The first days—and months—on the job are critical for a new employee. It’s very important for you to help your new hire settle in comfortably, and feel that he or she has made the right decision to join your team. The extra time spent up front to ensure a great induction is time well invested. You will likely find that your new employee becomes productive more quickly. Importantly, a great induction can have a positive impact on future performance and retention.
Think of induction as the process that brings your employee’s contribution from zero to one hundred percent in the shortest amount of time. A good rule of thumb is to give extra attention to your new hire for the first three months. Plan formal meetings, do informal check-ins, and, importantly, be especially accessible during this period. Here's a guide for a great 1:1 meeting
When a new person is hired, determine what steps you can take to ensure that he or she will be successful with the company. Then focus your induction around those activities.
Here are six suggested steps, or “inspirations,” for creating an effective induction process.
1 - Prepare an induction checklist
Before your employee begins, make a checklist that covers the basics of your induction process. Indicate what has to be done, by when and, importantly, by whom. Include activities such as personal introductions to your team, a tour of the facilities, IT and office set-up, and a job description meeting.
As the manager, you are a key part of the induction process. Welcome your new hire the first day and sit down with him or her to outline your vision and the expectations for the job. But also encourage other team members to deliver items on your checklist.
Remember, for a new hire, information overload is almost unavoidable the first weeks on the job. Don’t add to this by attempting to accomplish all of the checklist items in the first days. Instead, ensure that your new employee receives the right level of information to feel enthusiastic about the job and become capable of starting some simple tasks right away.
2 - Offer a warm welcome
It’s easy to become so fixated on getting your new employee up to speed that you forget to provide a warm welcome. For a new employee, small things can have a huge impact and make a meaningful first impression. For example,
- Ensure that his or her office and office equipment are set up and ready for them when they arrive.
- Give a small gift or flowers and a “welcome to the team” card that everyone has signed.
- Arrange a team lunch on the first day and a team social time at the end of the new employee's first week.
- Record a short video of the team saying hello and send it the day before he or she starts.
A warm welcome will go a long way toward making your employee feel comfortable and at home on the job.
Remember, first impressions last!
3 - Discuss your company vision (The WHY)
Be sure to meet with your new employee in the first few days to discuss your company’s core purpose and vision. Explain why the company’s mission is so important.
Communicate the vision and purpose with passion. Passion is contagious!
Be sure to invite questions and comments, and describe clearly how your new hire will contribute to the vision. Feeling important and appreciated can be highly motivating.
4 - Align expectations with a job description (The WHAT)
Now, with your organization’s purpose and vision outlined, help your employee understand your expectations and the responsibilities of his or her position. Discuss how your employee can perform best and thrive in the job. Use a job description to outline goals, responsibilities, and tasks in a structured format. Provide clear directions and priorities. Knowing what to do and when to do it will relieve a lot of new-job stress and shorten the time it takes for your new employee to come up to speed. Get a free job description template here.
5 - Find “quick-win” assignments
Your new employee will want to start on real tasks and begin adding real value right away. One way to accomplish this is to provide a short, well-defined and doable assignment on which your employee is sure to perform well. This “quick-win” assignment will give your employee a sense of accomplishment and set the stage for future successes.
6 - Stay close and follow up regularly
New hires are generally very open minded and enthusiastic. Though they are not up to speed, most will work hard to get there. Often new employees perform quite well at first due to transferable skills, but they are still unaware of company politics and protocols. This “honeymoon phase” may, therefore, be followed by a dip in confidence when reality kicks in. So, continue to stay close, align expectations, and provide actionable feedback and support as needed.
Also, additional 1:1 meetings and check-ins with your new hire are important at this time, to ensure continued productivity and a smooth transition into your workplace.
In summary, new employees first need to feel at home, to become as productive as possible in the shortest amount of time. A little effort and planning for your employee induction process can reap great rewards for everyone.
Finally, always remember that the flow of valuable knowledge is a two-way street. New employees bring new insights and perspectives. When you ask open questions and listen attentively, you will likely find opportunities to improve your business.
All the best with your new employee, and congratulations on growing the team!
Would you like to get support from Adapto on the induction process you can start right here.