Welcoming new employees in an organization is an important process that most organizations don’t dedicate time and effort to do it right. This is the most neglected responsibility by both the organization and managers. Big organizations have human resource capability that design and deliver induction programme to new employees. They sometimes get it wrong or don’t do it at all. This has a negative impact to the new employee in the long-term.
Induction is the process of assisting new employees to integrate into the new organization. This process is important in providing an employee with the basic information and skills they require to be successful in performing their new job. Induction is the first of the three processes that must be spread over a period of time.
Small business owners are faced with different set of challenges they need to overcome in inducting new employees. The lack of human resources in small companies forces owners to perform the induction process themselves. It is not easy, especially if you do not know how. The first week is crucial in providing an employee with important information before they even start working. The first week must cover the six fundamental steps:
1. Deal with Anxieties – This is probably the biggest benefit of induction. Changing or starting a new job is a stressful activity for the employee. It comes with a lot of anxiety and uncertainty that creates discomfort for the new employee. The effectiveness of the induction process eliminates some of the anxiety for the candidate. The sooner you address concerns and questions , the better the employee will feel and be empowered to make informed decisions. Clarify The job with the new employee, this includes the scope and the scale of the job. It also includes the discussion of the employment contract and the conditions on the employment contract.
2. The bigger Picture – Managers must articulate the bigger picture to new employees in terms of the company purpose, vision, mission and values. This is an important part of integrating an employee to the company. The employee must know what the company represent and where and how is it going to get to the desired state. Values must be broken down in terms of behavior and conduct, and be emphasized to the employee. This is the first set of introducing the culture of the company to an employee.
3. Company Structure – The structure must be broken down in terms of who sits in the structure. The hierarchy and who reports to who. The roles must be explained and how do they connect and align to the bigger picture. This understanding of the structure makes it easy for the new employee to understand the company in terms of its leadership. Who is responsible and accountable for what in the company. Depending on the size of the company and if whether there are departments or not. if the size is big and there are branches in other areas, this information must be shared with the new employee. Never assume that the employee knows.
4. Products/ Services – This aspect is often neglected by most people when conducting an induction. This is an ongoing process that takes place at different times of product/service cycle. The basic understanding of what the company is offering to customers should be provided to an employee. Managers must not shy away from sharing product/service knowledge with new incomers to the company.
5. Target Market – Your new employee must know about the customer your business is servicing. They must know where to find that customer, how old is that customer, if your customer works or not and what to say to that customer when they come across it. The customer profile of most small business is not clearly defined, hence is not shared with employees. business owners must invest time and effort in profiling their target market and making sure that right customers are known by all employees.
6. Job alignment to the bigger Purpose – The clarity on the job must be extended In relation to the purpose of the organization. New employees must understand how their jobs impact the bigger picture. This increases focus and eliminate waste in performing the job. Most managers do not create this alignment with new employees, they think that clarifying the job only is enough.
Managers and owners in the small business environment are compelled to perform all these tasks in order to integrate new employees effectively to the company. they must also remember that induction is the first step into fitting the new employee in the company. It’s an ongoing process, care and dedication must be exercised in planning the programme and its delivery. Once done properly the first time around, a number of problems will be eliminated going forward. It is a very valuable process for both the employee and the employer if done correct.