Induction is the process of supporting a new staff member to adjust to their job and a new work environment and gain an awareness of the University’s culture. It is a process over a period of time, not just the events of the first day and a University welcome event
Induction is a time of change and adjustment to a new culture and environment which presents exciting opportunities and challenges. It forms part of a wider process, including probation, a professional development review and training and development activities.
The overall responsibility for induction lies with the line manager of the new employee. The manager should start to plan for the staff member’s induction from the point that they are appointed into post.
Everyone who is newly employed or transferred from one job/department to another should have a structured induction programme. The type of induction needed will depend on both the individual and the role they are being employed to do.
Factors you need to think about include the employee’s experience, previous training and qualifications, the level of the appointment and type of work involved. An appropriate induction should be planned for any temporary employees (including sessional staff).
Where an employee moves from a temporary to a permanent contract, you may also need to plan further support at this stage. Employees who have returned from a long period of absence, such as maternity leave or long term sick leave, may also require an abridged induction to cover any work developments in their absence.
Induction marks the beginning of an employee’s relationship with you as their manager, the University and their colleagues. A good induction will support the new employee to feel part of the team and help them to understand their role within the University. It should ensure that they feel supported by you as their manager and give you the opportunity to set the standards required, contributing to a positive employee relationship.
It should enusre that the new employee familiarises themselves with health and safety and other legal responsibilities.
To support staff during their induction, the University provides a dedicated website for New Starters, as well as:
You need to contact the new employee about the start time and date, where and who to report to, and a contact number in case of any difficulty. Ideally, this will be through a phone call from you as their manager, allowing the employee the opportunity to ask you any further questions (such as for a map, car parking arrangements or dress code). If you have not retained the contact details from the recruitment pack, the Business Solutions team will provide this information for you.
The work area should be prepared to ensure that it is clean and tidy and that all necessary supplies and equipment are provided.
Once the individual’s new starter paperwork has been processed by HR and added to the system, IT Services will automatically create computer access for them the next day. This gives the new employee the same basic computer access as other team members, along with an email account* and access to buildings.
The line manager of the new starter will receive an email containing their login details, and instructions on what to do if they require futher permissions or a phone extension.
*Please note that casual staff do not automatically have an email account generated, and this should requested (if required) following the instructions in the line manager email.
We recommend that a mentor for new starters is identified for all new members of staff. This mentor will be an approachable and experienced employee who will be a guide and point of contact for the new employee. More information can be found in the University guidelines for new starter mentors.
An induction plan should be created, outlining activities which the new employee will be undertaking during their first few weeks. You should use the induction checklist to start to plan this, to ensure that the employee receives all the information that they need.
If possible, it is helpful to get input from the leaver of the post into the induction process. You could also consider how other inductions have been carried out in your area - to see if there is best practice that you can use.
You will need to arrange to meet the employee or arrange for someone else from the team to meet them, if you are not available. On meeting with the new employee, you have the opportunity to welcome them to the University and all that working here offers. You will also have the chance to talk through the content of the new employee’s induction and to give them the chance to ask questions.
If they have not already visited the New Staff website, then this is a good time to indroduce them to it.
You will need to arrange probation review meetings with your new employee, these should take place on a regular basis throughout the probationary period.
The probation review meetings give you and the new employee the opportunity to recognise progress and to outline any difficulties that have been encountered. You can then jointly identify any action that needs to be taken.
If you have any performance issues and do not feel that the employee is progressing satisfactorily you should raise this with your member of staff as soon as possible and you should make a note of any discussion. You should also contact your HR Adviser for advice. Though the principles of probation are the same, there are some differences in the probation process for academic and support staff. You will receive information about this from your HR Support team and feel free to contact them for further guidance and support.
At the end of the probation period or when you are carrying out PDRs across the team (whichever comes first), a forward looking PDR should be carried out with the new employee so that objectives are set. This will help to ensure that the new employee has clarity about what is expected of them over the coming months to enable them to plan appropriately.
In addition to a formal induction, and as part of the Academic Career Scheme, all new members of academic staff should be assigned a mentor to provide independent support. The mentor should be an established member of staff of the department and with broadly similar research and teaching interests. It is not appropriate for a Head of Department, line manager or other manager to be a mentor. Exceptionally, the mentor may be from another department, with the consent of the Head of that School and of the individual.
A mentor and the individual should agree to meet regularly, and it is essential that the employee is able to discuss issues openly and confidentially with his/her mentor. Further information on the role of the mentor is provided in the Guidance on being a Mentor for the Academic Career Scheme.
Reflection and evaluation of induction is crucial in ensuring the process is effective. This could take the form of getting informal feedback from the new starter when they are established in the role or taking a wider approach and speaking with colleagues and mentors involved in the process. You may find the following questions a useful starting point: