What is an induction and how to approach it?

What are the best practices when introducing new employees? The induction period does not start on the day itself, but about 2 weeks before your new employee starts. This step-by-step plan helps you to create a fun, personal and interactive induction program for new employees.

Ruben Wieman

What is an induction and how to approach it?

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What is meant by employee induction?

Induction is the process of introducing new team members into the organization’s processes and culture with both the aim of briefing them as well as making them feel socially comfortable and aware of their professional responsibilities.

Induction starts on day one, and it goes up for several days (or weeks). The induction processes may differ depending on the industry, the job role, and seniority.

What is the difference between induction and onboarding?

Induction – or orientation, is the process of introducing new employees to the team, the workplace, and the organization. It may include, for instance, a meet-and-greet with managers and relevant coworkers, being shown around the building, and receiving important information about any relevant health and safety issues.

Onboarding instead, is the process that introduces the new hire to the business, getting them ready to perform in the job, and gradually integrate a new hire with an organization’s culture and values.  As for their durations, inductions are typically time-limited, on average around a week or two, whereas onboarding is known to be more of a long-term process.

What are the benefits of an induction plan?

  • Your employees will be productive faster thanks to a good induction program.
  • 69% of employees surveyed remain with a company for at least three years if they have followed a structured induction program.
  • A third of your employees leave the organization within the first six months. This period is therefore crucial for your employees.
  • Employees say that they would have stayed longer if they had received better training and guidelines during their induction period.

11 tips to set up an employee induction plan

To make sure you can get started engaging new hires today, we’ve listed 11 tips to make this period a fun and interactive experience.

1. Arrange all practical matters for the first working day

Make sure your new employee can start right away. This means all practical matters must be in order:

  • The right size work clothes.
  • A list of colleagues and their responsibilities.
  • Login codes of apps and programs.
  • Cards and keys must be ready and available.

It’s helpful if your team already knows a new face before their first working day. This helps your team make the new employee feel at home.

💡 Top tip: ask the new employee in advance to write something about themselves. For example, what makes them happy in the work environment, what they expect from the company, and what their best trait is.

It is also nice for the new employee to get to know a little more about the team. Your employees could introduce themselves as a team in a short video.


2. Prepare an information package for new employees

Make sure that this package contains at least the following practical information:

  • General company information;
  • Internal phone list;
  • House rules;
  • Sickness procedures;
  • Pension scheme.

It is also important to share additional information about the company. You may want to include the following:

  • The mission, goals, and vision;
  • A virtual tour of the company;
  • Colleagues who explain why it is fun to work at your company.

3. Set up a quiz for the first day of work

Allow new employees to get to know your organization interactively. This can be done through a quiz that your employee can complete before their first working day. It is best if this is done virtually.

An employee app with an onboarding component is perfect for this purpose.

💡 Top tip: Use gamification to make it extra fun. Your new employee will be happy to complete the quiz when you add this game element.

4. Send a special invitation for a quiz, drinks, or lunch

By inviting your future employees for lunch, games or drinks, everyone can get to know each other informally. This will make new employees feel at home more quickly.

employee induction event
Organize an induction event for new recruits

5. Give your new employee a gift

It is not a mere luxury to give your employee a warm welcome. Giving flowers, a mug, balloon, or card shows that you have put in extra effort and your employee will notice.

💡 Extra side effect: the chance that your employee will post a positive message on social media is greater. This is positive for the employer branding, of your organization.

6. Draw up an onboarding program

Outline what needs to be done for the employee. This should include:

  • How long an onboarding period takes;
  • Which tasks this employee will perform;
  • Which colleagues should help with the onboarding process.

Tip: read more about how to create an onboarding program.

7. Make sure your employees have a buddy to turn to

It will be good for a new employee to have a colleague they can turn to. Did you know that 56% of starting employees indicate that having a buddy is very important? Therefore, appoint a buddy.

This buddy will be available for answering any questions the new employee might have. But it can also be useful to shadow their buddy for a while to get acquainted with all the standard procedures of the job.

This is especially useful in the hospitality industry. It will help your new employees familiarize themselves with your organization in a fun and informal way.

8. Have lunch with your new employee on the first working day

Lunch can be a bit lonely and awkward. Especially if employees work in different shifts and do not have a break at the same time, which is often the case in the retail and hospitality industry.

Make sure that your employees have that first lunch with their manager or some colleagues. This is a good opportunity for colleagues to talk to each other and get to know each other.

💡 Top tip: play lunch roulette. Switch places so that everyone has a chance to speak to each other. This works particularly well when you have many employees.

9. Sit down regularly with new employees

Onboarding does not stop after the first working day. Make sure you still pay attention to the well-being of your employees in the future. New hires feel the need to talk about how they experience their time at your company.

Did you know that for 72% of employees surveyed this is an important part of onboarding? For example, you can maintain a rhythm of 30-, 60-, 90-day meetings to talk about how the newcomer adjusts over time.

10. Ask for feedback

Various studies show that your employee would like to give you feedback. This will give your employee a voice and make them feel heard.

You can ask them one-on-one to give feedback, but the easiest way is to do this by sending out a survey.

You could ask questions such as:

  • What did you think of our onboarding program?
  • What did you think of the length of our onboarding program?
  • Is there anything else you would like to know about our company?
  • How did your first working day go?
  • Is there anything you feel we could improve on?
  • Have we forgotten to tell you anything important that you would have liked to know?

employee feedback induction
Ask for employee feedback via surveys

11. Provide the opportunity to continue learning

Did you know that your employees would like to continue learning? Therefore, be sure to provide opportunities for extra eLearning.

Bite-sized mobile learnings for example. This allows your employees to complete training courses in an interactive and fun way.

Digitize the induction period with an employee app

An employee app offers the total solution for induction, eLearning, forms, checklists, surveys, and internal communication. Everything in one place. An employee app makes it easy for your employee to get to know your organization:

  • You can add interactive content such as images, videos, or short text. That is much more enjoyable for your employees than reading a manual.
  • Statistics give you insight into where your new employees are with completing the onboarding.
  • You can set deadlines for the onboarding packages yourself. Your employees will receive a notification when they have not yet completed the onboarding.
  • You can test the knowledge of your employees with the included quizzes. It is also possible to award points for these questions.
  • Set which modules are visible before the first working day and which ones will be visible later. This allows you to start preboarding.

Want to learn how Oneteam’s employee app can help you engage with employees even before their first day? Learn how Oneteam can help, or view the explainer video below:

Ruben Wieman

Ruben Wieman

Ruben Wieman is the founder of Oneteam. He mainly writes about the future of deskless employee experience and key frontline HR trends. Fun fact about Ruben: He started his professional career as a deskless employee at supermarkets and a pizza delivery guy. The frustrations he encountered lead him to build an employee experience app focused on making the deskless workforce successful and engaged.

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