For Managers, Leaders and anyone responsible for induction of new staff
Designing a successful induction programme can be demanding yet ultimately rewarding. It has to provide all the information that the new employee needs, without being overpowering. It can make the difference between an effective and engaged employee and a disenchanted and potential leaver. The length and content of the induction depends on the nature of the job, the background and experience of the new person. One size does not fit all - a tailored programme is therefore more likely to succeed. For this reason, although a centralised induction event has its place, the main focus of the induction should be local, and it should be custom-made for the individual.
‘What is the point of induction?’
An induction period is meant to ensure that new members of staff settle into their roles as quickly and effectively as possible. Tailor-made programmes have also been shown to increase staff retention. A good induction programme: • Helps the individual understand their role, the department they work in and the university as a whole • Familiarises them with the physical environment, the culture and the university’s procedures and policies • Makes sure they understand their legal responsibilities
‘Who needs induction?’
All employees require induction. The character of the induction will vary, but all staff need some form of programme, whether they are in academic, technical, professional or support roles, senior or junior appointments, full or part-time, permanent or on a short-term contract, new to the organisation or an internal appointment. Depending on the situation more or less information will be required. Often those being promoted within a department will benefit from some form of induction programme when they take on a new role. This is an area which is often neglected. An induction programme of sorts will also be needed by those returning after career breaks or long-term absence (including maternity leave), even if they are returning to their original role.
‘What happens without an effective induction programme?’ There is a strong risk that new staff will gain only a limited understanding of the organisation and their role in it; they may also fail to grasp what’s actually expected of them. This can result in: • Lack of engagement with the university • Poor relationships with colleagues • Poor quality of work In extreme cases, the new employee may end up resigning or being dismissed. This leads to: • Additional recruitment costs • Wasted time for the manager • Lowering of morale for the remaining staff • Damage to the leaver's employment record • Damage to the university's reputation
‘Has the employee clear expectations of performance.’
Particular attention should be given to clearly lay out what expectations of performance you have for the new employee from day one. Many organisations neglect this at the start of an individual’s employment. There is compelling evidence that people who work with clear expectations, perform better and are much more fulfilled in their work. The list is by no means exhaustive and should be tailored to the specific needs of the individual and the role they are filling. The checklist should be signed when the activities are completed and a copy sent to HR services for filing on the employee’s personal file. Further copies of this checklist are also available from the HR portal (internal website) where you will also find a section specifically targeted at new employees.
Although the induction of a specific employee is the line manager's responsibility, There are events to which all new starters are invited. These provide: • An overview of what’s going on in the university within the context of issues facing higher education in general • Important health and safety messages • Information about our diversity and equality policies • Other core messages about...
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