Preparing to welcome a new employee is an exciting time for everyone involved but it can involve a lot of work to prepare the ideal induction.

Depending on the size and complexity of your organisation, there can be a lot to cover and some induction sessions end up running over several days.

However, whether you’re a huge multinational or a two-man band, there are a few basics that will help to get your new employee engaged, informed and up and running.

  1. Make sure everything they are likely to need is prepared in advance. It’s hugely frustrating for everyone when the new starter turns up and doesn’t have a parking space, functioning laptop, phone or desk space. Having it all prepared shows them that you’re ready for them and allows them to get started right away.
  2. Put together an in-person session or an email covering the standard questions everybody has when starting a new role; where do I park, what are the working hours, when do I get paid, what benefits are available, where can I get lunch? If you’re doing this by email, send it to them before they even join your company, so they can just turn up and get going.
  3. Add some detail to the initial job description with a clear outline of what they need to do in their first few weeks. After this, it’s likely that they’ll have worked a lot of things out for themselves, but initially, a clear list of your expectations will be really helpful and reassuring for them. Make sure you’ve booked in some time to talk about their objectives.
  4. Talk them through all the detail of your business, services or products. No matter what their role, it’s vital that they have a full understanding of what the overall business objectives are and that they feel inspired to work hard and play their part. Make sure you leave plenty of time for all the questions they will have!
  5. Set aside time to cover off health and safety. In small offices, this might be simply pointing out the fire escapes, while larger ones, building sites and anything manual will need a huge level of detail on how to make sure everyone gets home safely at the end of the day. It makes sense to combine this with a tour of the site so they can get to know their way around.
  6. Create and share a list of useful contacts with email addresses and phone numbers. Anything that might come in handy, from how they can get in touch with their manager, to IT support, this will allow them to solve a lot of problems for themselves.
  7. Make sure somebody is always around, at least for their first few days. You need them to know that they’ve made a great move in coming to work with you and if they’re left alone to work things out for themselves, or horribly bored, you could really lose their initial excitement.

It’s worth bearing in mind, that these are very, very early days and just like an interview, they’ll be trying to impress you. Do your best to put them at their ease – they may also be really nervous – and you lay the groundwork for a great working relationship.