It has long been established that the early experiences of organisational socialisation can have a significant, long-term impact on a newcomer’s well-being and commitment to an organisation (e.g. Reis Louis, 1980).
An effective induction period is crucial to helping a person to integrate successfully into an organisation, and this has a strong influence on their perceptions of the culture of the organisation (e.g. Schein, 1985; Settoon and Adkins, 1997).
Inductions also have a strong influence on the intentions of an employee to remain with, or leave, an organisation (e.g. Firth, Mellor, Moore and Loquet, 2004).
Effective induction helps new employees to settle into their new job faster and become productive sooner.
The specific duties and responsibilities of the job will vary depending on the inductee’s role and the employer. During the period of induction, the inductee will need to learn about:
• The duties and responsibilities of the job
• the policies, procedures and requirements of the organisation.
• the organisations culture/history/plans
• who’s who – who the managers and supervisors and owners are.
The employer will learn about the individual’s:
• Previous experience
• Job expectations
• Qualification and learning needs
• Other individual/personal needs Job descriptions/levels of responsibility/ Organisational requirements
Requirements of the job – duties and responsibilities – Contract of employment Written terms and conditions – policies and requirements of organisation e.g.
• Maternity/Paternity/Parental leave provision.
• Hours, breaks method of payment
• Holiday entitlement
• Reporting procedures
• Safety procedures
• Probation period
• Period of notice
• Sickness provision
• Pension provision
Previous experience and Qualification Status Qualifications held, training needs and availability of training within the organisation need to be discussed – A training need document can be completed at induction. This allows you to arrange training in advance and book it into the new person’s schedule when they start.
Doing this will reduce their anxiety about unfamiliar systems and by being able to schedule training earlier, you’ll have them up to speed and productive sooner.
Discuss personal strengths and personal development wishes and aspirations, so that the inductee see they are valued as individuals with their own unique potential, rather than just being a name and a function. This is part of making the job more meaningful for people – making people feel special and valued – and the sooner this can be done the better.
During induction the promotion avenues which are available to the inductee can be also discussed Both the agreed performance objectives and any identified training needs should be phrased according to the acronym SMART, i.e.
In accordance with the learner centred approach, the discussion should be two-way, with the new starter encouraged to contribute and to help to identify training and development needs. The motivation of the individual learner to want to achieve these needs will also be key. The needs identified, will be based on the individual’s background, experience and ability.
• Organisational culture Good induction training will make it easy for the new employee to seamlessly blend into your organisational culture and for the organization to smoothly absorb the new employee.
• Getting knowledge that is outside to move in. Thus, the approach to induction training must be two pronged:
• Encourage and mentor the trainees to look inwards, introspect, ruminate and discover their own personal values inside –> out
• Clearly acquaint, apprise, educate, edify and enlighten the trainees about organizational values outside –> in and try to inculcate organizational values in the new inductees. Thus, induction training will make it easy for the new employee to seamlessly blend into your organisations culture.
• Individual needs According to ACAS ‘the new starter who has considerable recent work experience and is a confident, out-going individual may have a different induction need from the person with little or no experience, and who may be shy or reserved in this new work setting’.
Workway and Hatton and colleagues, people with disabilities may often leave their job at an early stage because of a poor induction (Workway, 2007; Hatton, Emerson, Rivers, Mason, Swarbrick, Mason, Kiernan, Reeves and Alborz, 2001). For all employees, being provided with a ‘buddy’ or a mentor can have very beneficial effects on their integration into the organisation, as well as provide a key social support for them to help them to adjust to their new role (e.g. Settoon and Adkins, 1997). Everyone staring as a new employee will have individual needs. Below are a few of the different types of new employee you may be inducting together with an insight into what those needs may be.
School and college leavers, who may be nervous but excited at their first job, it is particularly important for you to encourage a positive attitude to work, and to allay any fears the new recruit may have. They need to be sure of their position in the company, and of the opportunities they will have to train and develop their skills. Health and safety is a particularly important area to stress. Young people often have no feel for workplace hazards and may be vulnerable to accidents. Employers are required to:
• assess risks to young people under 18, before they start work
• consider their inexperience, lack of awareness of existing or potential risks
• address specific factors in the risk assessment
Employers are required to make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to the health and safety of employees and identify groups of workers who might be particularly at risk.
People returning to work after a break in employment or changing their work situation Men or women returning to work after some years caring for children or other relatives may feel apprehensive about the new job – even when they may have worked for the company in the past as things and current employees may have changed. They may feel out of touch with developments, and in need of re-establishing themselves. Their induction programme needs to take this into account, offering training and extra help to settle in and become valuable members of the organisation. This is also true of those who might have been living/working abroad, or who are changing their career focus. Employees with disabilities Careful pre-planning can reduce the problems which may arise for employees with disabilities, whether in terms of access, equipment or dealing with colleagues. Specialist advice is available from the Disability Employment Adviser and the Disability Service Teams of the Department for Work and Pensions. The Department for Work and Pensions also operates the Access to Work Scheme, whereby assistance may be available in meeting the cost of any aids and adaptations required. These services can be contacted via the Jobcentre network. Management/professional trainees Commonly, management and professional trainees are not recruited for specific jobs but undergo further education and training after their employment commences. This may mean they are less able to be involved with practical work, and without care this can lead to a loss of interest and motivation. Their induction period should attempt to include them in appropriate work in the organisation if possible. Minorities They should have the same induction programme as any other new starter, but attention should be paid to any sensitivities. Employers may need to be aware and take account of any cultural or religious customs of new employees who are part of an ethnic or religious minority so that misunderstandings do not occur.