What is a good induction?
A good induction comprises these elements:
- Thorough preparation before the new staff member joins
- A personal welcome on Day One
- A clear introduction to Brookes, its strategy and Guiding Principles
- An Induction checklist
- A buddy (or mentor)
- An opportunity to clarify the role and initial expectations
- Attendance at appropriate mandatory training courses
- Introduction to key contacts and clarification of their roles
A good induction is paced so that the new starter is not overwhelmed. New starters want to know that their colleagues are looking forward to working with them and that there has been adequate preparation for their start.
The line manager is responsible for ensuring that this happens. Even if the induction is delegated to another colleague, it is the line manager's responsibility to ensure that it takes place and the person responsible for induction is thoroughly briefed on what they are expected to do.
There are several key activities which the line manager should initiate to ensure a smooth induction.
- Ensure that the new starter has the appropriate IT equipment, software, telephone equipment and furniture to be able to start work from Day One. This needs to be ordered well in advance through the IT Service Desk and EFM.
- Ensure the new starter has access to the appropriate IT systems and directories to be able to do their job. Once HR has sent you the employee number for your new member of staff, you can request the required access via IT Service Desk.
- Arrange for a bus pass for new starter, if required.
- Prepare induction programme/timetable including Induction Checklist. (You will need to log on to the LMS staff learning using your p-number and password. Then, you need to click on 'enrol me').
- Check that the new starter has been booked onto mandatory training courses (the dates should normally be notified with the contract of employment).
- Decide whether the new starter should attend any other training events and book these through OCSLD. You can see a list of all the courses.
- Add key events/meetings/training courses to your new starter’s Google Calendar.
- Identify and brief a buddy to support the new starter.
- Ensure departmental mailing, contact lists and organisational structure charts are updated.
- Make sure the rest of the team know that the new starter is joining.
- Book time out in your diary on the first day for a welcome meeting.
Keep in touch
Once an offer of employment has been accepted, try to keep in touch with your new starter. HR will send out a welcome pack with the employment contract as well as other key information. HR will also direct your new member of staff to the New Starter web-page.
However, it is good practice for you to maintain contact with them before they start.
- Make contact with the new starter before they join, e.g. by inviting them in for an informal meeting or arranging a telephone call. They may have questions about the role or practical arrangements before they start.
- Your new starter is likely to have questions about joining Brookes. It is important to get back promptly with answers to their questions. You may wish to send your new starter background information about their role - but be careful not to overwhelm them!
- Confirm arrangements for Day One including start time and place, parking and travel arrangements.
- Ensure a member of staff is available to welcome your new starter, to direct them to their desk and to show them all the key facilities such as tea/coffee making facilities, toilets, cafes, etc.
- Meet your new starter to welcome and put them at their ease.
- Accompany them to your nearest IT Service Desk so they can collect their staff ID card and University password. They will need to take their P00 number along with a form of photographic identification.
- Go through the induction plan, confirm initial work activities/priorities and explain the PDR process and mandatory training. Take them through their induction checklist and explain the role of a buddy.
- Ensure your new starter has someone to go to lunch with on their first day.
- Introduce them to immediate colleagues.
- Arrange a tour of the campus and main facilities.
- Explain key policies: no smoking, leave, hours of work, arrangement for booking leave, reporting sick leave, etc.
- Local Health and Safely guidelines (fire-exits, fire alarm testing, departmental first-aiders)
- Explain about the internal communication media (Staff Update emails, email message from Vice-Chancellor's Group and staff social media)
- Explain about inter-site travel: Brookes Bus
By the end of the first month the line manager should ensure that the new starter has:
- Had an interim PDR meeting to confirm their work objectives
- Received information about Brookes’ strategy and their Directorate/Faculty/department's strategic plans/objectives
- A clear understanding of immediate colleagues’ roles
- Had opportunities to meet key contacts in other Directorates or Faculties, and has clarified their expectations about the new starter’s role
- Had regular one-to-ones with their line manager
- Been booked onto “Welcome to Brookes', Health and Safety, DSE and other relevant courses
- Been introduced to Brookes' IT systems and, if necessary, has received appropriate training. This can either be booked via IT Services or one-to-one training with a Digital Media and E-Learning Developer (DMELD).
- Access to local procedure manuals for their work as well as relevant university guidance notes, e.g. on committee servicing, branding/standard templates, etc.
- An understanding of the standards of performance expected for specific tasks
- Had on-the-job training for specific tasks.
Examples of local practice in the initial induction period
IT Services has its own web-page for new starters which provides useful information about the Directorate you will be joining.
Corporate Affairs invites new starters to attend their executive team meetings to be welcomed and introduced to the directorate's senior managers.
Academic and Student Administration (ASA) invites new starters to a dedicated ASA induction session over coffee to outline key information about the Directorate.
Beyond month one
The line manager should arrange regular one-to-ones to:
- Find out how the new starter is settling in and managing their work
- Ensure the new starter is supported by colleagues and has a buddy if desired
- Find out what the new starter needs from the line manager
- Give guidance where necessary
- Give encouraging feedback
- Clarify priorities
Longer term projects
- Direct the new starter to the appropriate background material, e.g. reports, papers, articles, survey results which relate to their project and refer them to key stakeholders for further information.
- Agree realistic and achievable objectives. Set key milestones and arrange regular reviews.
Probation period and monitoring performance
The probationary period for academic staff and senior staff is 12 months and 6 months for support roles.
Mandatory training should be completed within the probation period. Similarly, the induction checklist should be completed and signed off.
If you have any concerns about the new starter's performance, it is important that you pick this up as early as possible within the probation period, when they are often easier to resolve. If in doubt, discuss your concerns with your link HR team as soon as possible.
See our guidance on the Probation Review.
The probation review is a significant milestone. If you have followed this guidance, your new starter should pass their probation feeling positive and well-prepared for their new role. Thereafter the line manager should continue to have regular one-to-one meetings, possibly less frequently than at the beginning depending on the role.