We’ve worked with a lot of clients who struggle once welcoming a new team member, whether virtual or in-house. While the intricacies of how your business works can only be picked up over time, there’s a wealth of knowledge you can welcome your newest addition with using a good induction process so they feel welcome and get up to speed from day 1.
You want your new team member to feel welcome, to know key points that are fundamental to your business and to get up to speed as quickly as possible without killing the productivity of your day!
As a business, you are only as good as your team. Investing in induction will help your team members become fully committed to your business from the start. It will set the tone and expectations of the relationship, help them to understand your purpose, functions and tasks of their role so they can perform at their best.
It will also help them to feel supported and valued, in the long run improving your team retention.
From day one! In saying that induction needn’t be completed in one day. Too much information is both overwhelming and not retained so time your induction over a period (we suggest a month) where they receive information on an as needed basis.
In small businesses it’s often the owner responsible for induction. In our case, Alice is responsible for HR and oversees induction. For larger business it’s the manager or supervisor (often with a number of other staff involved) who guides the new team member through this process.
When we documented our induction process, we:
- Pulled together all existing resources we had which covered:
- Customer service
- Quality control
- Systems we use
- Position description(s)
- Team culture
- Contractor setup (logins, email, contracts etc)
- … and so on!
- Then we mapped out the different stages for a new contractor working with us. In our case those are:
- 30 day trial period
- On the team
- Lead VA (working directly with clients)
- Next we simply allocated our list of resources within those different stages so we can share information in a timely fashion, without the overwhelm.
- Finally in our project management system we created a task template for the entire process with relevant links and information laid out for each task. By doing this we simply create a project as we take on a new team member and add them to the various tasks at the stage needed. The contractor marks these tasks as completed once they have read the material or performed the task so I know it’s been done and understood. We can also message within each task so Alice and I are available to answer questions and use feedback to improve our induction process.
Our ‘how’ won’t be your ‘how’ but the process itself remains the same: document, plan and implement.
It doesn’t have to be perfect just yet and you can improve over time. When don’t you! But a short and simple induction is better than none, think back to various roles you might have had in your career … and the difference induction made to you then. Make that difference now, to your business, to you … and your next team member!
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