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Staff Induction Training Guide

When a new team member starts working in your organisation, it is vital to get them to become productive and efficient as quickly as possible. Staff induction training or “on-boarding”, forms a pivotal part in this process.

Research shows that providing new staff and employees with a thorough introduction to the company, leads to significantly improved long-term staff retention.

Consequently, in order to be effective, an Induction Programme should include an introduction to the organisation, its values, culture, people and acceptable working practices.


See our induction checklist. Ideal for any HR Manager designing an induction programme.

In addition, it is important to tailor the induction training to meet their specific needs and time-frames of employment, for example:

  • New full or part-time staff / employees
  • Contractors
  • Employees or staff on secondment or job swap to another part of the organisation
  • Temporary staff
  • Internal promotions
  • Holding positions

Here are 10 tips to improve your company induction process:

1. Structure the induction training into core phases

Typically, there is a lot of information a new team member has to take on board within their induction programme. As a result, it is helpful to break the content into three core phases. Hence, these will vary in duration depending on what previous experience the new team member has of the organisation:

  • First Phase – The welcome and General Administration for day one, including critical policies and procedures
  • Second Phase – This should cover their department and job over the first three months. For example:
    • Organisation and department goals
    • Introduction to their department and the team
    • The job role and performance measurement
    • Safety policies and procedures
    • Systems and procedures
    • Information technology
  • Third Phase – Involves learning about the Organisation. Hence cover this gradually during the first three months. For example, topics might include:
    • History and culture
    • Products and the people

2. Identify the key induction programme content

When producing an induction programme for the first time, it is helpful to answer three key questions to identify the core content needed:

  • What does a new person need to know in order to be effective in their job role within the organisation?
  • What support and insights does the new person need to settle comfortably into the culture of the organisation? For example, which people to meet for help and support? In addition, consider the best approach to gain an understanding of the core values of the organisation and the way it operates.
  • What do I want the new person to achieve, in say, their first three months of being in the job role? For example, what are their key objectives or goals?

3. Capture the key information in an induction template

In preparation of the new team member’s induction, it is therefore advisable to produce a standard template for each job role. This will highlight what a new team member will need to know.

A typical induction template should offer:

  • A brief description of the learning
  • The learning method used
  • Time frame for completion
  • Where the person or information can be located
  • A final column to record the completion of the learning

The more information you can provide, the easier you will make the programme to follow. As a result, the new team member can then drive the process. However, you do need to be careful that you don’t overload the new member of staff with too much information early on.

4. Adapt and personalise the induction template

If you already have an induction template for a new recruit, you will then only need to adapt the content for different types of new team members.
For example, an induction programme for an experienced team member who is going on secondment to another department will only need to focus on phase two of the induction process, i.e. the job and department.

You can then personalise the template with the team member’s name, start date and special requirements. In addition, we would also recommend that the new team member is given some relatively easy to achieve job objectives.

These objectives should tie in with the aspects they need to learn as part of their induction. As a result, this will help them to contribute quickly and develop their value to the business and the team they are working with.

5. Provide support information in the most appropriate format

The format of the induction programme is down to personal choice and the technology available to you. Here are a few examples of different formats:

6. Induction Checklist

The most simple and quite effective, is an induction checklist. This might include:

  • A summary of all topics to be covered
  • Who will cover the information, and when – ideally specific dates, or at the very least, by when
  • A tick box to enable the new team member to see how they are progressing

7. Induction/Welcome Pack

It is also helpful to provide the employee with an Induction Pack – a simple folder (hard or electronic) with all the relevant written information that can be gathered in advance. This will help them acquire the key points you have highlighted.

In addition, you can also include within this pack, any forms required by the organisation to be completed. For example, include a glossary of terms (jargon and an explanation), as well as a “who’s who” – ideally an organisation chart of all personnel, and any statutory procedures that need to be followed.

Some organisations have this information pack printed, which looks more professional. However, take care that the information provided doesn’t become out dated too quickly.

8. Online learning modules

Many organisations use online learning modules in the induction process of new team members. This helps make the process more fun, interactive and interesting, as the online learning often includes video footage and audio clips. Hence, companies are becoming more inventive with the medium of learning, as a greater range of technology becomes available to us.

9. Plan the role and responsibilities of an Induction Coach:

It is then helpful to consider who could support the effective implementation of the induction process for a new employee. In addition, consider what role they will play within the programme.

Highlight someone in the department – say another employee, who could partner or coach the new employee in the early stages. This approach usually proves helpful for everyone concerned. Then agree and clarify the role they take on, with them. For example, it could include but not be limited to:

  • Introducing each department team member
  • Providing a tour of the department and staff facilities
  • Explaining the workings of the department along with the departmental systems, policies and procedures
  • Detailing the department safety policies and procedures such as fire evacuation procedures, acquiring first aid treatment
  • Training core job related tasks
  • Taking the team member to lunch and tea/coffee breaks
  • Introducing the social aspects of the organisation

10. Identify the skills needed for the Induction Coach

To help you decide who would be best to provide the induction support for the new team member, you will need to ensure they have the right skills and attitude and should be a willing volunteer. In addition, this support person (induction coach/partner) should be someone:

  • Familiar and proficient with the job related tasks
  • Knowledgeable about the induction programme and company procedures
  • With good coaching and communication skills
  • Who possesses a strong desire to support a new team member

However, if they do not have sufficient skills, you will need to provide the training before they act as the induction coach/partner.

11. Record the achievements within the induction programme

It is helpful to build in some form of checking and recording system for achievement against each key part of the induction programme.

As a result, the new staff member and their line manager can check how they are progressing within the induction programme phase. In addition, it will ensure that your organisation has a training record of the new team member’s learning.

12. Conduct induction review discussions

In order to ensure the effectiveness of the induction and that the new employee is settling in well, it is helpful to schedule a short review meeting into the induction programme on a regular basis. For example, a good guideline for these timings is:

  • First month – at the end of each week
  • Months two & three – at the end of each month

13. Link the induction to your performance management process

These induction review discussions also help you link the induction to the performance management/appraisal cycle.

As a result, specific job objectives can then be set after say three months, once you and the new team member are happy that they have achieved the goals within the induction programme.

In conclusion, we hope this guide helps you to run staff induction training effectively.

About the Author

Kim Larkins, MCIPD is Company Founder of KSL Training. Kim has 30 years training and HR management experience in the Retail, Hospitality and Pharmaceutical industry.

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