Safety induction for new employees
Whatever your industry or business type, induction is crucial safety part of introducing new employees to your company and their role, as well as the rules and regulations that govern it.
Some companies view induction as a chance to welcome new employees, while others simply avoid the process altogether, expecting new employees to integrate themselves, and quickly!
But the induction process, whether informal or, preferably, highly organised and thought out, creates a solid foundation for new employees by ensuring they are armed with everything they need to start their new job quickly – and as safely as possible.
Additionally, a strong induction process will help reduce the inevitable anxiety and stress experienced by some new employees while improving their confidence and morale regarding the organisation they are about to become a part of.
All new employees should receive some form of induction upon employment. It may vary in complexity, length and requirement, or could take the form of training or mentoring, but it should happen, nonetheless.
Induction programs should be conducted by a Human Resources (HR) representative or a department manager and may last a few hours, a few days or even a few weeks, depending on the industry and the complexity of the role.
No matter what the length of the induction program, it should provide new employees with all the necessary introductory information regarding the organisation, as well as crucial occupational safety information and any applicable codes of conduct, as well as information on their new role and what is expected of their day-to-day activities.
Aside from ensuring your new employees are able to get to work quickly and safely, the benefits of a properly thought-out induction program includes the increased retention of staff, increased productivity and an increase in overall employee morale.
Also credited to such induction and onboarding programs is an increased sense of self confidence and reduced stress from new employees.
By investing time and effort into designing a suitable employee induction program, your company will save money and time in the long term because employees who understand unequivocally the scope of their new roles, as well as exactly (and clearly) what they’re expected to do from the beginning, leads to less confusion and, ultimately, less turnover.
Many companies do not offer any form of induction and it is their loss. By allowing new employees to learn on the job, they have little choice but to either ‘pick up’ vital information on their own or they’ll follow the example of other employees, many of whom may not be working in the correct manner or following the necessary procedures and practices required by law within your industry.
Not only can this lead to less productivity, it may lead to workplace injuries, fines for your company or, ultimately, the loss of the staff member who may feel confused, become stressed or feel frustrated in their new role. All this may have been avoided simply by offering, even basic, induction.
Parts of the induction program
Induction has three clearly defined stages. Regardless of what industry you work in, from agriculture and construction, to education or programming, a thorough induction program should cover a range of topics , a few of which are outlined.
Distribute the employee handbook (if you have one, of course)
Employee handbooks, generally, introduce new employees to the company they are starting work with and explain the industry and framework they’ll be expected to work within.
It should also outline any relevant policies and safety procedures, steps to take in an emergency, as well as the proper procedures to follow and people to see in the event harassment, discrimination or other related situations arise.
The employee handbook should also explain where and who to go to for enquiries regarding IT problems, security and payroll.
Depending on the size of the company (and its culture), new employees should be introduced to key staff within the organisation. They should also be as be given a clear picture of their own duties and their place within the company’s hierarchy, as well as what is expected of them and their role. This will further ensure they are able to perform adequately (though, hopefully, brilliantly) in their new role.
Each new employee should be given a tour of the building they’re to work in, as well as any relevant facilities. Included boardrooms, meeting rooms, bathrooms and, of course, emergency exits. The tour should also include information regarding security access and procedures for entering and leaving the building.
Safety and health training
If there are any potential hazards on site, be they heavy equipment or hazardous materials, the new employee should receive safety training, which will help reduce the potential for them to be involved in an accident.
Even if the employee will not be interacting directly with the equipment, it is essential they understand the proper safety procedures and any safety signs that may be commonplace throughout the facilities.
Day-to-day task guidance
It is important employees receive hands-on training with regards to their day-to-day roles. This training may come from a co-worker or the person directly in charge of them in their new job.
Additionally, once the initial training is complete, the new employee should be evaluated at a later date to ensure they fully understand their role and duties in the company.
Ensure, the person’s manager or whomever may be in charge of the induction clearly delivers any information regarding probationary periods and the outcome if the probationary period is unsuccessful.
Furthermore, be sure to have them and their supervisor sign a checklist acknowledging they have received adequate induction training and what was involved in that training.
Despite so many companies forgoing formal induction and onboarding procedures, it is a crucial step in the employment of new employees, one that can not only save your company time, effort and money in the long run, it can also help with ensuring your new employees start work effectively and efficiently – and with less potential for injury and workplace accidents.