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Timing of induction activities

By Jessica West,2014-02-07 09:50
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Timing of induction activitiesof

    Oxford Learning Institute

    University of Oxford

3. The timing of induction activities

    Much useful induction activity can begin before a person’s first day at work. Indeed, communication with the new appointee must be engaged in 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.

Prior to the employee’s arrival

Preparing for the employee’s arrival

    3.1 Work permit

    3.2 Physical space in which to work

    3.3 Informing other colleagues that a new employee is to join the department

Initiating the relationship with the new employee

    3.4 Contract of employment

    3.5 University and departmental information

    3.6 Informal pre-arrival meeting

    3.7 What the employee should bring on their first day

    3.8 The employee’s first day

    3.9 Producing an induction checklist

    3.10 Continuing induction

3.1 Work permits

    Application for a work permit can be a time consuming and complex process. If appropriate, application should be made as soon as possible after an appointment has been provisionally offered and accepted. If a work permit is required, an offer of employment should be made subject to the work permit being granted. Contact the University’s work permit helpdesk for further 1information, or consult the DfE’s website.

3.2 Physical space in which to work

    Before a new employee starts consideration should be given to their physical location and work space. For example, new staff who arrive to find that they do not have a desk, a telephone, or a computer are likely to feel unwelcome, unvalued, and concerned about the department’s commitment to them as employees. Line managers should endeavour to ensure that at least basic facilities are made available for the arrival of a new member of staff. If facilities are not available, it may be advisable to delay the start date of the new employee: it is unlikely that a new member of staff will function effectively without access to basic work facilities.

    3.3 Informing other colleagues that a new employee is to join the department

    It is useful for all staff to know when someone new is due to start work in the department. This information is best communicated shortly before they arrive. Most staff will have forgotten about it if the announcement is made months before an individual is due to start.

     1 http://www.education.gov.uk/vocabularies/educationtermsandtags/4798

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    Oxford Learning Institute

    University of Oxford

3.4 Contract of employment

    All employees taken on for one month or more are entitled by law to be given, within two months of the date the employment starts, a written statement setting out the main particulars. This statement will not necessarily cover every aspect of the contract, but will constitute important evidence of its principal terms and conditions. It is good practice to ensure that the new appointee has a contract of employment, a copy of which they have signed and returned to the department prior to the start date.

3.5 University and departmental information

    It can also be very beneficial to new appointees to receive some informal information about the structure of the department, custom and practice, and any recent newsletters or other relevant publications. Some departments in the University produce their own induction handbooks, such as AZ guides to the department, its policies and procedures.

3.6 Informal pre-arrival meeting

    Some departments invite new members of staff to meet informally with their immediate colleagues prior to the official start date in the new post. This is an ideal opportunity for the new member of staff to meet new work colleagues, familiarise themselves with the department, and to ask any questions which they may have prior to starting work. This can be done over lunch, or on a pre-arranged visit to the department. If you choose to invite a new member of staff to an informal meeting do not try to impart too much information at this stage: this can be overwhelming, and cause concern for the new employee instead of helping them to feel more comfortable about starting in their post.

    3.7 Communicating what the new employee should bring on their first day in post

    New employees should be given advice about the information they should bring with them on their first day in post. This helps to avoid delays in the payment of staff, or inhibiting access to the University’s IT facilities. Examples of items/information they will need to bring are listed below:

    ; Bank details (for salary purposes)

    ; P45/P60

    ; National insurance number

    ; Passport sized photo(s) (for University card, departmental records, etc.)

    ; Copy of employment contract (for discussion, if appropriate)

    ; Other items required by the department

3.8 The first day in post

    The first day in a new post makes a big impression on new staff. New employees should be made to feel welcome, not be overburdened with information, and given time to ask questions and settle into their new environment. The settling in period will, naturally, extend over a longer period of time than day one, but the first day is a crucial time during which the employee and the employer will begin to establish a functional working relationship. Key procedures which should be completed in the first day in post include:

    ; completing the staff registration form

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    Oxford Learning Institute

    University of Oxford

    ; communication of fire and evacuation procedures (including when fire alarm tests are

    carried out)

    ; information about the individual’s role

    ; showing the individual round the department (especially the location of fire escapes,

    facilities for refreshments and toilets)

    ; communication of fire and accident reporting procedures.

    Often, staff in a new post are concerned about their ability to perform in the role and keen to get started in it, and therefore find the usual administrative aspects of their first day somewhat frustrating. It is beneficial to allow the new employee some time during their first week to assimilate information and to try to apply what they have learned from others to how they perceive their role. This can then help to form the basis for ongoing discussion about the role with the relevant line manager. Some managers find it useful to give a new employee a small, manageable project to complete during the first week in post. Completion of such a project during the first week can be very satisfying for the new member of staff, and give an idea of potential areas for development.

3.9 Producing an induction checklist

    An induction checklist is a list of activities, information, and people that the new employee needs to have access to during their initial period in post. Preparing a checklist prior to the new member of staff arriving is a useful means of considering all the areas in which an employee needs induction, and how this will be undertaken. A copy of the checklist should be given to the new employee so that they can see what has been planned for them during their initial period in post. The checklist will vary according to the individual, their post, and the department.

3.10 Continuing induction

    It can be difficult to determine when induction ends: the induction process should be the start of an ongoing process of personal and professional development which should continue throughout an individual’s time in post. However, by the end of an individual’s first few weeks in post they should have had the opportunity to clarify the following:

    ; what is expected of them in their role, and the function of their role

    ; who the key members of staff of staff in the department are and their functions

    ; know the basic geography and the facilities of the department

    ; training and development needs and how these are to be addressed

    ; when their mid-probationary review meeting will take place

    ; the relationship of the process of induction to the appraisal process

    ; whom to approach should they identify any further induction/development needs.

    Time should be set aside for the individual to meet with his/her line manager at the end of the first week in post to give the new member of staff an opportunity to have any queries clarified and concerns addressed, and to give feedback to the line manager about how the first week has gone. It is crucial to evaluate the induction process for individuals in order that it can be improved and developed for future new members of staff. A questionnaire can be used to prompt this process, but it is of most value if this is then followed up with discussion.

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