Recruiting talented individuals into your business is difficult enough, but did you realise that without a proper induction program for new employees, the struggle and cost could go to waste?

The induction is the chance to explain more about the company structure and it gives you the opportunity to make sure the new employee is familiar with their new surroundings. There is no underestimating the importance of proper induction in making the new employee feel comfortable and most importantly, welcome into the organisation.

Although implementing new hire induction program may seem like a time consuming and perhaps pointless task, it is actually far from it. Companies who implement new hire induction programs can actually improve their retention levels. Statistics show that 69% of employees will remain with the company for 3 years or more if they have a good experience with their induction. The rate of retention is double for those companies who have an onboarding process in place, than those without.

What is the purpose of onboarding?

Onboarding is not just good for retention levels, it also offers a number of other benefits. Productivity is also 50% higher for organisations with an onboarding process. If employees get the chance to learn about the role, have proper training and are made to feel welcome, they will be able to work more productively. If they are left to their own devices, have insufficient training and are feeling uncomfortable from day one, they won’t be productive and will not stick around for long.

This all comes down to the onboarding process.

What should be in the induction?

The induction process may seem long and arduous, but if you take it step by step, it won’t seem as complex. This step by step guide should give you a good idea of how to tick all the boxes during the induction program.

  1. Prepare for the new start

There is nothing worse than turning up on your first day to be told that IT haven’t set up your login or you don’t have a proper seat or desk. This creates a negative first impression and is likely to be highly frustrating for the new start. The only excuse for this is leaving it to the last minute, so make sure you are prepared for your new employee starting. Ensure you have all the relevant equipment and technology arranged and let any relevant personnel know about the new start. It is also important to speak to the new start and arrange the date and time with them and to welcome them. They will appreciate the contact and it will make them feel excited about joining the company.

  1. Complete paperwork

The new employee’s first day should start with them completing all the relevant paperwork, including their employment contract, bank details, P60 etc.

  1. Organisation information

As part of the induction process, you should explain the company policies and procedures to the new start. It is also important to show them around the building and introduce them to any relevant colleagues. It is also a good idea to give them a buddy, someone to show them the job and perhaps to spend breaks with for the first week. Starting a new job can be very intimidating, so any steps you take to make the new employee feel welcome will encourage them to stick around.

  1. The role

The induction process is a chance to explain what the job entails and what the expectations are. It can be a good time to set goals and to let the new start know the structure and who they will be dealing with.  Make sure you explain the culture to the employee, so they know how the company operates.

It’s worth circling back on this after the first few weeks to make sure that the role requirements have been fully understood. It’s easy for new starters to get overwhelmed with all the new information, so reiteration can mitigate any misunderstandings early on.

  1. Ongoing support

The induction and onboarding strategy should not just be one day or even one-month process, it should be ongoing until the new employee is fully up to speed with the job and the processes. Many companies make the mistake of only introducing a one-day induction and this is not enough if you want to retain your new employees.

The main aspects of the induction process are to ensure the new employee knows what the role is and where they fit into the organisation. It is also important that they understand what the expectations are and that they are not left on their own to wander around aimlessly on their first days at the organisation.

Any extras?

In addition to taking these steps, there are other ways to make your onboarding process more effective. You may wish to consider implementing tracking progress so that any mistakes can be dealt with straight away before they spiral out of control. It may also be worth setting your new employee up with a mentor who can train and support them.

For a host of additional thoughts and ideas to improve your onboarding process, read this expert round-up.

Effective Onboarding Strategies

Through structure and support, we will take care of integrating a new employee. More effective onboarding directly contributes to improvements in productivity and compliance, both for new hires and their managers. We provide support for the complete employee lifecycle from recruitment or expansion to exit. Get in touch for more information today.

It goes by many names: a staff handbook, an employee guide, a policies and procedures manual. But does your business really need one? And if so, what should a good one look like?

An employee handbook is made up of a range of HR Policies and Procedures, and a HR Policy:

  • Sets out how the Organisation intends to address issues related to employee relations;
  • Puts in place best practice procedures for compliance with the law
  • Provides guidance on how to behave or operate in a given situation and prevents misunderstandings;

What is the Difference Between a Handbook and a Contract?

Firstly, it’s important to dispel the myth that you already have this stuff covered off if each member of your team has an employment contract.

A handbook not only covers more than just the legal rights of employees and your obligations as their employer but can also include recommended behaviours and practices that aren’t enforceable by law – like your own corporate guidelines. And when they’re in a handbook or manual, they apply to all employees, usually bound by an agreement within their individual contract, and you have the flexibility to update the handbook without their written consent.

Does my Business Need an Employee Handbook?

The answer is nearly always “yes, you do.”

Why? Because it’s simply good business practice to have one. But more so, an employee handbook provides some very tangible benefits to your operations and workplace culture. It creates a clear introduction for new recruits and lets them know that everyone works to the same, fair, level playing field. It gives them a guide for things like booking leave or health and safety advice.

Most critically, the policies and procedures within the handbook will help you when faced with employee disputes or legal action. Obviously, prevention is better than cure and so the biggest selling point for putting the work into crafting a good employee handbook is that it mitigates the risk of employee misconduct and discontent in the first place.

What Does a Great Employee Handbook Do?

  • Improves working relationships
  • Provides a structure for dealing with problems
  • Everyone knows where they stand
  • Business relationships can be supported by HR Policies

It’s a good idea to involve your business team and any stakeholders in this stage. Use the employee handbook as a place to communicate your mission, vision and values. Test that it’s written in plain English, jargon-free and that you have processes in place to ensure it is communicated out to every new starter.

While going through this process, try to remember that the point of the handbook isn’t just about fiercely defending your business from unscrupulous former employees. This manual is an opportunity to set out your stall in terms of workplace culture and business ethos. So, positive language must be used throughout.

What Employment Policies Should be Business Consider?

First up you can look to the essential policies and procedures by law and decide which fit within your employment contracts and which would work better by being included in a more general employee handbook. These usually include things like:

  • Annual leave and public holidays
  • Statutory flexible working arrangements (UK)
  • Policies for overtime and time off in lieu
  • Salary and pension payment information
  • Statutory retirement rules.

Then there are certain policies that are vital for your business regardless of the size or industry that don’t naturally fit as part of an employee’s contract of employment. You should check the labour relations and employment advice for what applies in your jurisdiction, but as a general rule you’ll want to include policies and procedures for:

  • Recruitment and selection
  • Equal opportunities
  • Dignity at work (including bullying, harassment and sexual harassment)
  • Discipline and grievance issues (including gross misconduct)
  • Unauthorised absences
  • Health and Safety

Now once you’ve covered the must-haves, there are just a few more best practices and legally advised policies to include in your employee handbook. These focus on elements like:

  • Induction information
  • A performance policy and appraisal procedure
  • A training policy
  • A redundancy policy
  • A diversity policy
  • A data protection policy
  • A social media or digital policy (covering all internet, mobile phone use, etc.)
  • A child/vulnerable adult policy
  • Financial procedures for claiming expenses
  • Whistle-blowing guidelines
  • A special leave policy
  • A career break policy
  • Risk management guidelines
  • A volunteering policy

HR policies are drawn from current employment legislation. They provide managers and staff members with information and guidance relating to their employment. They also provide a framework for compliance with employment law.

In the absence of a Handbook, staff members may become resentful if issues are not addressed appropriately. As there may be no mechanisms to resolve problems it can lead to difficult interpersonal relationships within the team. In a worst-case scenario, staff members may make a claim against the organisation.

It may seem like a big job – and it can be, the very first time you create your employee handbook from scratch – but bear in mind that it will never require so much work again, as you’ll merely update it and allow it to grow with you as your business grows. It’s also a lot less resource consuming than dealing with the consequences of not having a strong team documentation.

Still not sure where to start?

We’ve got it covered. There is support and guidance available for even the smallest of start-ups and businesses with services like FordeCloud. We have devised industry standard HR Documents for SMEs and update them regularly to ensure your business is always in good hands. We also provide software for time and attendance management and support you through employee resolution issues, as well as more general on demand HR support.

The first day of any new job can be very overwhelming and it is important that as an employer you put your best foot forward for new employees.

Onboarding isn’t just about first impressions, it sets the foundations for your new hires and their ability to perform effectively in their new role.

Here are five ways you can make a new employee feel confident on their first day.

1. Have Everything Ready

Welcome a new employee to the team by ensuring everything is ready for them when they arrive on their first day.

You don’t need to pull out all the stops, but if you have the new employee’s work station prepared with all their necessary tools such as computer, phone, email they will feel appreciated and ready to go.

2. Give Them An Office Tour

There is nothing worse than starting your first day and not knowing where the bathroom is located.

New employees should be shown all the facilities and introduced to colleagues on their first day. Introductions to other work colleagues will allow a new employee to have confidence approaching that person again, and they will be able to understand the company culture better.

Even if your office space is small, by helping your new recruit familiarise themselves with their new surroundings, it will help them feel comfortable and more at ease on their first day.

3. Provide On-The-Job Training

In order for a new employee to feel confident about their role and contribution to the company, on-the-job training should be commence from day one.

It is ok to start small, ensuring you do not overwhelm your new employee, and then you can gradually disclose more information as time progresses.

On-the-job training ultimately ensures you have happier employees, who are more committed to your company and maintain a mind-set of “always learning.”

4. Set Small Tasks

Set your new employee small, manageable tasks when they first arrive to help them get their feet wet and see what type of work they will be doing.

In addition, a small assignment will give a new employee a sense of purpose on their first day; you don’t want them to become bored and lose their focus.

5. Get The Paperwork Done

Planning ahead is key part of the on-boarding process, and ensuring that all the paperwork is complete and out of the way will help new employees be more productive more quickly.

To avoid making a new employee spend the entire morning filling out forms, if you can, try to keep the process quick. Consider using a paperless solution or emailing the employee the forms before their first day so they can familiarise themselves with the paperwork.