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Transform your induction process for new employees

Frew Murdoch

Employee engagement is an issue that needs to be made a top priority for HR in South Africa. This can be seen by the millions of disengaged workers across South Africa's businesses. Gallup's 2013 State of the American Workplace Report indicates that 70% of American workers are "not engaged" or "actively disengaged". But what is the case in South Africa?

"While statistics for the South African market are not readily available at this point, having dealt with numerous organisations varying in size around the country we believe this statistic is even worse in South Africa," says Guy Martin, founder and MD of BluprintsT.

What can be done about this bleak employee engagement situation for SA?

Companies need to transform the induction process to achieve high employee engagement

Talent Culture provides insights from Todd Owens, president and COO at TalentWise, and Wendy Matyjevich, HR executive at Entia Ventures and BlackRain Partners, on how providing a thoughtful induction experience not only keeps new employees around but it makes them more productive:

1. It builds a sustainable culture

Owens says that you shouldn't start with how you usually do things in your company or by 'following the pack'. "Start with the customer (aka candidate) in mind. Think big," said Owens.

You have to keep your new employees in mind because "The onboarding experience must be a great one or your hidden costs will grow," explained Matyjevich.

2. High employee turnover is costly

Employees expect leaders in your organisation to pay them the same amount of dedication and time that is expected of them towards their work. To find out more about how leadership can inspire employee engagement, click this link.

It's a two-way street, meaning that if employees don't receive what they want and demand, then they might leave – to the detriment of your organisation.

Induction isn't a once-off – it needs to be a continuous process

Many organisations don't realise that induction is so much more than a PowerPoint presentation about the company and a welcome stationery set. Here are some ideas to make your induction process more effective:

  • Implement a buddy system

    This will help new employees learn colleagues' names and find out more about the organisation in a more comfortable way.
  • Have a feedback session that discusses a different department every week

    New employees should attend a compulsory session that explains the processes of each of the different departments. This will help them to learn each employees' role in the company and in turn, help them learn their own roles in the company.

  • Hold a survey for new employees

    Conduct a survey asking for feedback from new employees. The best means of finding out how to improve your induction process is by asking the people it affects.

Induction has to mean so much more, says Talent Culture, or else employees will feel disengaged and eventually they will walk.

"Onboarding is about managing new employees and their transition into your community and culture. By providing them guidance and support along the way, leadership will see the results it expects and meet the demands that employees expect."

Frew Murdoch is the assistant editor of HR Pulse. She has a BA degree in communications and English and a passion for HR technology.

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