Bins & waste
Guidance for managers
Working for Northumberland County Council
Learning and development
Health and Wellbeing
Equality and Diversity
Vision, Values & Priorities
Living in Northumberland
Working for the council
Graduates, Work Experience and Apprenticeships
This guidance helps managers to plan and prepare for the arrival of a new employee or team member. It includes the stages of induction that ensure employees are welcomed and supported.
This guidance is provided to assist managers in planning an effective induction programme that enables all staff new to the council, or existing staff moving into a new role, to settle into their new role and environment and enable them to deliver what is expected of them quickly and effectively.
Placing the employee at the centre of induction is key to ensuring that they are fully engaged in their induction process and that they have an enjoyable, positive experience.
Purpose of Induction
The success of the council depends upon our ability to recruit and retain excellent people at every level. An effective induction contributes to this and should:
provide a welcome and orientation into the council
provide clarity on expectations of the employee
form a basis from which employees can quickly get up to speed, perform their duties effectively and begin to make a contribution to their team, their service and the council.
Induction is not a ‘one off’ event. It is a process which actually starts during recruitment and appointment through to the completion of a successful probationary period. The council has introduced an integrated approach to induction which incorporates the following stages:
Planning an Induction
To enable new members of staff to settle into their new role quickly and effectively, they should be provided with a planned induction programme covering information on the council, directorate or service and their specific job role. For those new to the council, induction will run concurrently with the probationary period.
Planning an induction programme should begin once the candidate has accepted the offer of employment and a start date has been agreed.
During an employee’s initial induction period, they will need to consume a great deal of information. So in developing an induction plan, the manager should follow these few principles:-
Avoid over-loading. If the induction period is too intensive and involves a great deal of information being given in a short period of time it is likely to be ineffective
Prioritise what information you need to provide and when
Ensure you are clear about the employee’s work objectives and expected standards of performance
Ensure that the information that you are planning to provide has a relevance to the employee’s job role or the council
Ask the employee on their first day or preferably before they arrive, how they best learn and adapt the programme to meet these. Remember that people learn in different ways
As elements of the council’s induction rely on the use of information technology, assess whether the employee has the relevant level of IT literacy skills and if not, provide the relevant support
Involve other people. An important part of the induction process is getting to know your new colleagues and their work environment
Do not assume that a transferring or returning employee does not need to follow an induction programme, they will
The induction should be planned making use of the
manager’s pre-induction checklist
employee induction checklist
. These checklists provides a generic framework and therefore some topics will not be relevant and you have the scope to include other topics specific to the role of your team. It is acknowledged that the timescale for delivering the induction will vary according to the role and person.
You will need to decide if you wish to keep in contact with your new employee before they join your team. There is no 'rule' as to whether or not you should do so, but in certain situations you may feel that this would be appropriate so that the prospective employee will feel part of the team and become aware of work arrangements at an early stage. You may feel that there are some key meetings or events they would benefit from attending or certain information that may be helpful to pass onto them before they arrive.
Decide whether you are going to allocate some of the responsibility for induction to a colleague / buddy. Ultimately as manager you have overall responsibility for leading the induction but it is acceptable to share this role. There will be a number of considerations if you decide to share this role, including experience, expertise, personality and workload. The exact role may vary, but the individual could be the new employee’s immediate point of contact within the department.
It is important to ensure that the required equipment and access to systems are available to the new employee on their first day and also that their new colleagues are aware of that they will be joining the team. Actions that the manager should carry out pre-arrival are detailed on the
manager’s pre induction checklist
Arrival - Day 1
The first day provides an opportunity to begin the assimilation into the new environment and introductions to new colleagues. It is important that the new employee is made to feel welcome without providing an overwhelming amount of information or introductions.
Suggested activities for the first day include:
Explanation of the induction process
Introduction to team colleagues, including where appropriate the starter’s induction colleague or buddy
A tour of the workplace, ensuring that the new starter has appropriate access and is also aware of the basic 'environmental' arrangements (e.g. toilets, lunch and break facilities, fire procedure etc.)
Ensuring that all necessary paperwork has been completed and received, including details relating to payroll
The first week should focus on explaining and discussing the key aspects of their role, the goals and objectives of their immediate team and how they in turn contribute to the objectives of their directorate/service and the council. It is also important that time is given for the new starter to get to know their wider work environment and become familiar with any systems, policies or procedures that are important for their role.
At the end of the first week it is recommended that the manager meets with the new employee to carry out an informal review and to check how they are settling in. The informal review should include:
Discussing the induction programme and checking their understanding of the information they have been given up to this point
Agreeing how to clarify or revisit any areas where understanding is confused or inadequate
Explaining what is expected of them in the subsequent weeks
Weeks 1 - 4
Induction activities should continue based on the induction programme and using the
employee induction checklist
The induction checklist recommends a suite of eLearning and face to face modules which should be completed in the early stages of the induction by all new employees.
This statutory and mandatory required learning is designed to complement the team or directorate/service induction. The modules introduce staff to the council in a broader context and outline some of the responsibilities that we all have as employees. Access to this learning is facilitated through the council’s learning management system, Learning Together. You should ensure that the employee is able to access the site successfully and assess whether he or she requires any support to enable them to progress through this required learning plan.
An important element of the induction process is for manager and employee to agree some SMART performance objectives. These objectives will be reviewed and managed through either the probation period process (new employees) or annual performance appraisal (transferring employees). It is also considered good practice to ensure supervision meetings are held on a more regular basis, perhaps monthly. As a result of the dialogue between the manager and the employee, both parties should have a clear idea and agreement as to how things are going. In addition, should any issues arise; they can be addressed as soon as possible.
At the end of the four week induction period you should carry out a review and evaluation of the induction with the employee and complete the
employee induction checklist