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Supervisor's guide to induction

A new employee's view of the University, their immediate work unit and their role is strongly influenced by early impressions. A well planned induction helps make those first impressions positive and helps the employee settle comfortably and quickly into their new role.

As a supervisor, you are responsible for ensuring new employees in your team are inducted to Southern Cross University. This does not mean you have to provide all of the information yourself.

The following resources have been prepared to help you develop an effective work unit specific induction program. Adapt the resources where necessary to meet the needs of your work unit and its new employees.

I encourage you to seek suggestions and feedback from your employees about their induction experience so, through a process of continuous improvement, your employees receive the best possible introduction to SCU.

Sharon Farquhar
Director, Human Resources

Regardless of the nature or length of your new employee's contract, it is important to invest time and thought into planning for their arrival. Consider what the new employee needs to know and avoid overloading them with information, particularly on their first day.

Aspects of the induction process may be provided by other colleagues or administrative staff. However, as a supervisor, it is your responsibility to manage this process to ensure your new employees receive the information and support they need.

Things to do before your new employee arrives:

  • Make sure everything is ready, their work area is tidy, equipment is in working order and, where required, the following resources are available:
    • Computer (with appropriate applications installed);
    • Telephone;
    • Office supplies;
    • Organisational chart, phone list etc; and
    • Email distribution lists (where appropriate).
  • Arrange access and schedule training for University systems such as Email, Concur, T1-Financials, Student One, Aurion and Blackboard;
  • Inform work unit colleagues of the new employee's details and date of arrival and ask their assistance in helping the new employee settle in;
  • Contact the employee and arrange a time and place for them to report to on their first day. If you cannot meet them on their first day, arrange for someone else to do so;
  • Inform them of parking options and remind them about what they need to bring with them on their first day as specified in their letter of offer or contract of employment;
  • Consider nominating a mentor;
  • Arrange a social event such as a morning tea to welcome the new employee and introduce them to their colleagues;
  • Create a list of key people and schedule meetings if necessary; and
  • Use the Induction checklist template to develop a checklist that reflects both the work unit and new employee's requirements.

Things to do on the employee's first day:

  • Greet the new employee personally at the arranged time or nominate a colleague to do so. If you cannot be there to meet them, arrange a meeting later in the day to familiarise the new employee with their new role and your expectations;
  • Explain the induction process and provide the employee with their Induction Checklist;
  • Inform the employee of who they should see if they have questions;
  • Ask them to work through the relevant components of the Corporate Induction on their first day and remind them the remainder needs to be completed during their first week;
  • If the employee is required to work at the Gold Coast campus, explain the need to complete the compulsory Emergency Evacuation Training as part of the induction.
  • Discuss Photo ID, keys and access requirements;
  • Complete the Work Unit WHS checklist;
  • Forward any outstanding documentation to HR Services;
  • Arrange a tour of employee's immediate work area, relevant offices, lecture theatres, computer laboratories, staff rooms, toilets and other immediate work area facilities. Provide a campus map and suggest the employee explore the campus;
  • Introduce the new employee to colleagues they will be working with. Encourage a sense of belonging to the work group at a welcome morning tea or other social event;
  • Explain the job:
    • Discuss the scope and duties of the job (use the position description);
    • Cover the duties briefly at first, introducing and explaining each major task in more detail progressively over the first week, to avoid information overload; and
    • Check the staff member's understanding of their duties, ask for questions and/or feedback.
  • Arrange to meet the new employee at the end of the day to review their reactions to the first day and to answer any questions which may have arisen.

During the new employee's first week, maintain regular contact with them to help them settle in. Use this contact to discuss any questions that may arise.

Things to do during the employee's first week:

  • Arrange for the new employee to meet with the work unit's administration staff to explain the work unit's processes, local computer and email systems, telephone and mail systems, how to go about ordering supplies, business cards (if appropriate), how to use the photocopier and other equipment;
  • Introduce their mentor, if appropriate, or refer the employee to the mentoring program;
  • Explain the roles of key staff (Head and Deputy Head of the Work Unit, Course Coordinator, Managers etc) in the work unit and their financial, HR and other delegations;
  • The major tasks of their position and priority projects and how the person's role fits into the team's plans, the work unit's overall activities and the University's vision and goals;
  • Explain work unit practices, expectations and culture;
  • Discuss the University's Strategic Plan and values that guide the person's performance;
  • Discuss performance and behavioural expectations. Review and give feedback on the employee's performance to date and, if appropriate, identify any scheduled training requirements;
  • Briefly explain the performance review and planning process, including probation (if it applies to the new employee). Outline the employee's role in the process, including their rights and obligations;
  • Legal, ethical and compliance requirements, including their Code of conduct obligations;
  • University website that is relevant to the employee's role and employment (eg student processes including grade submission, academic board, research guidelines, financial and HR policies and procedures);
  • Other University resources and services that may be relevant to the work being completed by the employee, such as the University Library and the Centre for Teaching and Learning;
  • Explain HR matters such as hours of work, attendance records/claim forms (if required) and access to MyHR.  Provide casual employees information of pay cycles; and
  • Ensure they have completed the remaining part of their Corporate induction, including EO Online.

Maintaining regular contact and discussing work performance during an employee's first few months enables you to manage their performance by:

  • Giving constructive feedback, including praise and encouragement, on the employee's strengths and weaknesses;
  • Inviting suggestions for continuous improvement within the work unit; and
  • Identifying and clarifying performance matters.

Things to do during the employee's month:

  • Maintain contact and review the employee's progress regularly;
  • Follow up uncompleted tasks;
  • Monitor progress and provide feedback on any agreed outcomes or probationary conditions. Check their progress towards completing any compulsory training requirements;
  • Conduct a probationary review (if required);
  • Arrange meetings with key staff from other units;
  • Discuss key issues;
  • Discuss relevant policies, procedures and delegations;
  • Ensure the employee has completed all aspects of the Corporate induction; and
  • Invite feedback on the employee's induction experience.