An effective induction programme helps new employees settle in to their job and gain an understanding of the organisation, its culture, policies and procedures. It also plays a major part in staff retention as recent research suggests a third of new employees make their mind up about staying at a new business within the first week.

Recruiting and retaining employees is a huge issue for companies of all sizes, so once you have gone through the selection process and made an appointment it is important you give the new employee every opportunity to succeed in their new role. This should start the minute the new staff member walks through the door.

Most employees’ walk into a new job full of enthusiasm and can’t wait start work and make an impact within the organisation. Sadly this enthusiasm can quickly dwindle if they are not supported, the company fails to communicate keys responsibilities or if they feel they have been bombarded with so much new information and left to their own resources.

New employees can sometimes be anxious and a little shy, which may prevent them from asking questions of the employer. This can lead to them not learning the correct way of carrying out their duties, a loss of productivity and serious issues that negate your legal obligation to train new workers to do their jobs safely and what to do in the event of an emergency.

So what should an induction programme consist of and how should it be delivered?

An induction programme should be a comprehensive overview of the important information the employee would need to help them carry out their duties.

A typical induction programme will include the following:

Employee set up
Complete the new employee starter forms confirming his/her contact details, next of kin, bank details, driving licence, pension details etc.

Terms and conditions of employment
It is a legal requirement for employers to give their employees a written statement of terms and conditions of employment within two months of starting work.

It is a good idea to go through this with the new worker during the induction programme and give them details of issues such as:

– Hours of work – including breaks
– Sickness and holiday procedures
– Disciplinary and grievance procedures

Contract of employment
This needs to be supplied to the employee, signed, returned and copies issued to HR and the employee.

Policies, procedures, rules
An introduction to your company’s policies, procedures and rules with a printed or electronic copy issued to the new employee, including any other material such as a company handbook.

Introduction to the company
An introduction to the company, products and services, organisational structure, markets, clients, suppliers, etc.

The employees department
Where the new employee will be based, what role that department plays in the overall structure of the company and the team he/she will be joining.

Job description
The job description should be reviewed so the employee understands what his/her role is, expectations and any questions answered.

Introduction to staff
A face-to-face introduction should be made to key members of staff within the organisation and colleagues the employee will be working with including a mentor / buddy.

Workplace tour
A tour of the workplace should take place, pointing out all of the important facilities and amenities such as parking, toilets, fire exits, fire alarms, first aid box etc.

Safety and emergency procedures
A run through of Health & Safety measures including the procedure of reporting an accident, first aid, what to do / where to assemble in the event of a fire. Detail the safe work practices that are relevant to the worker’s role. Explain how to access health and safety information.

Legal requirements
Outline any legal requirements that the employee has to abide by in carrying out their work duties.

Regulatory requirements
Outline any regularity requirements that may affect the way the employee carries out his/her duties, for example if the company operates to industry standards, ISO, regulatory bodies etc.

Training and development programme
The employer should run through any training that will take place and development plan for the employee including topics and dates.

Appraisals
The employer should run through how the company operates its appraisals and performance review meetings including dates.