Induction needs of different groups
We know that customers have their own needs and we modify our products or services to meet those needs. The same should apply to our employees.
New employees come from all walks of life and may have differing needs when it comes to feeling comfortable in the workplace during those first few months.
The particular needs of certain groups of employees are discussed below.
School leavers typically have limited work experience and tend to be unfamiliar with the demands and habits of a workplace. They may need more support, greater detail regarding their responsibilities and obligations and may need a greater level of supervision for the first few months. It may also be the first time they have worked according to particular policies and procedures and they may need to spend extra time on the relevance of these in the workplace.
Graduates include university graduates and those graduating from higher education institutions. Graduates are likely to be enthusiastic about entering the workforce and eager to apply their theoretical knowledge in a practical manner. To take advantage of this enthusiasm, explain how the theory may be applied to practice.
You may find it best to involve graduates in projects where their expertise can be used and where they can feel they have made a contribution to your business. Encouraging them to share their up-to-date theories and strategies will make the graduate feel like a valued member of your business.
Much like school leavers, this group may need additional support, particularly if they have had limited work experience.
Career changers/mature-aged workers
This group may have substantial work experience so their induction should focus on filling their skill and knowledge gaps. Being over-supervised may have a detrimental effect on members of this group. The induction period can be a good time for you to identify skills and information this person has that can help your business to become more productive and competitive.
Employees with a disability or cultural difference
Australian and State government legislation prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities, ethnic/social minorities, people with caring responsibilities, and those from a non-English speaking background.
Reasonable adjustments may need to be made to accommodate newly employed people from these groups. Think ahead about any modifications to the physical environment, rosters, work practices and processes that may be necessary. For example, can the office accommodate wheelchairs? Can the phone system accommodate aids to hearing? Does the roster need to be more flexible for those with caring responsibilities? Is there a quiet place for people who need time for prayer?
It is important that these types of things are considered before the new employee starts work.
The Australian Employers Network on Disability has useful resources to assist employers prepare for workers with disability.
Existing employees in new roles
Existing employees commencing new roles are often forgotten when it comes to induction.
An induction for an existing employee can be a valuable process and will increase the likelihood of this person feeling comfortable in his or her new role. This is particularly true for employees moving to new areas of your business and those who have been promoted.
Use the Induction checklist to help you plan how you will induct new staff and what to include in inductions.