Thursday, 04 July 2024 17:28

Effective Inductions, Purposeful Probation

Recruiting staff is expensive. Whether you advertise vacancies and manage the full process yourself, or you use the services of a recruitment agent or consultant to find and shortlist prospective candidates, there’s a whole raft of costs. Advertising, commission plus your own manager and administrator time.

So we find it frustrating that after the expense of recruiting, businesses invest so little time and effort in implementing robust and effective induction programmes or properly managing the probation period. The first days and weeks for a new recruit are arguably the most crucial. However, high attrition and staff turnover, especially in the early stages of employment, can become a perpetual financial drain for businesses; and one that can be so easily avoided.

Now that labour have won the election, we know from their previously published 'Work Plan' that they intend to abolish the rule that means workers do not accrue rights for the first two years. This has been something we have relied upon when the need has arisen to dismiss staff. Potentially now, the probation period will be the only option to dismiss underperformers so employers will need to make sure they are managing these with purpose. If that alone isn't reason to ensure your inductions and probations are in good order, here are a few more.

Integration into Organisational Culture: A properly-crafted induction programme is essential for integrating new employees into the company's culture. In a competitive job market, businesses must ensure that new recruits align with their values and goals. Comprehensive induction processes provide an overview of the company's mission, vision, and values, fostering a sense of belonging and purpose from day one. This alignment is crucial for retaining employees and reducing turnover.

Reducing Employee Turnover: High employee turnover is a significant financial burden, not only due to recruitment and training costs but also because vacancies necessitate temporary coverage by existing staff, diverting them from their primary responsibilities. A thorough induction programme helps new employees understand their roles, reduces initial uncertainty, and sets clear expectations. By making the transition smooth and welcoming, businesses can significantly reduce early resignations and dismissals, thus saving on associated costs.

Enhanced Productivity: A structured induction process accelerates the time it takes for a new employee to become productive. Instead of spending weeks or months figuring out their roles, accessing resources, or understanding company systems, a guided introduction allows them to hit the ground running. In an environment with high vacancy rates, businesses cannot afford prolonged periods of sub-optimal productivity. Better-trained managers can ensure that inductions are efficient and comprehensive, boosting the productivity of new recruits from the outset.

Improved Employee Morale and Engagement: Entering a new organisation, especially one with high vacancy rates, can be overwhelming for new employees. A well-thought-out induction programme acts as a crucial support mechanism. By connecting new recruits with peers, mentors, or ‘buddies’, businesses can help them feel valued and engaged. Higher engagement often leads to improved morale, better performance, and increased loyalty. Managers trained in effective onboarding techniques can facilitate these connections and foster a positive work environment.

We should also comment on the negative impact on staff morale that high turnover has. If there is a revolving door of new recruits, existing employees may feel insecure in their own positions and choose to leave an organisation that has the reputation of being a bad employer. We have also heard of those responsible for the training of new recruits to become ‘fatigued’ by the fact that they seem to be constantly training new staff who never stay; diminishing their own morale and self-esteem.

Competitive Advantage in Talent Acquisition: In today's social media-driven world, word spreads quickly about company practices. Organisations known for excellent onboarding and induction processes have a competitive advantage in attracting talent. Prospective employees are more likely to be drawn to companies where they believe they will receive proper training and support during the initial phases of their employment. Your managers play a critical role in enhancing the company’s reputation as an employer of choice through ensuring that new recruits have a positive start; yet another reason to train them well.

Compliance and Risk Management: When positions have been vacant for a long time, the urgency to fill them can sometimes overshadow the importance of compliance training. Effective induction programmes ensure that new recruits are aware of the company's policies, legal obligations, and safety protocols from the outset. This is particularly important for compliance with health and safety in certain roles and for regulations such as GDPR. A thorough induction not only protects the company from potential legal issues but also ensures a safer and more compliant working environment.

In a competitive jobs market, businesses that invest in training will reap benefits in productivity, loyalty, and reputation. Not only should inductions and well-managed probation periods be standard, but managers must be trained to implement them effectively. By focusing on these areas, businesses can ensure a smoother transition for new employees, ultimately leading to a more engaged, sustained and productive workforce.

HR Champions can support the design of an effective induction programme. For assistance, call us on 01452 331331 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Read 903 times Last modified on Friday, 05 July 2024 09:50


HR Champions provide first class HR and Employment Law support and advice to UK businesses; operationally and strategically. If you're an employer you'll potentially need some, if not all, of the services we offer.

We deliver excellent management and soft skills training suitable for all organisational levels. We are ILM and City & Guild accredited and Ken Blanchard approved.  





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We have clients all over the UK but predominantly within about an hour's drive time of our offices; in Gloucestershire, South Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Bristol and Swindon & Wiltshire.