THE WORK PLACE: It’s beginning of the Year. Let’s do inductions

SHARE   |   Monday, 11 January 2016   |   By Isang Lekhutile
Employees in a workplace Employees in a workplace

Compliments of the new season and May God bless you abundantly. Many employers seem to only understand the value of settling a new employee into their role in a well-organised induction programme. Induction has always been viewed as a vital part of taking on a new employee.What about an old employee returning to work? Is not an induction necessary for that employee?I mean,a lot of hard work goes into filling the vacancy or a new role, so it is worth working just as hard to make the older employee feel equally welcome, ready to contribute fully and wanting to stay.

An induction is a period ideally meant to ensure that new and old members of staff settle into their roles as quickly and effectively as possible. Despite its particular term, induction is simply a part of the training process that organisations invest in their staff. Like any form of training it should have the objective of developing the relevant skills, knowledge and behaviour of employees that their posts require. Such training should be SMART; Specific, Measurable, Action orientated, Relevant, Time bound.

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Induction gives your older employee an objective view of your company, organisational culture, and work ethic which will allow the employee to better integrate and re-engage into the workplace. We just had a long busy and tiring holiday. To some employees, a lot has happened and a lot changed in their organisations. All employees require induction.I am therefore surprised at the number of organisations that fail to implement any form of induction and initial performance goal setting particularly for their older employees, or rather, returning employees; Induction of old employees is non-starter to many organisations.


Inductions programmes differ from company to company and also depend on the type of industry. In the mining environment such as Orapa, an induction programme for returning employees will usually cover a wide range of work health and safety issues including the health and safety responsibilities of the employer and the employee as well as the organisation’s process for reporting incidents and hazards in the workplace, risk management procedures, and its emergency and first aid procedures. This will also include security induction.

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In some cases a safety and security programme is appropriate as it covers a general component of re-introducing an employee to the general safety obligations, policies and procedures of an organisation. Other times however, a position/site specific component which identifies specific hazards and risks relevant to the employee’s position or location and instructs the employee in the safe system of work for the completion of tasks or in the use of equipment or materials (this may be through Safe Work Method Statements) becomes more fitting.

A number of organisations do not provide induction training which means old employees are then left to pick up the information necessary to carry out their jobs effectively on their own or through asking, following or copying existing employees but like they say;“Old habits die hard”. Old cultures will prevail and dominate the organisation and will tend to breed negative cultures that could have been intercepted. This becomes costly to the organisation; monetarily, time wise and also doesn’t guarantee that the new employee will learn the “right” way of doing things.

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Benefits of induction programmes include increased retention of returning employees, improved employee morale and increased productivity, not to mention an increased sense of acceptance and belonging into the organisation by the employees. A well designed employee induction programme not only saves your organisation money and time in the long run but it avoids having that money being spent on covering absentees such as hiring replacements if the induction programme wasn’t well executed. Having said that, there are initiatives that employers can employ to re-connect and re-engage with employees. Induction is one of the tools that we should all take seriously. Once again, compliments of the new season and wish you all the best for the year 2016.



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