Management & leadership

Into the induction loop

Inductions matter. Here are some tips for making sure your new team members feel welcome.

You’ve expended effort and expense with a thorough recruitment process for a key role and you are feeling rather chuffed about the calibre of the person you’ve appointed. And, you’ll want your new starter to hit the ground running so… don’t fall at the last hurdle with a patched together and hastily prepared induction that really doesn’t cut the mustard. Here are some simple tips to help you get your induction process spot on: 

Have a cunning plan 

Don’t leave things to chance or to the last minute – that way chaos is guaranteed. Your new starter will be reassured if they know in advance what to expect when they cross the threshold of their new workplace. So make sure, as a minimum, that they have the tools and equipment they need ready, a timetabled schedule and key people to meet. 

Communication, communication, communication 

To heavily paraphrase Tony Blair’s famous tricolon (education, education, education) communication is all. It is so easy to do the interview, make the appointment and think the process is done and fail to contact the new starter until they start. Make sure you speak to them in advance and that  there are regular points for catch up during the induction process. A buddy pairing is a good idea for some organisations to ensure there is more than one person looking after the new starter.  

Pacing it right 

Getting the pace of the induction right is important and can require some fine-tuning. Packing the schedule with back-to-back meetings with no down time to absorb information is clearly not a good idea, but so is an empty schedule as desolate and  bleak as an American prairie with tumbleweed blowing through it. 

Doing the knowledge 

As with pacing of the induction, consider how you can drip feed information at an optimal level . Too much can overload the new starter, but a lack of it can also be a source of frustration. Gradually introducing new  information and providing it in different ways (not just piles of paperwork) will make it easier to absorb. 

One size doesn’t fit all 

Copying and pasting your standard induction template for all starters might work some of the time but more often than not  one size doesn’t fit all. You have read the new starter’s Curriculum Vitae, interviewed and had conversations with them, so you have an idea of what they are like both in terms of work and social interests. You can use the information you have gathered about them to tailor the induction to meet their specific needs – choosing a good fit for a buddy, selecting the most useful information they will need and so on.  

Want to know more? I’ve written a Speed Read on Inductions which will show you how to design a reliable, structured and repeatable induction process that works for both the new starter and your organisation. Pre-order your copy here.