All employers want their staff to work hard and be loyal to their organisation. This “psychological contract” will be enhanced if an employee’s introduction to the organisation is a positive experience.
Integrating new employees correctly has several benefits:
Employees gain an understanding of the “big picture” and see how they fit in;
They will become competent in their role more quickly, feeling secure and comfortable;
It allows an organisation to promote its corporate image in a positive way;
Employees are more likely to remain with the organisation in the long term.
An induction process will ensure that employees settle in well by gaining an understanding of the organisation and its policies, procedures and culture as early as possible. It gives them the opportunity to quickly become effective and motivated team members.
Managers should make sure that a new employee’s induction programme starts from day one, with the learning process continuing over the following weeks and months. Induction should never be seen as something that only takes place when there are enough new starters to “justify” it.
Not inducting new employees correctly can leave them poorly trained in the organisation’s policies, procedures, rules and practices. The likelihood of them leaving within a few months will increase too.
A probationary period allows both a manager and new employee to assess whether they are suitable for the role. Not having a probationary period may lead to an employee who is incompatible with the role or the organisation being retained indefinitely.
Probationary periods can last as long as is necessary, depending on the seniority and complexity of the role. Although there is no legal requirement for having probationary periods, there is a strong argument that they increase the chance of a new employee being successful in a role.
Qualification for many statutory rights depends on an employee being continually employed for a specific period. For example, the right to claim unfair dismissal depends on the employee having at least two years’ continuous service. Employees should be informed that their employment may be terminated if they do not reach the required standards within their probationary period.
During a new employee’s probationary period, a manager should follow a structured procedure to assess and review performance. The programme should include:
Regular monitoring of performance through progress meetings
Identifying and discussing any problem areas as soon as possible
Providing regular constructive feedback
Support, advice, training and coaching from managers
It must be clear to the new employee what is expected of them during their probationary period. This will include:
Clear job outputs, i.e. what the new employee is expected to achieve during or by the end of the probationary period
The standards or measurements that the employee’s performance will be assessed against
Any agreed development activities
The relevant standards of behaviour, e.g. when liaising with clients or colleagues
Deminos can help
At Deminos, we can work with you to create an induction programme for new employees, and design a probationary period that will fully integrate new starters into your organisation.