Getting staff started
An induction and ongoing training are important to help new employees to understand their job and to perform well in your workplace. Both set the expectations for the employment relationship.
A good induction process will help new employees settle in quickly and feel like part of the business. They will appreciate the support and your business will benefit. First impressions last, so make the first days on the job a positive experience.
What you must do
- Provide a full health and safety briefing to new staff showing them your evacuation plan, any hazards in the workplace and how to be safe from hazards.
- Provide any safety or other equipment required for the job and train them how to use it correctly.
- Let them know who to contact in case of absence or emergency. Give them a copy of the contact details to keep at home.
- Clarify start times, finish times and the duration of breaks.
- Discuss any in-house policies and rules that apply to them or their job. Give them a written copy of those work rules or policies.
- Get your new employee to complete a tax code declaration (IR330).
- If this is your first employee, you need to register as an employer with Inland Revenue. They will also advise ACC that you have become an employer.
- Set up a personal file for your new employee including a holiday and leave record and wage and time record.
What you could do
- If the employment agreement contains a probation or trial period, you should clarify the terms of the trial or probation period, your expectations and any support you will offer during the period.
- Let them know about your performance review process, or how and when you will give them feedback on their work.
- Introduce the new employee to all co-workers, supervisors and relevant people such as union delegates, health and safety representatives, fire wardens and first aid officers.
- Many workplaces have a buddy system to show a new person around and answer any questions.
- Explain any benefit schemes, such as medical insurance or superannuation, and show the employee how to sign up for these.
- Check the employee is comfortable in their workspace. For example, check the chair and desk height, and that there is enough space to do the job.
- Get the new person’s next of kin details in case of accidents or emergencies, and add this to your records. Check if they have any special medical needs, such as for asthma or diabetes, and inform your first aider.
- Touch base at the end of the day to see if they have any questions after their first day’s experience. Check with them again after their first month at work.
Give new employees the training and resources they need for the job. They will be more productive when they have the right skills, know what they are supposed to do and how their role affects the business as a whole.
What you must do
- Ensure the employee has the necessary knowledge and experience to do the job without causing harm to themselves or other people. If they do not have enough experience, have them supervised by an experienced person.
- Explain any hazards or risks that might occur when performing the task, and what to do if those risks occur.
- Provide any safety or other equipment required for the job and train the employee how to use it correctly. Even if they have used the equipment before, you need to check that they are using it properly. See the seven steps for training in the Health & Safety section of this tool for more information.
What you could do
- Outline, preferably in writing, any job training that the employee can expect to receive and is expected to participate in.
- Many training opportunities are available, both job specific and general. For example, courses to enhance communication skills can improve an employee’s confidence as well as customer and staff relationship skills.
- Speak to your relevant Industry Training Organisation to get ideas about job specific training opportunities for you and your employees.
- Training may take more than one session depending on the employee’s skill or previous experience. Be patient and allow the employee time. Get them to demonstrate and repeat back to you what they have learnt to ensure they have the right idea.
- Do follow up checks to ensure employees haven’t picked up incorrect habits when performing tasks.
- Keep records of any training your employee has received. This will help you to keep track of who has attended the training and who hasn’t.
- If a new employee claims to have already been trained on a task, ask to see their certificates to double check and supervise them until you are sure they have been suitably trained.