Inductions for new workers have to cover a lot of ground, most of it serious – from bullying policies to security run-throughs. But one thing that can be overlooked in your inductions is the non-official information that will help their working day run that bit more enjoyably. Here’s some questions every inductee would love to see answered…
Where can I get a decent cup of coffee?
If your employees are really lucky, the office already has a coffee machine – one that whips up a decent brew instead of something more akin to dishwasher. But, if they do need to go outside in search of caffeine, some informal tips would be most welcome, whether it’s a pointer to a favourite coffee shop everyone goes to or details of a place that offers a special discount to your employees.
Are there any public transport tricks?
A decent chunk of workers make their way to the office by public transport. And most will try to sift through the available information to work out the best and most efficient route. But if you have someone who lives near them, pick their brains on any tips. For example, if the CBD has a free loop bus they might be able to head into a central station and then climb aboard, rather than having to leave home an hour early to get a bus right to the office doorstop.
Is there anyone you could suggest I carpool with?
Similarly, if there’s someone who works the same hours and regularly drives in from a nearby location, an introduction might be in order to create a win-win carpooling situation centred on splitting the costs of parking and more.
Where are the good eateries?
No worker could get through the day on an empty stomach, so make sure they don’t have to. If there’s nowhere nearby to grab a sandwich or a roll, make sure new employees know in advance to bring something from home. But if there are lots of options, point them in the direction of a couple of options that do good food priced reasonably. It’s a kindness that will save them stumbling into a fad diet café or one that charges like a wounded bull.
Should I plan for Friday afternoon drinks?
Formal introductions are one thing, but nothing helps to ease a new staff member into the team like a beer or two with their new colleagues at the end of the week. It could be that it’s invitation only, or it could be a free for all, but if you let them know in advance, they can at least plan their transport to and from work that day – as well as their outfit.
Is workplace chatter encouraged?
It can be hard for newbies to get an accurate take on the workplace vibe, specifically whether it’s heads down, bums up only, solid periods of hard work interspersed with moments of chat and fun to make the day more enjoyable, or just a free-for-all talkfest built on the trust that everyone’s job will still get done. It’s true there’s probably no hard and fast rules – as conditions will depend on daily factors such as workload and deadlines – but if you can at least give them an idea of the baseline grid, they won’t spend their first few days trying to engage colleagues in stories they really shouldn’t waste time telling.
How do I place a stationery order?
Most inductions will include the handover of stationery, and maybe even a tour past the stationary cupboard, but a better idea would be to let new workers know if they can order stationery and how it’s done – whether it’s by email or by asking the receptionist to send through a purchase order. This just makes it so much simpler than leaving them to ask a million people themselves – or simply buying something with their own money because thee information isn’t readily forthcoming.