Introduction to this document

Induction checklist

When a new employee starts work, it’s important to have some form of induction with them. Use our induction checklist to remind you of the key matters to cover and to enable you to keep a formal record of what’s been covered, by whom and when.

Induction defined

Induction (often now called onboarding) is the process of receiving and welcoming employees when they first join your business. It gives you the opportunity to provide a new employee with the basic information they need to start work quickly and effectively. It should have the following key objectives, to:

  •       familiarise the new employee with your business, allowing them to settle in and become productive at the earliest opportunity
  •       quickly establish a favourable attitude to the business from them
  •       reduce the likelihood of them leaving quickly - employees are far more likely to resign during their first few months of employment
  •       clarify your expectations of them.

Too much reliance on documentation during an induction isn’t advisable though. A new employee will feel much more comfortable if they’re given verbal briefings and an opportunity to ask questions, rather than being bombarded with paperwork. The starting point on the first day is to welcome the new employee into the workplace and introduce them to their departmental and line managers. Most new starters will be nervous. They’ll be concerned about who they are going to work for, who they are going to work with and what they are going to be asked to do on their first day. This nervousness is added to by their lack of familiarity with the geographical layout of the workplace. For example, they won’t know the location of entrances, exits, toilets, etc. All of these details need to be addressed early as part of the induction programme in order to put the employee at ease.

A good induction

The new employee should ideally first be introduced to the departmental manager who should give a general welcome and description of the structure and organisation of the business (history, products and services, organisational structure, locations, departments, etc.) before handing the employee over to their line manager for a more detailed induction with regard to operational matters, such as:

  •       completing outstanding documentation
  •       running through the structure of the department in which the employee is to work, including introducing the employee to other managers and work colleagues
  •       a tour of the office
  •       discussing the job description - duties, responsibilities, workstation location, training arrangements, etc.
  •       summarising the main terms and conditions of employment and working arrangements - hours of work, salary, annual leave entitlement and holiday rules, sickness and absence rules, dress standards, performance and behaviour standards, etc.
  •       giving equality, diversity and inclusion and dignity at work training
  •       discussing health and safety issues - safety hazards, safety rules, smoking policy, fire exits, fire alarm and drill, first aid kit, accident reporting, etc.
  •       going through how to use work equipment and setting out the rules on using work equipment and facilities, for example, telephones, computers, e-mail and the Internet, photocopiers, etc.

Our Induction Checklist covers all of the above but you can easily adapt it to suit the needs of your business. You don’t need to complete the entire induction on the employee’s first day, but you should be aiming to have gone through most matters within their first week (although weve also included matters to address further down the line). Obviously, some issues will be more pressing than others. Finally, it’s recommended that you appoint an experienced colleague to act as the employee’s mentor in the first few weeks, so that they can help the employee settle in and learn the ropes.