procedures, the employment contract, and make sure they're happy with that.
Explain lunch breaks, dress code or uniform and then most people will expect them to get on and do the job.
I looked around the room and everyone agreed that was how they carried out their induction. I’m sorry but that’s lazy and does not give the new employee a great introduction to the company.
How can they understand your company culture from that type of induction?
In organisations where they have a great culture, a culture where people want to stay, people want to work, then a lot of time is spent on the induction process. When I say a lot of time, I mean between one and four weeks in some cases.
Often, people have to start from the beginning no matter what their job. They don't come in to the business and do their job from the start. They actually have to learn what it's like to work at the business from, say, answering the phones.
You need to think about all the different things that you can add into your induction process. It goes without saying that you need to include values in your induction process.
It depends on the size of the organisation, as to how much time you can let that person not be doing the role that you employed them to do. But it is short-sighted not to think about the upside of inducting a person into the business properly, explaining the purpose and values in detail.
Remember these are your foundations. These are the things you need to get right from the beginning, right from the start.
Explain to people how things are done here. Get them to buy into what your values are and how behaviours are measured. Tell them how it works around here and what you expect from them.
Get other employees involved in the induction, explaining about values and how it’s a great company. This also gives employees the opportunity to leave at any time during the induction stage if they feel it's not right for them.
Trust me, this is much better than going six or seven months down the road, or even longer, and then realising this person isn't a fit for the company and you're going to have to say goodbye to them.
By going through a really good induction process, employees will start to see whether this culture is something they want to be part of.
The induction is one of the keys to your people foundations. Make sure you have a really robust induction process in place. Think about all the things that need to be included but importantly, it needs to be based around your culture, your values, and “how we do things here”.
What is your induction process like?
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