The Key to Effective On-Boarding

In today's working world, most employees expect a decent on-boarding and induction process to support the first few weeks and months of their new job. Equally, Employers need their employees to be as productive and engaged as early on as possible. 

But what is it that makes an induction process a worthwhile and meaningful exercise for all parties?

We have set out 10 key points to ensure your induction process is one that produces a great outcome quickly and effectively.

1) Management input is key

While it is certainly a good idea to have a "template" to work off that covers not only the first few days as part of on-boarding but also subsequently the first week in the role, induction and on-boarding programmes should be adapted and bespoke to fit the specific role requirements. To fully understand what the Employee's Manager needs the Employee to be across and to create a programme which supports all important areas, input from management is essential.

2) Consider what systems are required

From traditional, hard copy filing systems, to far more technologically advanced systems, consider what you will need the Employee to be fully across. This includes training the employee or providing step by step instructions on accessing or otherwise using documentation, folders, access codes and other items relating to systems 

3) Productivity from day one

Nothing makes a new starter feel less valued than turning up on day one to find that little to no preparation has taken place to ensure the employee can be as productive and engaged as possible from the get-go. As part of your induction preparation, Employers should take the time to:

  • Organise a desk and chair (if not working remotely), a pc/laptop and phone if necessary, so the new starter has somewhere to "hang their hat" and a sense of familiarity - a place of their own
  • Organise a fitting for their uniform if this is required. Wearing something different to their peers in an environment where everyone else is dressed the same can lead to anxiety and a lack of a sense of belonging
  • Organise email address, system access, User ID/Passcode, swipe key and/or other access keys or logins that may be required.

4) Who's Who?

Many Employers underestimate the importance of taking the time to walk through an organisation chart or the various business sections, and explain who the employee should talk to in the event of different situations. Introducing the new starter to these people as well as their co-workers who can support this further will provide your new starter with the opportunity to get settled in far quicker, as they know who "to go to" as situations arise. Remember if you are doing a tour of the office space, cover the kitchen and the toilet first if you can - there is nothing worse than needing these on day one, but having no idea how to get there!

5) Working Environment "Norms"

Every organisation has their own set of "norms", including weekly, daily or monthly meetings, lunch time rituals, how often smoking breaks or other breaks occur, the general expectation around communication styles - both in writing and orally, how the team operates (including recent changes that may have impacted the group dynamic), rules around using or accessing the stationary cupboard, and more. Covering these during the on-boarding process should not be underestimated, as they will help the new starter to settle quickly into the way of working in their new environment.

6) Balance is key 

From information overload to boredom, to keep the new starter as engaged as possible throughout their training and induction period, Employers need to consider the balance of information, and how this is presented (2 days of classroom training versus a combination of classroom, discussion and on-the-job learning). It is important to consider how to disseminate information in the most interactive way possible. Consider what it is that you need the employee to know. Do they really need to learn about all of this on day one, or can this be spread out over a few days?

7) What impression do you want to give?

Although it's important to tick the boxes to ensure your new starter is as informed and engaged as possible from the beginning, it is equally important not to lose sight of what your organisation stands for, its vision and mission. Employers should consider what impression they want to give, and how they can share their passion for their vision and values with the new employee, so that they are on this journey together from day one.

8) Safety First

Working safely refers to both physical health and well being, as well as psychological safety in the workplace. Safety training is essential, not only from a legal perspective but from a human factors perspective too. Your safety statement, health and safety policies, understanding of safe working practices as well as bullying and harassment and non-discrimination/equality training should be included in all induction and on-boarding programmes. 

9) Administration!

The least exciting aspect but often one of the most critical from a "hitting the ground running" standpoint, covering all the administrative "must-have's" is essential. This should include:

  • Payroll process
  • Absence reporting or request for time off
  • Workplace policies and procedures (may be contained in your Employee Handbook)
  • Company forms - how to complete these and where to find them

10) Inclusive Work Environment

Scheduling a team lunch or something similar to welcome the new starter on their first day or week will make them feel special and valued, and help them to get to know and build a relationship with their co-workers early on - setting the scene for an inclusive work environment moving forward. 

At HR Support Ireland, we can:

- Create custom designed induction and on-boarding programme templates for you to use moving forward 

- Design bespoke programmes for your new starters

- Deliver HR induction training on your behalf

- Design end of probationary period formst to support the conclusion of induction and probationary periods

Contact us for an obligation-free discussion on how we may be able to assist you today.