Do you need an induction policy or not? In this post, we look at the pros and cons of having a policy and some induction essentials.
What is induction and should everyone do it?
Induction is a process used to welcome and onboard a new person to your worksite. Your worksite may be a physical place or remote online environment.
The inductee may be a new employee, member of governance, contractor, student, intern or volunteer. As a rule of thumb, everyone should be inducted to a new working environment.
What should Induction cover?
Induction introduces a person to the culture, relationships, and processes of an organisation. It helps set the tone for their ongoing participation. It’s important therefore to get it right in terms of how you do it and what you cover.
Things to think about and prepare when inducting include:
- role expectations and responsibilities
- relevant health and safety matters
- the welcome process (respectful and responsive to the cultural background of the new appointee (eg mihi whakatau))
- arrangements to address the new appointee’s support needs (eg reasonable accommodation for disability)
- access to key organisational documents and systems
- communication channels
- a tour of the worksite which, for a physical site, includes evacuation points and emergency exits
- relationships and people the new appointee is likely to interact with.
For temporary and contract roles, induction will be different. It will cover essentials like relevant health and safety matters but may be more task-focused.
Should you have an Induction Policy?
It is necessary to properly induct people to a worksite. But you can do what’s required without necessarily having a specific Induction policy.
Benefits of an Induction Policy
In Are you missing out? Is good policy what you need? we talked about the benefits of having good policies. The benefits of an Induction policy include:
- That the status of “policy” helps signal that Induction is important, a “must-do” rather than “nice-to-have”
- The policy can guide what should be covered, when it should be covered and who is responsible for it
- That policy will help promote consistency in how induction is undertaken across the organisation.
But it’s not always best….to have everything in policy:
- Less is often more when it comes to policies. Too many can become unworkable and discourage people from using them.
- Induction should be responsive to an individual skill level and job role. Policies can sometimes impede responsiveness if an organisation has a top-heavy sign-off and approval process for when changes to a process in a policy are made.
Policy isn’t the only way to provide guidance about induction. At the Policy Place, we often use Checklists and diagrams as quick guides for our members on processes. There are other options too including:
- Practice Notices
- Team meetings
- Email communications
- Workplace News
- Training (paper and online modules)
Consider preferences for an Induction Policy
People have different preferences for how they like to be guided and informed. Consider these preferences when deciding if you need an Induction policy for your workplace.
If your staff are kanohi-ki-te-kanohi (face-to-face) type of people and you’re in a relatively small workplace, your best strategy may be to minimise policy content and prescribe procedures like Induction in a more “hands-on” way. A Checklist coupled with a formal acknowledgment and sign-off from the responsible manager and inductee that induction was completed might just do the trick.
Proof that induction is done and dusted is important whatever strategy you choose for induction.
On the other hand, if you’re a big workplace with a number of managers and staff who are responsible for induction, a policy may well be your best strategy. It will help build consistency into your process and as an organisational policy, is more likely to be taken seriously.
At The Policy Place, we cover the following in our Induction Policy:
- The reason/purpose of the policy
- Who’s Responsible
- Key Requirements
- Date when policy should be reviewed.
For our online Policy Place users, we incorporate Helpful links. These are links that our clients can access for related online information. From our Induction policy page, for example, our client can access our online Recruitment and Selection policy and Health and Safety Responsibilities policy page.
We often include relevant external links for legislation and resources like:
Check these resources out if you’re needing more help with your Induction Policy or process. Better still, if you don’t want to any more worry about writing, reviewing and updating policies, get in touch with us now. We offer online and bespoke policies and want to lighten your workload.