Induction - the process of
familiarisation with the organisation and settling into the job. It is easy to
forget that the selection process is only the beginning of the employment
relationship, and the future of that relationship depends to a considerable
extent on how the new employee is settled into the job. Most labour turnover is
among new employees, and work efficiency is reached only after a period of
learning and adjusting to the new environment.
By planning an induction programme, in consultation
with trade union or other employee representatives if available, the
organisation can quickly build on the positive attitude of the successful
candidate. However keen new recruits may be, they may have anxieties about how
well they will:
get on with their co-workers
understand the standards and rules
(written and unwritten) of the organisation
make a good impression on their new
manager or supervisor
be able to do the job.
A good induction programme makes business sense,
whatever the size of the organisation, and whatever the job. It introduces the
newcomer not only to their immediate colleagues, but to other workers with whom
they may have less day-to-day contact, including trade union representatives
(if they are recognised in the organisation) or employee representatives on any
staff committee or council.
The induction timetable
often begins before the person has actually started, in that the organization
supply material as part of an initial 'information
pack', or with the invitation to interview, or with the letter of job offer.
This may be particularly important in jobs of a technical nature, where it
is helpful for the new starter to be as well
informed as possible about that side of the work.
Clearly, learning the particular projects and
initiatives will have to be done in the workplace but much 'mental
preparedness' can be undertaken in advance. The Company Handbook, and the
Written Statement of Employment Particulars, can also provide essential
information about the organisation and the job.
A good reception, with the line or personnel manager
spending time with the new employee, is important on the first day. There may
be further documentation to complete, perhaps a preliminary discussion about
training either immediately or in the future, an explanation of the development
opportunities that are available, and of course enough information to give the
new starter a good grasp of the working practices of the organisation. Any
particular health and safety requirements should be made known, together with
details of whom to go to for help and advice during the course of their
employment. Many companies use a 'buddy' system, where an experienced worker is
nominated to assist the new recruit in all the day-to-day questions that may
It is useful to have a written checklist of the
items that need to be covered in the induction programme; and an example of such
a list is at Appendix 1, 2 & 3. Not
only does this give some structure to the induction but it also ensures that
both the new starter and the manager know what has or has not been covered at
any given time. Such a checklist is normally drawn up by the personnel section
in consultation with other involved staff, such as safety officers, line
manager/supervisors, employee representatives (if appropriate), and training
The induction programme may be spread over several
days or weeks, and may incorporate specific job training, but the following
points should be borne in mind:
all employees need to be able to work in
a safe and healthy manner. Recruitment and placement procedures should ensure
that employees (including managers) have the necessary physical and mental
abilities to do their jobs, or can acquire them through training and
experience. Employers should have systems in place to identify health and
safety training needs arising from recruitment
people can take in only so much information
at any given time, and should not be overloaded. It is important that health
and safety is introduced in a structured way
if there are special health and safety
requirements, make sure the new starter fully understands their importance -
otherwise there is the risk of being exposed to unnecessary danger or
endangering their co-workers. All employees must know what to do in the event
of a fire or other emergency
setting out the plan of induction at the
beginning avoids the problems that can arise in trying to arrange time in the
future, when the employee is established in the job
don't forget induction needs for shift
workers or night workers. They may need some time on days, or modified shifts,
to cover the induction period
even if the induction period covers job
training, try to let new starters do some practical work, as this will assist
their learning and enable them to relate what they are being taught to what
they will be doing.
The outcome of all this is that the new starter
should have a good feel for the organisation, and should continue to feel that
they made the right decision in joining the firm.
The induction process
Induction need not be a very formal process but it
needs to be properly managed. In many organisations it will be carried out
informally by the new starter's manager or supervisor on a day-to-day basis.
Nevertheless, having a structured checklist to follow is useful for both
parties. Most induction will consist of meeting and talking with new
colleagues, watching activities and asking questions. It may be appropriate to
provide certain information in written form; and if
the organisation has a company handbook, this can
often act as an aide memoire covering important aspects of the company
organisation and how it functions.
If a group of new employees is recruited at the same
time, it may make sense to hold group induction sessions on the common topics
to be covered - discussion, videos, slide presentations can all add to the
effectiveness of the programme.
Even people transferring from one part of the
organisation to another need induction into their new area. Don't assume that
they will know the relevant people or the skills they will need in
the new job. However, they may need a more
individually tailored induction programme to meet
who may need special attention
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.
and college leavers
For school or college leavers, who may be nervous
but excited at their first job, it is particularly important for the employer
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. A group of young people together may get high spirited
and, without proper guidance on safety, be unaware of the potential dangers.
Young workers are seen as being particularly at risk, and employers are
assess risks to young people under 18,
before they start work.
take into account their inexperience,
lack of awareness of existing or potential risks, and immaturity
address specific factors in the risk
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
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. 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.
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.
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 at all possible.
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 particular cultural or religious
customs of new employees who are part of an ethnic or religious minority so
that misunderstandings do not occur.
Acas' Equality Service can assist employers with
free advice on the development and implementation of policies and practices for
greater equality among the workforce.
is responsible for the induction process?
There may well be several people involved in the
planning and delivery of the induction programme. In a small company it may be
the personnel officer, the manager or supervisor, and perhaps a 'buddy'. A
larger organisation may call on the abilities and skills of many people. These
personnel or human resource manager. Their likely involvement would be to Go
over the terms and conditions, complete any necessary paperwork, and perhaps
give an overview of the company organization a competent health and safety
adviser, particularly if there is a need for specific safety procedures or
protective clothing, etc. This person assists an employer in applying the
provisions of health and safety law. the training officer the line or department manager. This person
will normally provide the more local welcome to the organisation, explaining
where that particular department or section fits with the whole, and providing
the first round of introductions to the department the supervisor, who will
have the greatest responsibility and interest in getting the new starter
settled in and effective as soon as possible. This is generally where the use
of a checklist can best be made, with the supervisor able to check easily what
has been covered, what needs to be done, and any particular points that may
need further explanation the trade union or employee representative, and safety
representative, to explain their role.
It is often useful to have a co-worker to act as a
guide and adviser to the new recruit, even if the organisation does not have a
formal 'buddy' system. This person can help in those everyday questions such as
canteen facilities, introducing other co-workers, explaining the layout of the
building, etc in an informal way as they occur. This process can also be a good
way of providing a development opportunity to the person who acts as guide and
Try to follow up the new employee after a suitable
period, perhaps six months, to check that the induction went well. This could
be part of a general review for the individual.
As with any work activity it is recommended that the
recruitment and induction process be reviewed for its effectiveness. If any
stage of the recruitment process failed to produce the expected result, eg if
the advertising method has produced too many candidates, you may want to
examine what happened and why in order to make it more efficient in the future.
Future recruitment exercises may require modifications to the methods used - a
successful recruitment for one job does not automatically mean the same method
will be as successful again. This is particularly true if the labour market
changes, with, for instance, fewer school leavers but more mature workers being
Recruitment and induction may be a continuous
process in your organisation, necessitating more or less constant monitoring.
Monitoring regularly will also ensure equal opportunity
policies are being actively pursued, and that internal candidates are receiving
the same consideration as external candidates.
is the process of inducting or orienting a new employee into the social setting
of his work.
i) Familiarising the new employee with his
new surroundings and company rules
his personal goals with the organization goals.