Friday, 24 June 2022 15:46

Inducting and Onboarding

Giving new employees the best possible early impression of your organisation is vital in order to engage them at the primary stage of their employment, thereby initiating a long and productive relationship. Your induction or onboarding programme therefore, needs to be a thoroughly thought-out and properly executed plan that gets everybody off on the right foot. Also, consider these statistics:

  • 51% of candidates will continue looking for roles even after accepting
  • 1 in 7 walk away after they have accepted the offer
  • 9% have left a company because of poor onboarding experience
  • 51% of employees expect HR to check in with them regularly throughout their first year of employment.

We’ve come across numerous businesses that have half-baked or non-existent induction programmes. They find that new recruits don’t hang around for very long and then wonder why their recruitment budget is overspent and through the roof. In such organisations, new starters tend to be thrown in at the deep end in the hope that they will learn both their job and the company culture by osmosis. In reality, this will only engender resentment and most likely a short-lived relationship.

Businesses need to understand that a little investment in time at the outset of employment will pay far higher returns than trying to get a new employee churning out widgets by lunchtime on their first day. With recruitment continuing to present a challenge for employers, the smart businesses know that the induction and onboarding process should be treated as part of the overall recruitment cost.

Your induction programme should cover both the individual’s specific job and information about the wider organisation. Understanding where an individual fits in the wider order of things and how they contribute to the overall business objectives will give them a sense of belonging and value. In some instances, it can be beneficial to allow new employees to spend some time in other departments. Knowing how their own department and individual role impacts other sectors of the business drives empathy for co-workers and promotes a greater ‘one-business’ mentality and avoid any ‘us and them’ internal company politics.

A copy of the company staff handbook should be made available to employees and the induction is a useful time to introduce it and run through some of the key points. For example, clearly explaining the process for reporting for work, booking holidays, reporting absence etc will avoid any embarrassing moments at a later stage.

Describing company culture can be difficult, but just “knowing how things are done around here” is a really big deal. No-one wants to look foolish, so make the assumption that your new employee doesn’t know anything. Even details such as the process for taking/scheduling lunch breaks should be made clear, or that individuals bring in cakes for the whole department on their birthday.

Health and safety will vary across different businesses and industries but if there are any rules that must be followed for legal compliance then the necessary processes to cover these should take priority. There is no excuse for putting an employee or their colleagues in any danger, because you hadn’t got around to the relevant training, or you’d forgotten to order the appropriate equipment or clothing.

For the individual’s job role, there might be a learning curve that lasts a number of weeks. You’ll no doubt have recruited the most suitable candidate but that doesn’t mean they have all of the skills or knowledge required to do their job from day one. They might also need to learn your systems and how to do things the company way.

It might be appropriate to have a training plan as part of the induction that covers the responsibilities of the role. Make sure it’s achievable for the recruit and reasonable for both parties. Review progress very frequently so that it can be adapted as appropriate to the your employee up to speed as soon as possible

Finally, you might consider a ‘buddy’ system for new recruits as part of their induction. Allow then to shadow an existing colleague who can also be a mentor and someone to turn to when there are questions. You might want to choose your buddies carefully to avoid your new employee learning any bad habits or tricks.

Assisting organisations with their induction programmes is part of our portfolio of services. Call us for more information on 01452 331331 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Read 1019 times Last modified on Friday, 24 June 2022 15:56


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.

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