What is an induction programme?

What is an induction programme?

The nature of an induction programme is likely to vary depending on the nature of the organisation, its size, and the extent of the resources available. Despite the differences that exist, an induction programme should provide information to those starting at an organisation or when they are beginning a new role. The induction may consist of one or more elements such as providing information about the organisation and its procedures, shadowing so that the person can learn from experienced colleagues, or training so that the people on the induction are provided with the knowledge and skills to do what is required of them. The purpose of an induction programme is to enable the people involved to know not only what the role requires, but also how the organisation expects tasks to be done.

Why have staff induction?

1. To improve staff morale and retention

 However exciting it may be, a new job is often daunting: a new environment, new people, new things to learn… It is entirely normal to be daunted by the unknown, and it is common for countless questions to be in the person’s head, and for the day, or next few days, to go into something of a blur. A staff induction should reduce that sense of uncertainty. Training and shadowing can help new recruits to build positive relationships with colleagues. Knowing that they are not ‘on their own’ is also likely to make people feel happier in their new job and therefore less likely to leave.


2. To increase consistency

All organisations have a particular way of doing things, a culture that is distinct to them; this applies whatever the organisation does and whatever audience it serves.

If the new recruits are not told what this particular way of doing things is, how can they be expected to know? If they are simply thrown in at the deep end, with no induction, individuals are likely to do what they did elsewhere. Some people, and employers, may think that this approach is fine. After all, if the person had worked in a similar role previously, why waste time going over what they already know? Because, even if the nature of the work is the same, each organisation will have its own approach regarding how things are done. For example, does the organisation expect staff to behave, or engage with, customers in a particular way? This may include giving a specific greeting when first meeting a customer, or asking them particular questions to increase the chances of sale purchases. Similarly, each organisation is likely to have its own approach when it comes to setting targets and measuring performance. An induction highlights what is expected and increases the likelihood that staff act in the same way.

3. To improve standards

Staff inductions involve learning. Whether that is going through the employee handbook with someone to understand how things are done in terms of policies and procedures, or going through training and or shadowing to ensure that the new people can effectively do what is expected of them. This learning could be anything from getting to grips with the I.T system to reinforcing expected steps regarding manual handling or health and safety issues.

4. To demonstrate compliance

It is important for organisations to demonstrate that they have created a working environment which is compliant with legislation. An obvious example is health and safety, as referred to above. If an incident were to arise, the organisation will need to show what steps it has taken to ensure that staff act correctly. Communicating these steps as part of a staff induction process is an effective way to ensure that best practice is embedded in the organisation from the outset.

5. To identify concerns at an early stage

Delivering a comprehensive staff induction will not only provide information, but also an opportunity to see how people respond to tasks, such as when they are shadowing colleagues. Such activities show a person’s strengths and weaknesses, and that can in turn help to determine future development or training needs. Similarly, team exercises, which may occur as part of a staff induction programme, will provide an indication of how those being inducted respond to, and engage with, colleagues. For example, do they listen to others, do they instinctively work as part of a team?

Disadvantages of induction training

1. Cost

There is obviously the time cost associated with devising the content of the induction training. Depending on the needs of the organisation there may be a need to finance an external trainer. If not, and the training can be delivered internally, those delivering the training are taken away from their usual duties and there is a time cost associated with running the training. There is also the point that whilst people are receiving training those people typically do not undertake activities which the customer or client could be charged for.

2. Inadequate content in the induction programme

There are a substantial number of advantages when it comes to having a staff induction, as referred to above, but the value of a staff induction programme will be determined by the quality and relevance of the content, the skill and experience of the person delivering it and the extent to which the organisation recognises the importance of having an effective induction programme. For example, if the induction simply consists of reading paperwork, or the person overseeing the induction programme can’t see the point of the exercise, the experience is likely to do more harm than good.

3. Inconsistent approaches from those delivering the induction programme

Imagine how you would feel if you thought you were attending an induction where you were going to learn all about your new position, and what was expected of you, but instead of gaining knowledge you were faced with a situation where the person overseeing the induction could not answer your questions, you were given things to read but they were not explained to you, and when you asked what this or that meant you were simply told to ‘figure it out’. That instruction is likely to make a potentially daunting situation even more stressful. Faced with that, a substantial number of the intake are likely to conclude that the place in question is not for them. The quality of the induction programme depends entirely on the person overseeing it: people being inducted may be allocated to someone who sees the programme as a waste of time tick box exercise to be finished as quickly as possible. On the other hand, another intake, from the same organisation, may have someone who is keen for the process to be useful and effective.

 The difference in attitude, referred to above, makes it the luck of the draw as to who those being inducted get and what their induction experiences are. A poor induction is likely to set the tone for working at the organisation going forward, and is also likely to translate into people behaving inconsistently due to the different inductions that they received.

An effective induction programme can bring numerous advantages to an organisation, some of which are referred to above. Whilst there is an expense, in terms of costs and time, this is an investment which is likely to result in higher standards and more consistent outcomes for customers and clients.

Plotkin & Chandler has expertise in developing effective and customised induction programmes which will not only support the goals of the organisation but are also part of an ongoing process of improvement. Whether you would like assistance to devise and implement an induction programme, or you need support to amend your existing arrangements to achieve your desired outcomes, we can help. If you would like to discuss your requirements, please call us on 020 3923 8616, or email us at info@plotkinandchandler.com




Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from us.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Share This
error: Alert: Content is protected !!