Managing employees: The HR essentials all employers and managers need to know!


Video Five  – Inductions Setting New Employees up for Long Term Success

KATH: Hi, everyone, and welcome to the fifth video in our series of HR Essentials All Employees need to know. All Employers Need to Know, sorry.

PAULETTE: Employers, blooper one.

Yeah, that’s it, blooper one. We’re going to leave that one in today. Thanks again for joining me, Paulette. Glad to see you. Today we’re going to talk all about inductions and what it’s like to set your employees up for long term success. Walk me through the process of what is the ideal way to induct an employee, just taking on a new employee, we’ve gone through all of those procedures that we’ve talked about in the last four videos. What’s the best way to induct someone?

Make them feel welcome. It’s kind of really as simple as that. On their first day have someone ready to welcome them into the business, make sure their computer is set up if they need a computer, make sure there’s all the tools they need to actually do their job. The amount of times I’ve heard people have turned up, “Ah, we weren’t ready for you. Oh, you just need to sit over there. Oh, here’s a handbook, here read it.”

Yeah, not a very welcoming environment if you’re just starting with a new employer. I guess that’s why if you’ve got your workstation all set up and ready to go, you’ve got all your tools and equipment ready to do the job. What about training then? How does that training sort of start with the induction? Like day one? Walk through the premises, I’d imagine?

Yeah, so go through the premises, where’s tea and coffee, where’s the toilets, introduce them to the staff, let them know where their desk space is. If you can, I suggest doing a stationery box up. Pens, pencils, rubbers, staplers, everyone fights over staplers, getting that all set up. So, having that all there and even if during the interview they said, “Oh, I like Turkish delight chocolates,” which is my favorite by the way. Even if they’ll see that, maybe you’d have a chocolate at the end of the day, “Oh, they actually listen. I’m not a number on the payroll record, I’m just not your employee. I’m actually important.” So, it’s the first 90 days that someone decides whether they’re going to stay or leave a business.

The first day is really important, so it’s setting it all up, and then sitting down with the line manager and go, “Okay. This is what we need you to do. This is a training routine we’re going to go through. This us this is how we’re going to do it.” So, the person knows what their job is, how they’re going to do it and what tools are available for them and what support is available for them as well. So, they go home feeling excited.

So, they want to come back on that second day because they know they’re already set up to do the job that they were employed to, though.

And obviously, you’ve got your health and safety obligations as well. So emergency exits, make sure the evacuation, make sure they’ve got a copy of the employee handbook as well. So, they know how everybody does things around here and where to go should they need anything as well.

And is this something that once they’ve done the health and safety check and they’ve learned all the stuff about the business and where things are and how things operate, because it’s something that’s important to get signed off.

Definitely. You need to get it signed off that they’ve done the induction because once if they come back and say, “I didn’t know.” “Well, on this day at this time we went through this with you,” and not every new employee is going to work out. That is just the way it is. No matter how good your induction is, no matter how good your business is, these always going to be that bad apple in their basket. And employees, unfortunately, can come back at you. The more documentation you have, the more that’s written down, the more that’s signed off, the greater your protection should, and I really do hope you don’t have to go through it, but should you hear someone come back and try to bite you.

Yeah. If there was a Fair Work case, for example, then you know that you’ve got all the documentation ready to prove your case.

Yeah. But anyone, if you’re a business and you’ve got at least 15 staff, an employee can go for unfair dismissal if they’re out of jurisdiction until about at 12 months anyway. And if you’ve got more than 15 staff, at six months that they’d be out of jurisdiction for unfair dismissal. But you could have unlawful or adverse actions, so you just need to cover those ones off.

Yeah, absolutely. Anything else about inducting new employees? Is there anything else that’s really important that we need to know?

I think at the end of the first week, some time, “Hey, how are you going? Have you any question? Is there anything that you need? Is there any small support? It’s been great having you here, really looking forward to that next week.” So again, they’re not just a payroll number, they’re not just another employee. Make them feel important because everybody wants to feel important. Everyone wants to feel valued and everyone wants to feel welcomed and enjoyed for the skills that they have.

Okay. So, I guess it’s really now a matter of making sure that, one, that you’ve got all those things set up when they first walk in the door on day one, that you’ve got all the documentation ready for them to sign off. In particularly, your workplace health and safety procedures …

And your policies and procedures, make sure you’ve given them all them before their first day of work, and a fieldwork statement as well. Now, that’s really important. There are quite hefty fines if you don’t, which not many people realize. So do make sure you actually get them the fieldwork statement on or before because it is actually in the national quality standards.

Yes, and that’s something that you could include in your induction pack with your employees.

Yes, yes. And you’ve got a brochure about your company, include that. Something the bigger companies do have brochures about this is what we do, so they can get up to speed really quickly.

And really getting an understanding of how they’re going to fit into the business. Make sure you’ve got everything ready to go when you’re taking on a new employee.

And the biggest thing, I see this all the way along and this is how I operate. Treat others the way you want to be treated. You know what? If you’re happy to turn up to any and sit there and twiddle your thumbs, then go treat people like that. But I can guarantee you, you probably won’t.

That is the type of employees you’re going to attract, definitely.

Yes. It’s the culture you’re going to build. Treat people the way you want to be treated. If you treat people well, you’ll get good back the other way in most instances. I say most because there’s always the bad apples.

That’s right. Well, thank you very much for that wonderful bit of insight on inductions today, Paulette.

Thank you for bringing me along.

No problem at all. And we look forward to seeing you all next month. Next month, we’re looking at absence. Absence. What to do when your team members don’t turn up?

Yes. I bet that’s going to be a big concern of a lot of people. Absence tends to be a bit of a problem in workplaces, so certainly something worth tuning in on. Keep an eye out for our next video and thanks for tuning in today, and we look forward to seeing you again soon



Fact Sheet – Induction Hot Tip 

Induction Orientation Checklist