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‘New’ at work – a few words about ways and ideas to introduce new recruits

Most of us associate the first day in a new job with great stress and quite often our dream is just to have it off our mind. There is nothing surprising, as thousands of information to remember, a lot of new faces, names and surnames, an endless list of extensions, developed organisational structure, procedures, regulations can make even the mentally strongest individuals headache.

The main causes of stress in these type of situations are the uncertainty and unpredictability about the place, situation of people who we must face as ‘new’. It is commonly known that the unknown worries us and sometimes provokes anxiety and terrifies us. Furthermore, the personality and temperamental conditions such as: shyness, lack of self-confidence in relations, introversion can intensify the stress associated with being NEW in the organisation.

The HR department employees have developed a strategy which basic role is fast and ‘painless’ introduction to the new environment which aims to minimise discomfort felt by newly hired employees in the organisation. The programs carried out under this strategy are known in the literature as Induction days. They are mostly organised in the form of pre-scheduled several days' meetings. A novice is usually accompanied by the HR department employee or their immediate superior, acting as their mentor (a so-called buddy).

A lot of activities carried out during the Induction Days have been described in the following article:

  • introduction of the other members of the organisation to the new employee – a recruit usually gets acquainted on their first day of work in the company when being shown around the offices and departments. Thanks to that, a recruit has a chance not only to get to know the names of their workmates, but also learn what positions they hold, their scope of competence and responsibilities. Such company ‘sightseeing’ is also a great opportunity to familiarize oneself with the ‘topography’ of the office.
  • welcome message – sending a welcome message to all members of the organisation is a common practice of introducing a recruit to the team. It is a short, formal note including basic information on what the new person’s name is, what their professional experience is, what their role in the company will be, to whom will report etc.
  • introduction to the organisational structure – for that purpose there are organisational charts prepared to clearly explain business relations in the particular departments of the company. These schemes are often the element of so-called organisational handbooks or compendia of knowledge for recruits.
  • Informing an employee about the company’s regulations, procedures and orders. Within this activity the employee is familiarised with knowledge concerning among others: remuneration system, financial and non-financial benefits, working time organisation, benefits packages and dress code. At this stage of induction the recruit usually receives informal information. The point here is to explain some unwritten rules (code of conduct) common in the company which knowledge and respecting is crucial to maintain a good working atmosphere. Getting the recruit acquainted with these principles, even though they are not included in the regulations and procedures but as important as the regulations, make the new employee feel the sense of community more quickly. This knowledge ‘protects’ them also from making a faux pas, especially during this initial, crucial, and in a way, difficult for them period of time. One should emphasize that this knowledge has nothing to do with gossiping or dissemination of information which may hurt someone, violate their privacy or take advantage of them.
  • Familiarising employee with the mission statement and company philosophy – during the conversation or instructional training the newly hired employee learns the history of the company, surnames of its founders and key figures of the organisation, services and products offered by the company, achievements and successes of a company. For this occasion, organisations quite often prepare special presentations or corporate videos to make the recruit familiar with the company’s main principles, goals, code of conduct and philosophy.
  • Providing specialist training programmes on e.g. occupational health and safety as well as the ones directly related to the area of the recruit’s responsibilities (onboarding programme). Specialist training programmes are often combined with business trips to other branches, warehouses, factories or logistic centres, so that the recruit gets better acquainted with the business profile of their company[1] by observation.
  • Inviting a new subordinate for a lunch or coffee by their immediate superior. At the meeting the superior informs their subordinate about principles of cooperation (requirements, expectations, scope of duties, way of reporting etc.), outlines the current situation in the organisation and the department, explains the status and stage of the particular department projects, and sets the assignments and goals for the nearest future together with the employee.
  • Intranet i.e. an internal computer network which streamlines the communication and information flow within an organisation. The intranet contains a lot of important and useful information to employees. There are for example: the electronic versions of all rules and regulations, procedures, company forms, summaries of meetings (so-called minutes), information about the stage of the company’s projects, sales figures, data flow diagram. Intranet also provides access to less formal information, such as: reports on induction events, non-professional groups, advertisement service etc.
  • Meetings, departmental or company induction company trips.

Induction programs are gaining more and more recognition and popularity. Companies which, due to the multitude of duties and personnel limitations, cannot afford to delegate the HR department employee to perform only and exclusively the function of a buddy willingly reach for induction solutions provided by external contractors.

Analysing induction programs one should mention that obviously the induction entails certain both financial and time expenditure. However, it is worth noticing that the effort aimed at comfortable and almost stress-free induction of the recruit, pays off in their significant performance and professional effectiveness as well as great loyalty and respect for their employer.

Induction days are one of intentional actions becoming part of the employer branding strategy, i.e. a deliberate creation of positive, modern, protective and responsible image of employer. Thanks to which, the organisation is becoming more and more attractive both for their current employees and future ones who perhaps will swell the company’s ranks.

 

Ewa Osowska

Bibliography:

Armstrong L., Strategiczne zarządzanie zasobami ludzkimi, Wolters Kluwer Polska, Warszawa 2010.

Brzezińska E., Paszkowska-Rogacz A., Człowiek w firmie. Bez obawa i z ochotą, Difin, Warszawa 2009.

Filarski K., Siechowicz A., Witaj w firmie!... I co dalej?, ‘Personel i Zarządzanie’, September 2011.

Kożusznik B., Zachowanie człowieka w organizacji, Polskie Wydawnictwo Ekonomiczne, Warszawa 2002.

 

Netography:

www.hrnews.pl

www.hrm.pl

www.hrstandard.pl

 



[1]    Hands-on work is based on a key Japanese philosophy GEMBA, translated as ‘go and see’. K. Filarski, A. Siechowicz, Witaj w firmie!... I co dalej?, „Personel i Zarządzanie”, September 2011, p. 88.

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