The keys to a successful induction

IMG_2597A decision to hire a new member of staff should never be taken lightly. Recruiting is an expensive, and inherently risky, activity which both employer and candidate will invest a lot of resources into. Many of the risks can be mitigated by using specialist recruitment agents to ensure candidates are technically competent and also a good fit for the organisation and also ensuring that robust recruitment processes are in place. However, all too often recruitment processes seem to end as soon as a new employee arrives on the job, and there is no formal induction plan in place. Given the amount of resources that will already have been invested to get this far we find it amazing that sometimes so little time and effort is spent on ensuring that a new employee is properly inducted into their new role. Research by the CIPD indicates that 22% of employees leave their organisation within the first 6 months of employment. There are many factors contributing to this. However in this critical initial period an important factor as to whether an employee stays or not will inevitably be how well they are inducted into the role and the organisation.

A good induction plan for finance staff will contain all the same elements as for any new team member, (as identified by Investors in People), including;

  1. The company’s vision and objectives

  2. Company history, to give the new starter context

  3. Company structure, explaining where the power lies and how it’s distributed

  4. Company culture, outlining the personality of the organisation

  5. An overview of job roles so the new starter understands not just their role, but also how they fit into the wider team

  6. Equipment training sessions so the new team member can learn to use any equipment and systems correctly and safely

  7. Health and safety briefing so you’re confident they’re fully up to speed on your procedures, fire exits and First Aid provision

  8. Details on personnel matters such as applying for holiday leave, using the telephone system and accessing standard templates

  9. Running through the local amenities: pointing out nearby facilities including banks, sandwich shops and transport links

One further thing to add to this list for finance staff is to ensure that they are aware of who their suppliers and customers are. These suppliers and customers may be internal or external to the organisation. Either way it is important to fully understand the nature of these relationships to ensure the new team member can see how they will be able to add value to both the team and organisation.

Depending on the seniority of the role, the induction process may take days, weeks or months. However long the process takes, a number of things are important:

  • The induction plan should be clear and well documented. The plan should include as many different types of interaction and media as possible including social events, one to one meetings, literature, training etc.
  • An individual should be directly responsible for delivery of the induction plan. This does not necessarily have to be the new employee’s line manager. But it must be someone with an appropriate level of seniority and knowledge of the organisation.
  • There should be regular contact between the person responsible for delivery and the recipient. This will help ensure the induction plan is meeting its intended goals and allow it to be amended as necessary.

It is sometimes tempting to think that the hard work has been done once a new recruit starts, and that an induction plan can just look after itself, because we’re already busy with our ‘day jobs’.  This is rarely the case, and a lack of time invested at this critical stage of employment may lead to another recruitment process rather sooner than anyone wanted.