Introduction – welcome to the parish
Induction is a key step in helping new employees settle in. If it is done well then they are more likely to stay and be productive. It also helps the organisation to identify their particular strengths. This is the final step in the recruitment process and the first real contact that a new person has with their team.
Induction is part of the foundation of good performance management. During induction, the new team member should be made fully aware of their job duties, responsibilities and standards and the expectations of performance within their new role.
The induction period could last for a number of days or weeks depending on the complexity of the role and runs concurrently with any probationary period. Induction training is good for setting the initial standards and expectations for new staff.
The Acas guide to inducting new employees is here. Induction for new PCC employees will normally include as a minimum:
- PCC as an organisation – what is important to the PCC, its relationship with the Diocese and other bodies, its policies and how it differs from other organisations;
- PCC as an employer – what the PCC expect from staff and standards
- Organisational arrangements on safeguarding, equality, health and safety, information security, etc.
The purpose of a probationary period is two-fold, it allows a specific time period for both the employee and employer to assess the suitability of the role after having first-hand experience. In addition to it giving the employee the chance to see whether they like their new job and surroundings.
A job offer should be conditional upon successful completion of a probationary period. During the probationary period, employees need to demonstrate their suitability for their new role. The line manager should set suitable preliminary objectives and hold regular one-to-ones so that the new team member is fully aware of their progress.
The process should specify what they are doing well and if there is anything they need to improve. It is a good opportunity for praise and to recognise progress.
There is no law determining the length of a probationary period, although there is an expectation that the employer will be reasonable. It is typical for a probationary period to last between one and six months, and three months where an employee is moving to a new post internally. For casual workers and those on zero-hours contracts, probationary periods may vary, it is also often dependent on the role.
It is well recognised that people leave a new employer in the first few months if they do not feel that they are settling in. Probationary periods can also be used on existing employees and can be useful when you want to try out an employee who has been newly promoted. Personnel Today has produced useful guidance on probationary periods at work; complying with employment law found here.