Bringing new staff into your business means you need to align them with your business practices, and your way of working.
The first step to doing this is via your staff induction. However, your induction covers much more than just training - it’s the formal introduction of the new staff member to your business.
As soon as possible, your new employee needs to be set up within your HR and payroll systems. This is often a case of bringing in key information, such as photo ID, National Insurance number, and bank details. It’s best to ask the new staff member to bring this with them on their first day. If you're hiring your first employee and you're not sure where to start, download our free guide to payroll and workplace pensions to get started.
As part of the HR process during an induction, you should also make sure a new staff member is aware of the policies and procedures regarding:
- Leave and procedures for requesting and taking holiday
- Giving notice
Many employers choose to give employees a staff handbook, or you can include it in their contract of employment. This allows your new starter to immediately understand the day-to-day business processes they will have to deal with, and also gives them a clearer insight into the business they are joining.
A major component of a staff induction is making sure your staff can actually perform the tasks you need them to, so understanding what training a new staff member needs is crucial. This should be something that is defined by their role and decided prior to their induction.
This could include:
- Health and safety considerations. It's a legal requirement that everyone who works for you knows how to work safely and without risks to health. New recruits must receive basic induction training in how to work safely, including arrangements for first aid, fire and evacuation.
- Anything related to restricted sales – for example, highlighting Challenge 25 (which is a retailing strategy that encourages anyone who is over 18 but looks under 25 to carry acceptable ID)
- How to process transactions
- Any business-specific tasks that impact their role – e.g. timesheet systems
- The use of new equipment
Training won’t all be done in one day. It’s worthwhile spreading this out and using training as a benchmarking tool during your new employee’s probation period. It's a good idea to use a mix of training methods, including hands-on activities and observation of activities, rather than just providing written instructions. Ensure that the new recruit receives adequate supervision.
Meet the team
You should also endeavour to introduce your new employee to the rest of your staff, particularly the people they will be working with on a day to day basis.
They should tell your new staff member who they are and what it is they do, how it relates to them and their role and provide some deeper insight into how your business works.
This is a great way to help a staff member feel welcome and break the ice to some degree. It also allows them to see how your company is run and how they fit into it.
Consider appointing a key contact for the new recruit to provide workplace support or mentoring. This is particularly important if they are a younger or more inexperienced worker. This could be their line manager, or someone else.
Tour of the premises
Another important part of an induction is simply showing your new staff member around the premises.
This isn’t just a case of showing them where the toilets, staff room and where they will be working are. It has an important health and safety function, highlighting where fire extinguishers, exits and meeting points are in the event of an emergency.
The tour goes hand in hand with staff introductions usually. As you go around your place of work, it makes sense to make introductions naturally as you run into people. This also helps the new staff member to link people to places and different departments.
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