Applause IT

In a recent survey from CIPD stated that 22% of new employees leave a company within six months. A startling statistic if you’ve just spent time and money recruiting a new team member. Retaining employees is key to your business success and growth.

Searching for and selecting your new employees is just the first step of your recruitment strategy, equally as important is the onboarding and induction process. You’ll have spent a lot of time, money and energy in ensuring you have found and selected the right candidate to add value to your business, and the next logical stage is in making sure you retain and develop them so they become a greater asset to your team and business.

In larger organisations there tends to be a formal induction day which can involve training, meetings with key people and a business overview. These things all help to shape the first impression of your business. However, it is important to have an ongoing induction and not overwhelm people within their first few days. The impression they form in their first week can map their future career with you.

This is your chance to welcome your new employee and make them feel like a valued employee from the outset so don’t forget the basics, like, where the toilet and the kettle is!

An onboarding plan should be developed as part of your recruitment strategy for each individual role, obviously there will be lots of overlap but there will be some areas specific to each role. Is it vital that all new employees are trained on how to use all your IT systems? Do some roles require lengthy face time with the MD and others just need a quick welcome?

Your induction strategy should be developed to offer new employers an informative look at your business and how their role fits in. The process should start as early as the final interview stage, where you need to try and learn a few personal things about your potential new employee that will allow you to make them feel welcome from the moment they walk through the door. .

Start before they start

The first stage in the process should start before your new employee arrives to ensure everyone knows who they are and what they have been brought in to do.

  • Send the employment contract to your new employee. It sounds obvious but businesses actually forget! Likewise, make sure you have all references sorted
  • Send a communication to either the whole company or department to introduce your new employee. At this stage it’s good to include some of the personal details you discovered in the interview, these can be used as ice breakers when your new employee arrives.
  • It’s a good idea to have someone assigned to your new employee as a “buddy”, this person needs to be aware of their buddy role. Ideally they’ll be in the same team as your new employee and be able to introduce them to key contacts around the business as well as invite them out for lunch and make them feel part of the team.
  • Remember to communicate with your new employee before they officially start with you, this is particularly important if they have to work a long notice period. It will keep up both yours and their enthusiasm for the role in your business. You may also want to send out a few company newsletters and background information, without overwhelming them.

Their first day, week … month

We’re aware of a lot of people trying to get an induction into day one and then leaving new employees to it. Or leaving them sat in front of a PC to have a look around the intranet, unsurprisingly, it doesn’t set a good tone or the impression you want to create for your new team member!

While it is important to disseminate all the information to new employees, try to do it in manageable chucks and keep it interesting. Your company history and values are important in ensuring your new employee shares your values but a full day is probably a little over the top.

Some of the thing you should cover off in the first day are:

  • Introduce them to their work “buddy” who will spend time showing them the obvious things like where everything is in your office, the toilet, the kettle and canteen. Also, to point out where they can find stationary and the printers.
  • A tour of the office also helps people get a feel for the company and find out where everyone is. This is ongoing; don’t expect your new employee to remember everything. If you have a large building a map will be useful. It’s also handy to show people where they can park; they don’t want to inadvertently park in the bosses spot!
  • Show people where they will be sitting and how to login to their PC and phone. Introduce them to everyone they will be sitting with.

Over the course of the first week to month it is important to ensure your new employee understands the following.

  • The values of your company, the company culture and your vision for the future. This can include the business plan and objectives set for the next one to three years.
  • The structure of the company and where your new employee fits into the structure. It’s also good to highlight where the role crosses with other departments and people so they can see how they can work together.
  • Information on the services and products your company offers. Details of customers and target customer groups helps them to build a profile in their mind.
  • Details of key competitors across all service lines, how and where they compete.
  • The objectives for their role and how they feed into the overall business objectives.
  • The appraisal process so they can see how they will be measured, monitored and rewarded for their contribution to the bigger picture.  

Finally, possibly the most important and overlooked element of an induction process is making yourself accessible, either as a manager or business owner. There is no such thing as a silly question if you don’t know the answer so let your new employees know they can ask you anything they need to know. 

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