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Well-planned induction peps up zeal of new hires

Onboarding programmes have become customary in companies wanting to introduce their new employees to the culture, policies and procedures, businesses, divisions and important people in the organisation.

The management has to ensure that the induction is well-planned, answers the pertinent queries new employees are likely to have and leaves no information gaps. So that at the end of the induction programme the employee has the answers to most of his questions, feels comfortable with the culture and builds a level of familiarity that will help him to get adequately involved in the work.

The induction should help him know how the organisation works and the rules and regulations he should follow and the expectations from him.

But some companies tend to treat the induction as a duty quickly to get over with and then ask the employee to sign some documents give him a brief on policies and procedures and he is told to get started.

The whole process leaves the new employee dazed and with many unanswered questions.

Some companies make the mistake of having the orientation process two or three months after the employee has actually joined. By this time the employee has usually learned the ropes and familiarised himself with the organisation the hard way and feels no real need for an induction.

Another mistake is to overload the employee with information he does not require. For instance, giving information on perks, options and benefits he is entitled to only after the completion of his probation period leaves him confused because he really cannot decide what options to choose. He can make up his mind only after a few months into the job.

Organisations fail to realise that the orientation process is the first vital step to ensure the employee's involvement with his job and the company. It sets the tone for his success in the job and an inefficient process can put off the employee and even make him think twice about continuing.

Ideally the induction process should start on the first or second day after the employee joins. The process should be divided into two parts, in the first part, the employee can be introduced to the different departments so that he gets a fair idea of the business. In the second part, his direct manager can guide him and help him acclimate with his work and the team.

It would also be a good idea to involve co-workers and other team members in the process. They should be ready and willing to answer the employee's queries and help him in the initial days. The orientation process should not be a one or two-day affair but continue over a few days to help the employee develop a better insight.

Educating the new hire on the company culture, values and ethics of the business must not be condensed into a two-hour presentation. Rather a repeated reiteration of them in the first few months will help the employee to understand and absorb them into his work.

Orientation can be initiated even before the employee formally joins the organisation, it can be done partly using online induction. Literature on the company can be given for reading prior to the joining date.

But there is nothing like the personal touch to make the new employee feel welcome and comfortable. For this a person working in the same department can be assigned the task of guiding the new hire in his job till he gets a hang of things.

Putting up a welcome banner for the new hire and sending a welcome mail on the intranet to introduce him to others will make him happy. A lunch meeting can be organised by the manager where the team can interact with the new member.

Efforts should be made to make the person comfortable in his workstation by providing the necessary equipment. The manager should have regular meetings with the new employee in the initial months to understand how he is getting on with the work and the challenges and problems he is facing.

An efficient induction process should equip the employee with all the necessary information and resources, which will help him work with confidence.


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