How to induct new employees

  1. 1 Review the new recruit's job description, curriculum and interview notes; identify key training needs.
  2. 2 Prioritise: break down the induction plan into immediate essentials, basics to get the employee started on useful work, and further development.
  3. 3 Set an induction timetable, typically spread over the first month.
  4. 4 Inform team members of the new recruit's start date and role; resolve any potential conflicts.
  5. 5 Appoint a mentor to provide informal support. Consider what part other team members may have in the induction process (eg explaining particular activities).
  6. 6 Prepare a workspace and organise essential equipment: for example, a desk, telephone, computer and basic stationery.
  7. 7 Set up the employee’s computer, passwords, telephone and email; show the recruit how your communication systems work.
  8. 8 Introduce the new recruit to the rest of the team.
  9. 9 Show the recruit basic facilities (eg toilets, coffee machine); provide a company handbook detailing any other information which will help the employee settle in; explain fire and health and safety procedures.
  10. 10 Provide background information on the business, including products, services, key customers, business culture and strategic objectives.
  11. 11 Provide basic personnel information (eg pay, holiday arrangements).
  12. 12 Clarify the recruit's role and key objectives and the standards you expect.
  13. 13 Communicate policies and procedures; make them all available, but focus initial training efforts on the most urgent and important (eg safety).
  14. 14 Use a mix of training methods; focus on hands-on activities, or at least observation of activities, rather than just providing instruction manuals.
  15. 15 Involve the recruit in real work (with appropriate supervision) as soon as possible; identify opportunities for early successes.
  16. 16 Confirm understanding at every stage, particularly for written information.
  17. 17 Hold frequent informal progress reviews - perhaps on a daily basis for the first week, then weekly for a month; encourage discussion of problems.
  18. 18 Modify your plans in the light of the recruit's progress and feedback.

Cardinal rules

Do:

  • make the recruit feel welcome
  • prioritise training which will make the employee useful
  • involve the recruit in productive activities as soon as possible
  • give the recruit opportunities to succeed
  • check understanding of new information
  • discuss progress and problems, and modify plans accordingly

Don't:

  • make assumptions about the recruit's knowledge, skills and attitude
  • overload the recruit with too much at once
  • rely on large quantities of written information
  • expect the recruit to perform without adequate induction