Everyone, at some point in their careers has experienced that nervous sense of anticipation that comes with making a fresh start in a new job. At the end of the day, we are all human and entering into any new chapter of our lives can be an extremely daunting experience. In light of this, it rest in the hands of employers to not negate the importance of ensuring that all new employees find their feet and develop positive impressions of the company from the very beginning, which is why conducting a structured and practical induction process is vital.

Providing new employees with the opportunity to settle in prior to actually starting their role, is not only beneficial for that individual, but also for the employers, as it provides time to complete all the necessary paperwork and administration duties. It is advisable for employers to produce a written induction plan so that the employee knows what will be expected of them, and for the employer to ensure that all company protocols are covered.

First and foremost, it is essential that the employer collects all the relevant paperwork from the employee. This should include, for example, National Insurance Number, P45, driving license and proof of their rights to work in the UK etc.

An induction period is the ideal time to obtain the employee’s signature on their contract of employment and issue other employment related documentation e.g. employee handbook, safety handbook, any policies and procedures that are applicable to the employee’s employment. A signature to confirm receipt of these documents gives the employer the written proof that new employees are aware of the rules and procedures and of their obligations under the working time legislation.

Upon completion of the administrative jobs, it is worthwhile introducing the new employee to the structure of the workplace. This may include familiarising them with the layout of the building including any important areas such as toilets, first aid facilities and fire evacuation points. In addition, introducing employees to key contacts within the company including members of the management team will give them a point of reference of who to contact with a particular query or issue.

Following this, it may be necessary to provide training specific to the job you have employed them to perform. Again, a training plan should ideally be provided to the employee. If your recruitment process has been carried out carefully and thoughtfully, your new employee will already have the necessary skills and qualifications to carry out the job effectively. However, employers must bear in mind that although previous experience will lend itself to familiarity with machinery or computer systems, time should be granted to the employee to learn how they are specifically used in your organisation. A period of ‘shadowing’ a current employee is a good way for the employee to pick up the style of work you require, followed by short bursts of individual work leading up fully independent work.

By Alan Price, HR Director, Peninsula