I am fortunate, and grateful, to be a Principal HR Consultant. I  work with some great South Australian businesses, and some great people who work in those businesses.

I have also been fortunate and grateful to have been employed by some notable, highly regarded national and international companies in the past.  There has, however, been one low common denominator in every household name company I worked for. That is, surprisingly they all had crummy induction or on boarding programs.

In time I loved the companies I was employed by. I stayed long periods with them, but my initial thoughts were often, “What the hell have I got myself into?”  There were several induction occasions where I was told, ”read as much as stuff as you can find on our intranet that might help”, or, “take time to load up all your email contacts on the system and write a bio of yourself”. Hardly planned, partially helpful, non-inspirational stuff.

I may have written this before, but my friends’ Grandma said, “You only have one chance to make a good first impression”.  A good induction program can be the first really good impression an organisation can make.

There are loads of scholarly articles and research results that includes both private and public entities. They talk about the benefits of a well-developed induction program. These include studies about SME’s. Chances are, larger organisations may have some type of induction or on boarding program in place (although those I worked for were less than average).

SME’s on the other hand may not have taken the time or effort to put together a basic induction program. A program that goes beyond a checklist of administratively focused items that are centred on two objectives, 1) get the employee on-line as quickly as possible, and 2) make sure you get everything  sorted so there is no stuff-up with their pay.

There is a very good chance that SME’s can more beneficially position themselves as an employer of choice in their industry sector. Imagine if new starters are out there saying, “Gee, that was a great induction program and a very good start to my employment.”

There is also a very good chance that SME’s can accelerate and better manage future performance of new starters.

While the depth and breadth of induction programs can be as wide and deep as you may want to go, in my opinion there are two objectives that any given program should have to be most beneficial.

Firstly, the program should allow you to have a means or reinforcing or managing your expectations of what is required of them to be successful in their role.

Secondly, it should get them across aspects about how you operate. In other words, “this is who we are and this is how we do things around here”.  Mission, Values, and Culture are increasingly important for growing organisations.