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How to create a winning induction and orientation programme, fast

by , 08 November 2013
For many businesses, induction and orientation of new staff is a bit of a necessary evil. It's all about showing the newbie around, making sure his PC is working and giving him a crash course in the company's activities and his place in the grand scheme. But when it's done right, an induction and orientation programme (IOP) is a very effective tool.

IOPs are there to educate a new employee about the company's culture and ethos, and – more importantly – serve to outline the business's expectation of employees.
But how do you go about setting an effective one up? Here's the expert advice from the experts at the Practical Guide to Human Resources
Follow these four steps to create an effective Induction and Orientation Programme (IOP):
STEP 1: COVER THE MAIN ORGANISATIONAL ELEMENTS
Give the employee an understanding of:
·         The company: Its culture, structure, products and services and clients.
·         Policies and procedures: Health and safety, performance management, discipline and grievances, pay, holidays, etc.
·         Company objectives : Company goals
 
STEP 2: COVER THE MAIN DEPARTMENTAL ELEMENTS
This covers:
·         The department the employee will work for: Its culture, structure, key relationships, products and services, and clients
·         Policies and procedures: Health and safety, performance management, discipline and grievances, etc.
·         Department objectives: Departmental goals, targets and value-chain impact
 
STEP 3: COVER THE MAIN INDIVIDUAL EMPLOYEE ELEMENTS
Induction from an individual perspective involves two elements:
·         The environment: The physical layout, the relationships, the organisational culture, the company values and the rewarded behaviours, etc.
·         The job: The working environment, colleagues, job requirements, inputs, throughputs (process and procedures), outputs/deliverables, clients, related interfaces, equipment, schedules/deadlines, etc.
 
STEP 4: Focus on the orientation element 
Orientation is more prevalent during the individual phase because relationships with colleagues begin to form and your new employee finds their way around, not only the building but also the processes, procedures and activities within the department and the broader organisation. A 'buddy' is an extremely valuable source of support for your new employee and they provide a wealth of much-needed information from the location of the photocopiers and tea-stations to the procedure for replenishing dwindling stationery supplies and expense re-imbursements.
IOPs are about more than making your new employee feel welcome – they set way forward for your employee's time at your company. Get it right, and you won't be sorry.

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