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Induction and Onboarding: same animal?

While the words “induction” and “onboarding” are often used interchangeably, the two differ in duration and what each is intended to achieve.

Induction is the process of training an employee on their first day or first few days at work. This process is predominantly task-focused and designed to introduce the employee to the office layout, administrative and technological systems used across the company. Induction typically includes:

  • completion of new employee paperwork
  • tour of the workplace (including safety and compliance training)
  • provision of basic needs information: toilet and meal facilities, parking, start and finish times
  • assignment of uniforms, access keys, workstation, company devices and software logins
  • introduction to Supervisor and immediate co-workers

Induction is intended to familiarise the employee with the key people and systems used in the employee’s daily work, so the new person commences employment with a general awareness of these systems, including who to approach for any questions or concerns. 

Onboarding is the process of assimilating a new worker into the company culture and developing them to reach full productivity in their roles.

Unlike the short term nature of induction, onboarding can continue for many months. The duration of the onboarding process can depend on the experience of the worker, seniority of the role, the complexity of the organisation and the value the employer places on the importance of interpersonal dynamics.

Onboarding can begin as early as during the hiring process when interview questions and position descriptions are used to establish working and cultural expectations. A quality onboarding process also includes:

  • the company investing time in communicating organisational expectations and cultural values to the new employee so the person can align their overall performance and conduct to these
  • providing the employee with challenging yet achievable goals and objectives
  • scheduled discussions with the employee on their progress

An effective induction and onboarding process is considered one of the best tools when it comes to keeping new hires engaged, highly-productive, and focused on the objectives of a business. Not unlike a personal relationship, first impressions when commencing employment are important because they form the basis for everything that follows.

Are you comfortable your business creates the right first impression for new team members? Bare Bones Consulting can show you simple, cost effective ways to induct and onboard your new hires so they hit the ground running…and start to add value to your business sooner. Sound good? Check out our Employee Engagement & Retention page here. While you’re on your fact-finding mission, why not follow our LinkedIn page for practical advice on all things HR delivered straight to your inbox. 

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Note: Bare Bones Consulting provides HR services for employers. Employees seeking advice on workplace concerns should contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94.