Start off right with new employees

Start off right with new employees

So you’ve found the right candidate for the role and are eager to get them onboard and up to speed.

Everyone knows first impressions count. Those first few weeks affect how well new employees settle in and create a lasting impression on them.

Having the right induction process will not only ensure compliance with the organisation’s obligations as an employer, but also create a solid foundation where the business can promote its workplace culture and values, increase employee retention and foster open communication among new and existing staff.

Having the right induction process will not only ensure compliance with your employer obligations, but also create a solid workplace culture and values, increase employee retention and foster open communication.

Here are some helpful hints on getting it right.

What to do before they even start

Welcome the new employee by ensuring you are ready for their arrival. Failing to ensure simple things like their workstation and email account are ready for them will make them feel undervalued.

Let everyone know there is a new starter and consider having an informal lunch with key employees on the new starter’s first day. Starting a new role is a daunting experience for most employees, so consider allocating them a buddy, who can be responsible for introducing them to others and whom they can go to with any questions.

Orientation

An orientation plan is a great way to ensure you cover all important points and legal obligations. Creating a plan may seem time consuming, but will help create buy-in, ensuring the employee quickly understands how the organisation works and can hit the ground running.

An orientation plan typically includes:

  • completion of key employee documentation
  • workplace health and safety tour of the workplace
  • IT set-up and access to the building
  • overview on the business
  • introduction to their team and buddy.

A tour of the workplace is an ideal opportunity for the employee to meet their colleagues and become familiar with the location of fire exits, kitchen and first-aid facilities and amenities.

Induction packs

It is important to ensure that all relevant documents are provided to the employee. A convenient way to do this is in the form of an ‘induction package’, which can be given to the employee on the first day and should include:

  • employment contract, employee handbook (containing relevant policies and procedures) and Fair Work Information Statement (if these were not already provided with the offer of employment)
  • job description
  • Tax File Declaration form
  • superannuation nomination form
  • personal details form.

Their manager (or HR manager) should take the opportunity to run through these documents with the employee and discuss key terms and conditions of their employment – in particular, policies around notification requirements for leave and additional benefits that the new employee may be entitled to receive, e.g. commission schemes and product allowances.

The employee should be asked to sign and complete these documents and return them to you as soon as possible. A personnel file is then set up for the employee.

Probation review

After a great induction, the employee and their manager should have regular meetings to discuss progress. The importance of monitoring performance from the outset cannot be underestimated. Employees have no protection from unfair dismissal during the first six months of their employment (or even 12 months in the case of small-business employers). This means it is generally easier to remove employees who are not performing well during this initial period.

Therefore ensure that you use this opportunity to assess the new employee’s suitability for the role, identify the areas where the employee is achieving and areas in need of improvement. If performance remains below standard, you can usually remove them from the organisation with little formality.

Edward Mallett, Employsure