Have you recently hired someone?

The likely success (or failure) of the relationship between your business and the new recruit often depends on the early days of their employment.

Why are Inductions Important?

Do not underestimate the value and importance of inductions. Inductions play a big role in a new employees’ performance and contribution to your company. It allows your recruit to receive the appropriate training and adapt to their new role and working environment.

The employee is not the only one that benefits from inductions, there are also key benefits for the employer, such as:
• Employees trained to perform effectively
• Reduced potential for errors and complaints
• Employees with higher awareness of company policies, procedures and values

Designing Inductions

The key points you should consider when designing inductions are:
• The length of the induction
• The delivery of the induction and by whom
• When and where any training will take place
• The keeping of induction records including dates and details of any training delivered.

Delivering Inductions

Inductions often begin once the employee starts work. However, it is not uncommon to start earlier. For example, some employers provide new employees with ‘welcome packs’ containing information about the organisation before their start date.
Ideally, the induction should:
• Be spread over a reasonable period
• Occur at a time and place that is suitable and appropriate for the employee
• Allow a reasonable period for the employee to absorb key information and put new skills into practice

Acas also recommends that employers consider specific groups of employees who may need special attention whilst delivering inductions. For example, this could include employees with disabilities or employees returning to work after a lengthy break.

Why have a Probationary Period?

The purpose of a probationary period is to allow a specific time frame to assess one’s suitability for a role. For the employer, it allows the opportunity to evaluate whether the new hire can adequately meet the needed requirements. For the employee, it allows time to determine whether the role and the environment is suitable for them.

How Long Should the Probationary Period be?

The length of the probationary period may vary depending on the nature of the job. The duration should allow the employee reasonable time to demonstrate they can meet the job requirements.
In the stages of offering employment, make clear that the job offer is subject to the satisfactory completion of a probation period. The contract of employment should also confirm the length of the probation, notice period during probation and any other relevant terms and conditions.

Managing Probationary Periods

Whilst managing a probation period, you should:
• Conduct regular meetings to manage and review the employee’s performance
• Manage concerns as they arise rather than at the end of the probation
• Allow a reasonable period of time to improve where performance issues are identified
• Set clear objectives and actions
• Keep a record of notes in meetings, improvements needed and actions agreed upon

Dismissal, Extension or Pass?

When an employee successfully completes their probation period, confirm this in writing.
If the employee did not meet the required expectations, you may wish to extend their probation. In this case, be sure to explain the expected improvements and the new expiry date of their probation.
In cases where the new employee’s performance is not satisfactory and training and support are not effective, you may wish to consider dismissal. When choosing this option, be sure to carry out a fair procedure.

Expert Advice

For further advice on managing inductions and probationary periods, speak to our Legal Advice Helpline from Stephensons Solicitors, details of their contact details can be found in your insurance policy documents or call a member of our team.

Why don’t you check out our post on how to manage staff during the Christmas period time.