Issue 115 – Michael’s Corner

James Murphy

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Michael’s Corner   Article Number 015


As we all know, the new year is upon us, and this is a good time to re-induct staff into the business and perhaps update the induction process to ensure a great onboarding experience.

Before starting your induction training, you must have clear HR Policies and Manuals that are standardised for your company and make the induction process extremely easy.

Your employee induction process is often what makes or breaks an employee’s experience at a company. A great induction or onboarding experience helps settle your new employee in and avoid workplace issues in the future.

Inductions represent the most teachable moment companies have with new starters.  They are ideal for aligning staff and contractors with what your company stands for and how you like to do business.

A successful employee induction process sets up an employee for a great experience with your company. However, if this process does not go so well, it is more likely your new employee will have a difficult time at your company, perhaps even resigning down the track.

For this reason, employee onboarding should be taken quite seriously. Here are nine ways to make it great!

  1. Give them a welcome gift

Statistics show that employees are more likely to stick around if given a good onboarding procedure. We all know how important first impressions are, and not making a good one could see a higher turnaround and a costly unnecessary expense to your business.

Who doesn’t love being given a  gift? Having a small token on every chair as the new or re-inducted employees walk in on the first morning will instantly excite them, setting the tone for their induction and time working in the company.

  1. Go online 

Interactive learning is the best way to engage employees and make induction interesting for them. A Learning Management System (LMS) is the best way to do this. The employee is given their own login and asked to click through various platform pages, learning and taking quizzes as a test of knowledge or especially as a competition between individuals or teams as a form of entertainment along the way.

An LMS is so effective because new starters and existing employees can learn the basics on the first day of their induction, and it is a refresher for existing employees. HR and their manager can see their process and help them with anything they might be struggling with.

The interface should be hassle-free, easy to use and multimedia compatible. Video, audio and lots of images should all feature, as should scenario training for things like health and safety.  Fun ways to remember certain statistics that are important to the company, like the number of employees or the year it was founded, could also be incorporated.

Before, everyone would get the same induction training, regardless of their level or role. With an LMS, employees can be given extra modules that are most relevant to their field, ensuring no one’s time is wasted and allowing them to feel catered for and supported.

  1. Start them early

New starters are often very motivated to start their new role (they have wanted to leave their old job, after all).

Why not give the bright-eyed candidate the chance to start ticking off induction training in their own time before they even start?

You could use the LMS mentioned above for this. A protected portal with a login given soon after an offer of employment will make them feel instantly welcome (as opposed to a lack of communication over the candidate’s notice period from the previous role).

This method gives them a head start with complete control over their learning. It also lets them approach it in their own way and at their own pace. So, once they’ve gone through all of the physical formalities, e.g., walking through the building for fire exits, they can hit the ground running and straight into role training with their team on the first day, having already gone through the rest online beforehand.

4. Make them into a shadow

After the employee has started and they understand their role, get them to shadow key members of different teams. This will teach them how each aspect of their role fits into everyone else’s. They’ll see where they slot in and understand the purpose of everything they do.

Motivation is heightened when each task is given a description and basic purpose in the logistics of the whole company, instead of just thinking of it as a task for the sake of the exercise.

5. Visions and values

By introducing them to the CEO and talking about the core values, the scripted one-liners that they’ve read on websites and presentations come to life. All employees should feel inspired by the firm’s history and be completely immersed in what they’ve done, what they’re doing and what they’ve got to come. At the end, ask the employees to put the company’s visions and values into their own words and ask them to describe how each one will not only affect their new or existing role but how they can live each one in their everyday activities. This will allow them to understand the business’s standards and conduct everyone truly.

6. Introduce a checklist

On the employees first day, give them a checklist that outlines all the different stages of their training, almost like a timetable. This lets them know what to expect, making it all a little less scary.

See an example of an induction checklist below.

7. Keep it bite-sized

Long-winded inductions will force the new and existing employees to lose interest almost immediately. It’s not their fault. Taking in large amounts of information for long periods just isn’t how inductions should be held. Training should be delivered in short and manageable bursts. These little lessons should be easily digestible, not large chunks of text.

8. Make sure they’re listening

During training, introduce quick-fire questions based on what they’ve just learnt. This will keep new and existing employees looking alive, as they don’t know when the next question will arise.

9. Refresh the buddy system      

It’s so often seen that new starters are given a buddy, and that person is never seen or heard from again when the induction training is finished.

Whether you introduce one or all of these steps into your induction training, revolutionising the way you conduct it will significantly improve the employee’s initial thoughts about the business, their expectations and give them the tools to make a great start at your company.

Induction & TrainingInduction Checklist (found in our Toolpack 1)

The following checklist will be utilised for employees, labour-hire Employees, and contractors for inductions training:


Name of New Employee I have been provided with a site-specific induction prior to beginning work and understand the hazards, risks, controls and safety rules that apply. I understand what is expected of me and agree to work in a safe manner in compliance with relevant OHS requirements.
Start Date
Position Title Inductee (Print): Signature: Date:
Name of Supervisor Inducted by (Print): Signature: Date:
General Workplace Information Y N N/A Personnel Y N N/A Policies and Procedures Y N N/A
Access / Manager/Supervisor Company OHS Policy Manual issued
Location of amenities Health and Safety Representatives (HSR) Emergency Procedures
Location of break room/kitchen Deputy HSR Hazard Reporting Procedures
Location of drinking water Contacts details for HSR Incident/Injury Reporting Procedures
Worker parking area First Aid Officer Consultative Arrangements
Safe area for personal belongings Fire Warden SWMS
Smoking area Emergency/First Aid Y N N/A Risk Assessments
Notice board Emergency assembly areas Task-specific risk controls
No Go Zones for pedestrians Emergency evacuation route PPE requirements
Security Emergency contact details Fit for Work requirements
Site-specific rules/procedures Communications equipment Disciplinary Procedures
Site-specific hazards/risks Nearest medical facilities Lockout tag out procedures
Site-specific risk controls Trained First Aid personnel Working around mobile plant
Position Duties and Responsibilities Y N N/A Contact details for First Aiders Anti-bullying protocols
Review performance standards & evaluation methods Location of first aid kit/s Location of administration forms
Work schedules (days & hours) Location of fire protection equip Workplace Code of Conduct
Overtime needs (if any)
Supervisory arrangements
When & how to request assistance


****Please note that this is general advice for information only and any application of HR legislation and/or Industrial Relations and/or contractual agreements may require professional advice to suit your individual circumstances.

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