Managing induction

The success of the University depends upon our ability to recruit and retain excellent people at every level. First impressions are important, and induction procedures can make the difference between retaining or losing good people.

This part of the website provides an introduction to good practice in inducting new academic-related, technical, clerical and support staff, together with some links to web resources and some examples of current practice within the University. It will be most useful to anyone developing or modifying a framework for induction within university departments.

What it should cover

Induction can be split into the following four broad areas: the University; procedures; the department and its culture; the requirements of the post. Often, only one or two of these areas are addressed during the induction period, and this can result in the new member of staff feeling isolated, uninformed, or unable to perform in their role. In addition to providing the new member of staff with information, which can be imparted by a number of different means, managers should also provide the opportunity for the new member of staff to ask questions, have key systems and procedures demonstrated to them, and be given time to become acquainted with their new work colleagues and surroundings.

Consideration should also be given to who will take responsibility for covering each area of induction, and how they will ensure that the areas are adequately covered. Further advice on this is contained in the next section, which considers the aims of induction and provides an overview of the issues which should be included in the induction process.

Approaches to induction

This section considers the various means of providing induction to new employees. A framework for induction will usually be developed by a departmental administrator in consultation with line managers, and adopted as good management practice within a department. The information and advice provided in this section is intended to provide a background to the principles of induction and to issues which need to be taken into consideration by those charged with responsibility for developing an induction framework.

A departmental framework will consist of one or a combination of the following:

  • induction checklists outlining areas to be covered within a new employee's induction period;
  • induction programmes (delivered either departmentally or centrally);
  • use of centrally provided resources;
  • and any other resources relevant to the new employee.

The timing of induction activities

Much useful induction activity can begin before a person's first day at work. Indeed, you must communicate with the new appointee prior to the start date in order for them to know when they will start work, at what time they should arrive, what they should bring with them, to whom they should report, and what they should wear (especially important if there are particular clothing issues relating to health and safety). In addition, special attention should be paid to the employee's first day in post, and consideration should be given to ongoing induction.