Induction Policy

Organisations should review use and status of contractors

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
  • Charts
  • Videos
  • Email communications
  • Workplace News
  • Training (paper and online modules)
  • Coaching
  • Mentoring

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
  • Compliance
  • Date when policy should be reviewed.

Helpful links

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.

Contact the Policy Place 0224066554

How parenting helps you manage workplace health and safety

Parenting is “risky” business. So is managing health and safety in the workplace. Apply what you know as a parent and you’ll be on course to health and safety in the workplace. 


Risk-management is ordinary

We want our kids to be happy and thrive so we let them take chances, make mistakes. We let them climb the highest tree, take a high skate ramp or bike jump even though “secretly” it may scare us to death.

Healthy risk-taking helps kids become resilient. Also important are caring & supportive relationships, coping skills, encouraging kids to problem-solve and letting them make mistakes to learn.  Rather than say no to our kids risk-taking, we prepare them, inform and equip them, support them through the challenges and mishaps.

Risk-taking is also an inevitable part of business. It goes with employing staff; working with people;  living with climate change and prospects of natural disasters etc. Preventing and dealing with risks therefore, needs to be BAU in terms of workplace culture, staff and client relationships, policies and procedures and decision-making processes.

Guided by a risk appetite

Sometimes we have to say “no” to our kids’ options for fun. But more often we don’t. Our response depends on our “risk appetite” – the level and nature of risk that we will accept given the likely benefits of the activity (eg can I live with the consequence of torn clothing, damage, a broken bone if the risk eventuates?).

Similarly, as managers, governors and staff, faced with choices that carry risks, we will consider what level and types of risks we can live with and manage. We communicate and engage with staff and others around what risks we’re comfortable with through our policies and procedures, when assessing risks and adequacy of controls.

Fair response

As a parent and as a manager, our response to risk(s) will depend on how severe we think the consequence will be and how likely it is. Our response should be proportionate, reasonable and ideally, particular to the risk(s).

Risk scenarios involving the most severe consequences should be prioritised and receive the most intense response.



Regulations require workplace health and safety to be front and centre for workplaces. The job of a parent is less regulated with laws applying only in specific circumstances (eg riding with a helmet, use of child restraints, criminal offences).

This difference has important consequences. For example, organisations face sanctions if they don’t comply with legal requirements. More positively, a business or organisation can gain from the ready-made guidance provided by regulations.


As parents, we’re not usually obligated to talk to our child(ren) about risks. By contrast, full and transparent disclosure of information about risks is necessary in the workplace. Staff, clients and visitors to the workplace have a right to be fully informed about of risks to their safety and to make decisions about their safety based on that.

Gut versus informed

As a parent, we’ll often act on our “gut” about risks. Sometimes, we might do extra homework to get better informed about the real picture but it’s not required.

A more systematic and thorough approach is however expected of management. A manager must take reasonable steps to keep themselves informed about risks and put effective safety controls in place. Managers should therefore be aware of relevant data from industry and elsewhere about risks and effective safety controls (eg protective equipment; MoH guidelines).


The extent to which we talk to our children about risks and safety will depend on their age, our parenting style and preferences etc.

As managers, though, the law is clear that we must engage and allow staff to participate in health and safety decision making in the workplace.  It makes sense too if we want to ensure that we are over the risks and taking all due care about the health and safety of those in our workforce.


Our health and safety responsibilities can sometimes feel overwhelming. Now, more than ever, health and safety must be front and centre for organisations.

If you’re into DIY policies and procedures, remember you’ve got a lot to practical experience of managing risk to draw on if you’ve been or are a parent.

But if you’re not into DIY and want the convenience and relief of having someone else take care of your agency’s policies and procedures, contact us. Our online policy and procedure service, accessible 24/7, includes health and safety policies that we can customise to you.

Let us look after your policy and procedure needs so you have more time to focus on your work and whānau.

Contact us NOW!


Your single source of truth for remote working

There’s a revolution coming. It’s called remote work and it looks set to become the new norm for work. 

During the pandemic lockdown many of us have been forced into remote working. We may have been kicking and screaming about it at the start, but predictions are that many of us will stick with it even after the pandemic is over.

But are you ready for it? To really get the most out of remote work, you have to do the groundwork.

Your handbook comes first

Sid Sijbrandij, the CEO and co-founder of GitLab, an all-remote company with over a 1,000 employees across the world, advocates strongly that the organisational handbook is vital to success in working remotely.

Their handbook is the company’s single-source of truth – the bible of the organisation. It includes the company’s mission and values, policies, processes, training and communication tools. It provides staff with 24/7 access to guidance and information they need to do their work whether as managers or employees.  A change must be made to the handbook before any change can be made in the organisation.

It may seem counter-intuitive, shocking even, to managers who are all about action.

But it’s not hard to figure out “the why.” With remote working, you can no longer rely on daily in-person contact with staff to answer questions, check-in on progress, induct new staff and volunteers, provide supervision, monitor and support safety and wellbeing.

You have to have your policies and processes sorted, people tuned in and able to access the organisational mission and values. Otherwise, you leave your staff prevented rather than empowered to do their work and the organisation at risk of chaos.

Start early, prioritise it

The message is clear – the earlier the better to get your handbook/ policies and procedures up and running as your agency’s Single Source of Truth.

The Policy Place can help you bring all your documents together in one online source that’s accessible to staff any time anywhere. It should include all your “must-dos,” address your compliance needs and include user-friendly guidance about processes (eg onboarding new staff, information management, supervision, feedback and complaints) and your communication tools.

It doesn’t have to be perfect

Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Your policies and procedures/ handbook should be living and iterative documents. They will change as and when required eg when a regulatory requirement changes; when your team want to substitute a more efficient process for an existing one.

Through scheduled monthly reviews, the Policy Place keeps your policies and procedures updated. We also review and update if things change meantime as occurred with the pandemic. The job is never-ending and nor should it be, when it comes to your organisational bible.


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Challenging hate through workplace change

No Hate

What’s the difference between stereotyping, prejudice and hate speech and does it matter?

Yes, it does matter. In the words of our Chief Human Rights Commissioner:

“It is a matter of life, death and human rights. Disrespectful words and actions give permission for discrimination, harassment and violence.”

We have plenty of examples in our history that prove it. In Aotearoa, stereotyping and hate speech have been part of the colonial wars against Māori. Likewise, integral to the white Australia policy and the killing of its aboriginal peoples. Most recently, prejudice was the justification for killing 50 Muslim people in Christchurch.

So what should we be doing about prejudice and stereotyping in a democracy where freedom of expression and opinion is so valued and necessary?

The big picture

There’s the law. It’s geared to stopping the harmful effects of prejudice and stereotypes e.g denial of opportunity, inciting others to hate. Paul Hunt, the Chief Human Rights Commissioner and the United Nations recommend that the laws relating to hate speech and racial hatred need improvement in New Zealand.

There’s also government policies and programmes. These aim to facilitate inclusion and promote diversity. Examples are the Refugee Re-settlement Strategy, Māori TV, population-based ministries and government-sponsored campaigns around issues like domestic violence and sexual harassment.

The everyday

Members of the Muslim community have publicly shared about the commonplace denigration of their religion and ethnicity. Their experience is not unique as a minority living in NZ. Our culture still seems to give voice and power to anglocentrism.

Our mahi at the Policy Place is workplace/organisational policies and procedures. So my question is – what can we do in our everyday work space to support change and transformation?

Organisational courage

Some obvious things – develop and implement organisational and workplace policies on diversity and inclusion, honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi, addressing harassment and bullying. But this can’t just be a compliance exercise, a tick box.

The policies must be truly embedded in the organisation, part of the organisational pulse. This takes training, ongoing team kōrero, education.

A systemic approach and commitment to ongoing learning and improvement are required.

So is courage. We need the courage to say “no” to the perpetration of stereotyping and prejudice, to question and challenge it in the everyday.  We need the courage to say “yes”, “tino pai” to truly embracing diversity.