Staff Induction - New Staff
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Information for New Staff
Every new staff member has different, and sometimes unique, induction needs. This may be due to personal factors (such as being new to New Zealand, particular family commitments, a special workplace need, etc.) or previous experience factors (have worked in the University or a similar role already, already know most of your colleagues, etc.). It is therefore important that each new staff member's induction programme be tailored to meet their individual needs. It also means that it is impossible to anticipate or accommodate every need, so individuals must recognise that they have responsibility for their own induction programmes.
The following suggestions may provide a useful starting place for developing your own programme. This information applies to both permanent and fixed term and part-time and full-time staff, but does not apply to casual staff and sessional assistants.
Health and Safety
Health & Safety Resources
Details about university health and safety practices and policies, along with a link to the university workplace accident/incident reporting form may be found at www.waikato.ac.nz/healthandsafety/.
The New Zealand Accident Compensation Corporation has developed a website to provide comprehensive information about workplace discomfort and pain called HabitAtWork which is worth a visit.
You may also find the following YouTube movies useful for good ergonomic practice and keeping yourself safe from discomfort and pain injury (DPI):
If your work is mostly sedentary think about how you can add some activity to your daily routine like joining the UniRec Centre, getting out for a walk during your lunch break or trying the following simple exercises from 3M Ergonomics:
- Executive Stretch (0:24)
- Neck Glide (0:24)
- Focusing Technique (0:26)
- Reverse the Curve Stretch (0:32)
- Hip Flexor 1 (0:29)
- Hip Flexor 2 (0:39)
Also check out the Staff Wellness web pages developed and maintained by ULeisure.
Have you been through the sign-on process? This consists of a short session in the Human Resource Management Division completing some employee data forms to enter your details into the employee system (and ultimately get onto the payroll), receiving some basic information (parking, pay queries, etc.) and getting a staff ID card (necessary for accessing services like the Library, Employee Assistance Programme, etc.).
You are also provided with an information pack at this session and it is worth spending a few minutes going through the contents.
At this session you also have the opportunity to apply for a staff parking permit and complete inland revenue documentation. It is important to ensure you have attended one of these sessions as soon as possible - preferably on your first day, certainly within the first week.
2. Personal Induction Programme
This should be one of the first "action planning" exercises you engage in. It is a process of working out your individual needs and planning how you are going to cater for them. This is best done in consultation with your line manager, as it needs to cover organisational, personal and job-related needs. To get you started we send an invitation to all new continuing staff and those employed on greater than two year fixed term contracts to a range of central induction sessions. You need to build on this by developing your own programme. Work out who you need to meet and what you need to learn to be able to do your job more effectively. Talk to your manager and colleagues and ask what they think would be of benefit.
This programme is likley to take you several weeks to complete and you will probably find that you need to add new items as new needs come to light. The complexity of this programme is likely to vary considerably between individuals - for example, someone who has been working within the unit in a similar role as a casual staff member for several weeks or months before taking up a permanent or fixed-term position is lilely to need far less induction than someone who is new to the unit, the University, the tertiary sector, to Hamilton and maybe even new to New Zealand.
After about 3 months all eligble new staff are expected to have an initial Professional Goal Setting (PGS) conversation with their line manager. This is aimed at checking progress toward understanding and adjusting to the new role. While 3 months often signals the end of the induction period, for many staff it may take longer to fully appreciate the requirements of their job. It is expected that staff will engage in a process of continual professional development and will use the PGS conversation as an opportunity to develop an annual personal professional development plan.
The University encourages a Buddy system whereby a colleague is selected to act as a guide during the first few weeks of employment. The idea is to have someone you ask about basic day-to-day practices (What do we do for tea breaks? How do we get rid of our rubbish? Can we use the phones for personal calls? etc.) which may not otherwise be covered. It provides an informal contact point for all kinds of query and is intended to assist with the initial settling in and culture shock associated with a new work environment.
The Buddy is not meant to take the role of the line manager who should also be providing information about basic practices and other work-related information, but can be a valuable supplementary source of information or means of clarifying anything you are not certain about. A Buddy can help make you feel welcome by making sure you are invited to morning and afternoon tea, meet other colleagues, find the location of key facilities (toilets, tearooms, etc.) and answer questions at times when your line manager is unavailable.
If you are interested in being assigned a buddy from another area of the University then you should discuss this option with your manager and contact the Teaching Development Unit (TDU) who have a list of experienced staff who are keen to assist - email: firstname.lastname@example.org .
4. Central Induction Sessions
The University runs two main induction activities which all new staff are expected to attend (Introductory Session and Kanohi ki te Kanohi), as well as a special induction programme for new academic staff. You should receive a personalised invitation to these activities, indicating the next scheduled date. If you are unable to attend you should sort out alternative dates or opportunities. You can view dates of all scheduled professional development events by clicking here.
Introductory Session: This is Your Place (8.45am - 12.15pm) - Monthly as required
University of Waikato Strategy and Vision; Sources of Information within the University; Employee Assistance Programme and Employee Benefits; Health and Safety; Financial Systems; Security and Emergency Preparedness; Staff Unions on campus; and a guided tour of the Hamilton campus. The session also includes morning tea and an opportunity to meet other new staff from other parts of the University.
Kanohi ki te Kanohi (Face to Face: Knowledge Connections) (8.45am - 4.30pm) - Twice a year
Preparation; Powhiri at te Kohinga Marama Marae; Tainui te Waka; Treaty of Waitangi Workshop. Session includes teas and lunch. Please advise if you have any special dietary needs.
Waikato Experience Induction Morning Tea (10.30am - 12.00pm) - Annually
This annual event provides an opportunity to catch up with other new staff and find out more about the services offered on campus for both staff and students. The information seeker's version of "speed dating", this expo style event includes a broad cross section of university service providers and operational units - and also includes morning tea. Existing staff may also find this event a useful refresher activity to maintain their understanding of current services and practices.
Other Activities - Frequency varies
There may be other activities offered as part of the annual professional development programme which you may need to attend because of particular requirements of your job - eg PGS Interviewing if you manage staff, Committee Servicing if this part of your role, Leadership and Management Skills Development, Health and Safety Representatives training, etc. Check the Professional Development web pages for further information.
Finding out More About the University of Waikato
There is a wealth of information on the university website to help you find out more about your university, but a few quick links are provided below to get you started:
New Zealand Tertiary Education Sector
Tertiary Education Commission
New Zealand Universities, Polytechnics, Wānanga and other tertiary eductation providers are established and managed under the Education Act 1989, and government interacts with them through the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC), within the Ministry of Education.
The Tertiary Education Strategy (TES) provides a five year blueprint which outlines government expectations of and priorites for the tertiary education sector.
Universities New Zealand - Te Pōkai Tara
Universities New Zealand is a collaborative body made up of all eight New Zealand Universities, represented by their Vice-Chancellors, aimed at ensuring the quality of university programmes, administering a range of scholarships and representing the universities in the public interest, both nationally and internationally. They have established an independent Academic Quality Agency which conducts an academic audit of each University within a five yearly cycle.
Ako Aotearoa was set up as part of a $20 million Government initiative to boost the quality of teaching in all branches of the post-school education sector. It is New Zealand's National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence. It's website hosts a wide range of resources for tertiary teachers and encourages research and development of tertiary teaching excellence. Ako Aotearoa also oversees annual national Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards and manages a National Project Fund to help facilitate teaching excellence and student success.