Staff Induction - Managers
Information for Managers of New Staff
This guide has been produced to help you provide a welcoming environment for new staff, adequate on-the-job training and support, and establish good communication and positive, professional work relationships.
Before the Staff Member Arrives
- See whether the new staff member needs advice or information in advance. For example, if the person is relocating to Hamilton do they want help regarding accommodation, schooling, community information, etc?
- Let other staff know when the new person will arrive; arrange times for introductions with key people.
- Have a work space ready - with somewhere secure for personal belongings and a name plate if appropriate.
- Make sure essential work aids are available - keys, computer, computer accounts, telephone extension, photocopier card, etc.
Appoint a 'Buddy'
Ask a suitable colleague to act as a 'buddy' to provide support over the first month or so. This is an informal role, supporting the manager in easing the newcomer's transition into the workplace. Some examples of how a buddy may help are:
- Explaining the location of useful facilities
- Introducing other staff; taking the new staff member to lunch or tea breaks
- Describing office processes and equipment, eg mail, email and e-calendar protocols
- Explaining department/unit practices and processes, eg arrangements for receiving and returning student assignments
- Showing the staff member around the Library or introducing them to computer support staff
- Being available to answer questions
The informal support and assistance provided by a buddy to the new staff member can be invaluable during the early days of an appointment. The Teaching Development Unit (TDU) maintain a list of experienced staff who are keen to assist - email: firstname.lastname@example.org .
The First Day
When the new staff member arrives in the work area, you or your nominee should:
- Greet the new staff member warmly and outline your plan for their first day
- Take time to discuss the job, your expectations and their responsibilities; allow time for their questions
- Introduce them to their buddy (if relevant), other colleagues and senior staff
- Provide a guided tour of the workplace
- Explain essential office systems and processes
- Outline essential health and safety information and identify any localised workplace hazards; introduce key contacts eg Health & Safety Representative and Floor Warden
- Allow them time to settle in to their workspace
- Visit later in the day to see how they're settling in
Most general staff are signed on in the HRM Division at the start of their first day. This involves the collection of information for salary puposes, the provision of a staff ID card and parking permit, and an opportunity to discuss pay and leave systems. Other staff are asked in their appointment letter to arrange a sign-on appointment on their arrival. Please ensure they make this appointment as soon as possible.
The First Week
Actions taken need to be appropriate to the position and needs of the individual, but a few examples are:
- Try to maintain daily contact to discuss progress and provide support
- Discuss the job in greater detail, outlining how it fits into the unit/department and overall organisation
- Show location of essential University policy information held on the web at www.waikato.ac.nz/official-info
- Encourage and praise progress; be alert to any problems.
Create an Individualised Induction Programme
The needs of each new staff member are different and are best catered for on an individual basis. It is valuable to meet with the staff member to map out a programme that allows the staff member to access relevant information and training/support over a three to twelve month period. Factors to be considered may include:
- Personal skills and knowledge - and any gaps
- Personal situation eg new to New Zealand/new to a university
- Specific job factors eg student supervision responsibilities, budget management, etc.
- Faculty/School/Department/Insitute/Division/Unit factors eg conference funding arrangements, administration systems
- University factors eg strategic direction, university-wide policies and guidelines.
It is recommended that you document the programme as a checklist or 'to do' list. This allows you both to see what has been covered and what still needs to be done. Take a look at our example checklist which can be adapted to suit local needs.
Ideally, responsibility for developing and completing the programme lies jointly with the manager and the new staff member. As the manager, you may need to set aside time and other resources, or delegate to others as appropriate.
Further information and ideas for a tailored programme can be found on the Information for New Staff page. The Professional and Organisational Development Unit (POD) or your HR Advisor can also assist.
Three Month Professional Goal Setting (PGS)
All eligble staff are expected to have a PGS conversation with their line manager after approximately three months in a new role. This exercise aims to check progress on understanding the role and performance expectations. It also serves as an entry interview to ensure the university is properly supporting newly appointed staff to ensure their retention and motivation.