Induction is the process of introducing the new employee to the organisation, their team, their job and what their employer expects of them.

Induction is very important to help the employee become fully committed to the organisation from the start. Good induction sets the tone and expectations for the employee’s relationship with their manager and the organisation, and helps an employee understand the purpose, functions and tasks of their job so they can perform at their best.

  • The employee should feel that they are supported and valued during the induction rather than that the manager is just ticking off a checklist.
  • The induction does not have to be completed by one person and doesn’t all have to be done on the first day. Sometimes too much information all at once can be hard to take in and retain.
  • The induction can provide information on aspects such as the organisation’s history, values, culture, services offered, customers, staff, policies, practices and expected behaviour.

Poorly done induction and orientation can increase the voluntary turnover of employees, and create confusion, and waste time and money.

Responsibility for induction

Managers or supervisors are usually responsible for the induction of their new employees, but others are often included at different points in the process, for example, a senior manager or the chief executive might give a presentation on the history, functions and services of the organisation to a group of new employees. Larger organisations might run induction programmes with lots of new employees from around the organisation.

In all cases, the manager or supervisor and the employee should confirm expectations of how they will deal with each other and touch base at the end of the first day and from time to time to see if the employee has any questions and follow-up on any issues.

Preparing for induction

Managers or supervisors need to think about what the induction programme will involve well ahead of the employee's start date. They should also use this time to make sure that there is a workspace properly allocated and set up ready for their arrival. This may include such things as desk phone, IT equipment, safety equipment and tools, uniform, space in company-provided transport

Induction programme

A good induction programme will be specific to the organisation. It should cover information about the organisation, the job, and employee rights, responsibilities and benefits. A good induction process helps new employees settle in quickly and feel like part of the business. To help new employees feel welcome try to have time set aside or arranged for someone to spend time with them for the start of their first day, and have a desk or workspace in place and set up. They will appreciate the support, and your business will benefit. First impressions last, so make the first days on the job a positive experience.

Induction information

Induction information can be given through a mix of:

  • one-on-one discussions
  • group presentations
  • information on the organisation’s intranet
  • online or paper modules
  • handouts to read
  • a tour around the premises.

The induction process is often delivered over a period of time. It could include a follow-up once the employee has had a chance to settle in; this is so that the employer can answer any questions or difficulties the employee might have and make sure that the employee hasn’t developed bad habits by incorrectly doing tasks.

What induction programmes must include

  • A full health and safety briefing showing your evacuation plan, any hazards or risks in the workplace and how to be safe from them, the process to report and isolate/eliminate/minimise risks and hazards. Make sure the employee has the necessary knowledge and experience to do the job without causing harm to themselves or other people. If they don’t have enough experience, have an experienced person supervise them.
  • Provide safety or other tools or equipment needed for the job and train the employee in how to use them correctly. Even if they have used the equipment before, ask to see their certificates and check that they are using equipment properly.
  • Check the employee is comfortable in their workspace, for example, check the chair and desk height, and that there is enough space to do the job.
  • Give the employee any training and resources they need to do the job. They will perform best when they have the right skills, know what they’re supposed to do and how their role affects the business as a whole.
  • Clarify the employee’s start time, finish time, and the times and length of rest and meal breaks, or take the time to negotiate these times with the new staff member.
  • Discuss any in-house policies and rules that apply to the employee.
  • Get your new employee’s completed tax code declaration (IR330).
  • If this is your first employee, you need to register as an employer with Inland Revenue. They will also advise ACC that you have become an employer.
  • Set up a personal file for your new employee including a holiday and leave and wage and time record.

Visit the Inland Revenue website (external link) to register as an employer.

What induction programmes often include

  • Location of bathroom facilities, any other amenities (eg kitchen, cafeteria, lunch room, sick room etc.)
  • Assign the employee a buddy/tuakana to answer day-to-day questions and help them settle in to the role.
  • A full introduction to the employee’s immediate manager or supervisor and the team, and the functions of each of their positions.
  • A summary of the organisation’s history, structure and functions of departments and the services it provides.
  • An outline of the significance of the job and how it fits with what the organisation does.
  • The specifics of the job, with all necessary information about it, including any production processes or major operations involved in the job, job tools, training and job hazards and risks.
  • Full information on organisation, human resources, and health and safety policies, practices and processes (eg code of conduct and acceptable standards of behaviour, policies on IT and email usage, conflict of interest, vehicle use, reimbursement, harassment).
  • Introduce the new employee to all co-workers, supervisors and relevant people such as health and safety representatives, union delegates (if a member), fire wardens and first aid officers, key contacts and stakeholders for the employee.
  • How to log on to computers and access relevant programmes and websites.
  • How to set up your telephone, voicemail and email.
  • Practices around hours of work, flexible working, over-time, and holidays (including any regular closedown), lateness and absenteeism.
  • Staff benefits, including welfare (eg employee assistance programme), recreational (eg social club, sports teams), financial (eg staff discounts, health insurance).
  • Reward and recognition schemes.
  • Engagement, culture and satisfaction surveys, results and action plans, suggestion schemes.
  • Process to resolve employment problems, including the process to report harassment, discrimination and bullying.
  • Performance review process, what the expected performance standards are and how and when you’ll give feedback on their work.
  • Pay review process.
  • Process to improve performance.
  • Disciplinary process.
  • Outline on or off job training that the employee can expect to receive and is expected to participate in, opportunities, promotions, secondments, transfers.
  • Any reporting processes, eg who to contact in case of absence or in an emergency in the workplace. Give them a copy of the contact details to keep at home.
  • Go over again the terms of any probation or trial period that are in the employment agreement, including the support and guidance the employee will receive during the period.
  • Get the new person’s next of kin details in case of accidents or emergencies, and add this to your records.
  • Check if they have any special medical needs, such as for asthma or diabetes, and inform your first aider.

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