Training & Learning

UK L&D: Top Tips for a Great Induction to Work Process (Plus Free Checklist)

In Jane Austen’s classic, ‘Pride and Prejudice’, we learn how important first impressions are in setting the tone for a relationship and how a rough start can take a long time to smooth out. In fact, the novel was originally titled “First Impressions”.

Induction to work is your company’s first impression. New hires are nervous. They want to start their jobs feeling welcomed, prepared, and confident. A systematic induction to work programme tells them what to expect and makes them feel great about what’s to come. In contrast, a poor induction experience—or the absence of one—can lead new employees to question their decision to join your company, impacting retention rates.

Over half of UK employees in one survey said they would resign from their jobs because of a lack of training, whether during induction or later on the job. And 22% of recruits leave their new job within the first six months. That’s why having a formal induction process is critical to employee retention and satisfaction.

In this article, we share what a great induction to work process looks like. Read on to learn more about why it’s important in driving greater retention for organisations. You can also check out our handy induction checklist to ensure you don't miss out any important induction steps.


Is your induction programme on point?

What is induction to work?

Induction to work is the process of welcoming new employees and helping them settle into their jobs in their first weeks. A standard induction to work process involves gaining access to company tools, health and safety information, opportunities to meet team members, a 1:1 meeting with a manager, and a deeper dive into company culture and expectations. Onboarding, on the other hand, refers to a longer duration of settling in, commonly, the first 90 days of a new employee being in their role.

If you want to be a true learning organisation, your induction to work programme needs to be more than a checkbox to fill. Simply put, a comprehensive induction to work process gives new employees the tools they need to succeed at your organisation. In this article, we pinpoint best practices to help you build a stellar induction to work programme.

Start your induction to work process before an employee’s first day

Once an employee accepts employment with your company, they are already envisioning the next step of their career. Don’t wait until a new employee’s first day to induct them into your company culture. Make the most of it by engaging them as soon as the contract or offer letter has been signed.

Give them a quick overview of your induction process so they know what to expect on their first day and in the coming weeks. Depending on the new hire’s start date, the pre-employment or preboarding stage could range from a few days to a few weeks. 

During induction, Human Resources departments typically send out paperwork and company equipment like laptops or mobile phones. There’s also a big focus on signing employment contracts, discussing benefits and company policies, and collecting details like the employee’s national insurance number. These are necessary tasks, but it’s also important to make the process less transactional and more human: Create a welcome package that represents your company’s culture and values.

A welcome kit could include a handwritten letter, an employee manual, and company swag. If you want to add an extra element of fun, include a box of snacks branded with your company logo—but don’t forget to check with the employee about dietary preferences and allergies. 

Welcome gifts get new employees excited about joining your company and make them feel like part of the team. When new recruits feel as though they belong, you’ll reduce your employee turnover risk by half. Plus, you benefit from brand exposure when employees share photos and posts of their welcome package on job platforms like LinkedIn. 

While the employee is getting ready for day one, make a company-wide announcement about the new hire and give peers an overview of their background and experience. Get a team member (or all team members if it’s a smaller team) to make a welcome video telling the new employee how excited everyone is to meet and work with them. Sending the video before the first day gives employees a peek into how warm, welcoming, and fun their new colleagues are, and helps them start their tenure at your organisation on the right note.

Balance work tasks with social interactions during the first weeks

Too often, companies think induction is limited to an office tour, getting new employees on the payroll, and handing them a list of responsibilities. But if you want new employees to give the company their best performance and bring their whole selves to work, they need opportunities to socialise with their colleagues in addition to learning work-related tasks.

Research suggests that socialising with coworkers leads to a positive perception of the workplace, builds trust, and boosts job satisfaction. Your new team members want to feel psychologically safe before they can reveal their true selves.

Social time and casual conversations build the foundation for mutual understanding and better collaboration. In a remote work environment, relationship-building becomes even more important, and an employee’s early days set the tone for a smooth run.

But remember that it’s not about scheduling a bunch of get-to-know-you meetings on a new employee’s calendar. The induction to work process should be personalised for each new employee so it feels less like a drill and more like a holistic experience. Pair new employees with an induction buddy so they have a “work friend” to ask questions that feel basic or ‘silly’, like where to save a document or how to use the company wiki. 

It may turn out that a current employee knows or has worked with the new employee at a previous company. Encouraging the current employee to say a few words about their time together in a video or in the company chat helps the new hire ease into the team. If your company sends out weekly or monthly updates, it’s a great spot to recognise and praise a new hire’s very first accomplishments.

Get new employees excited about their career growth

Induction to work is the perfect time to give new employees insight into your learning and development programmes. Our survey of 784 UK employees revealed that people want more fulfilment from work and opportunities for professional development. Whether it's shadowing someone on the job, training programmes, or online courses, employees want the skills they need to succeed at their jobs.   

In the first few weeks, encourage new starters to familiarise themselves with the different training paths and courses you offer. If you are an organisation that prioritises upskilling from within, showcase courses authored by internal subject matter experts (SMEs).

When new employees see courses created by peers, they see that expertise and knowledge are valued at your company. They’ll be more inclined to share their own knowledge when they are ready. Plus, it allows new employees to ask questions or engage in discussions on the content, getting them used to learning in the flow of work and helping them ramp up quickly.

Induction is also a great time to touch on performance management and discover what motivates new employees. Give them an overview of their role-specific responsibilities and what’s expected of them, along with a light briefing of their Objectives and Key Results (OKRs). Then use microlearning to create short courses about company culture, values, and OKRs so that employees aren’t overloaded with information.

Lean on technology to scale your induction to work

An induction to work isn’t easy to create in one sitting. As your business grows and your hiring needs increase, you need technology to scale your induction process while still keeping it personalised. A learning management system can help you automate mundane tasks and create a role-specific induction process. Get in touch with one of our experts to see how we can help you build an effective induction process.