Importance of Induction Training

Literature Review

2.0 Introduction

Fink (2009) defines a Literature Review as “a systematic, explicit and reducible method for identifying, evaluation and synthesizing the existing body of completed and recorded work produced by researchers, scholars and practitioners”. Saunders et al. (2009) further states that reviewing literature provides the foundation on which any research is built due to the fact that it is used to help develop a good understanding and insight into trends that have emerged. They further stated that any review is for either two (2) purpose Deductive and Inductive approach. Deductive approach is said to be used to help identify theories and ideas that you will test using data whilst Inductive approach is used to explore your data and to develop theories from them to be used to the literature.

Chapter 2 examines the importance of an “Induction Training program” and how such a program may benefit the organization thus increasing competency and capability by employees, to enhance performance in their given position as well as using strategies to improve the company’s overall performance.

An organization set amidst its competitors seeks to outperform and stand out as number one amongst them all. However, the diversity of company’s structures and cultures in our society today as well as the dynamic changes made and continue to be made due to the globalization process has harnessed an era where the adoption of new styles and behaviors poses to be a source of constant threat for organizations. To assume that after following recruiting and selecting tactics, new employees would automatically fit into the company’s ways of doing things may not be compatible in this era.

2.1 Induction Training

Foot and Hook (2008, p. 293) define Induction as; “the process of helping a new employee to settle quickly into their job so that they soon become an efficient and productive employee”. They also stated that the induction process helps create a favourable image of the organization for the new employee. “It involves the introduction of a new member of staff to the culture and environment of the organization, its policies and practices and to other members of staff” says Mullins (2002). Goyal (2007) agrees with this as he to defines it similarly as “the process of bringing/introducing/familiarizing a new recruit into the organization” and adds that “this program familiarizes the new employee about the culture, accepted practices and performance standards of the organization”.

However, though Induction programmes are highly praised by the masses, Bailey (2002) highlights that there is a one sided view on induction programs and states that “the problem with induction is that most induction training are geared mainly to achieving the goals of the organization and further to this she adds that, “these types of induction training tends to be full of formal legislative information and most individual will absorb little and retain less”. Though these statements seems true to some extent, Karve (2010) states that, “The aim of induction training is to facilitate seamless integration of newly inducted employees into an organization by achieving harmony and a sense of alignment between individual values and organizational values”.

These definitions demonstrate that the purpose of an induction program is to maximize the efficiency of new staff with the objective of allowing them to fit into the organization as quickly as possible. However, to ensure that this is achieved, the creation of a well structured Induction training programme should be geared to benefit not only the employee but also the organization and their goals. Nevertheless, we can review who, within the organization is responsible for administering this training.

2.2 Who’s responsible for Staff Induction?

In many organizations, their idea of induction training is having an “unauthorized”, unfamiliar person “hurriedly” introduce the new recruit to immediate staff and briefly informed them of all that is expected of them within the quickest time (half day or so) however, when duty commands, this inductee has to perform as if he or she has been at the job for years; employers expectations are high however their concerns are low.

In an article done by Daniels (2010) of the Chartered Institute for Personnel Development (CIPD) entitled ‘Induction’, stated that “the main responsibility of induction training lies with the line manager however the overall responsibility of establishing the company’s induction policies, programs and courses is the responsibility of the Human Resource (HR) department and some parts of the actual training would have to be conducted by HR” (dependent on the size of the organization). McConnell (2007) interjects that though HR and or the Department manager are the ideal persons to carry out induction trainings; and that no one person should be responsible for doing the entire induction program; induction should be as interactive as possible. Kumar (2000) also concur that the line manager or supervisor are the best suited individuals for induction training however he also states that giving the responsibilities to one of the new employee’s coworker would make the new recruit gain a friend and add in the dissemination of personal as well as group information. Mullins (2002) also suggested that the active cooperation of managers, supervisors are ideal for the training however, appointing a ‘buddy’ is an effective induction tool for mentoring the new employee.

The authors suggest that though it is initially the responsibility of the HR department to design and formulate induction training programs, it is a best practice that the immediate managers or supervisors be the ones to carry out the actual training however, not just one person but a series of persons specialized in the field of training and department to which the employee is introduced to, example Health and Safety suggested by McConnell (2007).

2.3 Importance of Induction Training

In an analysis done by Gregg and Wadsworth (1999) shows in a survey of 870000 workers starting new jobs in 1992 that as many as 17 percent had left within three months and 42 percent within 12 months all of which could have been accredited to none or poor induction programs. In an attempt to familiarize new staff, and to help them settle comfortably into an organization, special programs have been designed; such programs as we have learnt are called induction program. Different organizations use these programs for a diversity of reasons, however as we will see, they all have common reasons that are important to them.

Some organizations refrain from conducting any induction programs as they believe that it consumes valuable company time and resources, that they are too costly and proves to spoon feed individuals who are being paid to produce. However, according to theorist, induction training is much more than that; it is important because it helps create a favourable image of the company in the mind of the new recruit thus establishing a valuable public relations tool, Foot and Hook (2008). McConnell (2007) also highlights that this type of training serves to make the employee feel empowered and as part of the team. Also mentioned, was that it aides the employee to “fit in”, and understand the company and enable the new employee to find his or her way around the organization and develop a feeling of pride and value.

It also contributes to staff retention as the new employee feel valued. Goyal (2007) adds that induction is important as it exposes the new recruit to the organization’s philosophy, employee’s rights, responsibilities, culture and values, as well as the physical environment. Robertson (2003) outlines that induction training is important as it focus a gradual transition of cultural change; it helps in the transferral of information or knowledge and aides in networking.

The cost factor and time constraints of fast acting managers will always over shadow the long term benefits of conducting such a program. As the authors have outlined, the importance of the company’s existence will prove as Torrington et al., (2008) suggest; a reduction of turnover for the company. In an effort to estimate the time factor involved in these programs, we can look at time period for these types of programs to produce results.

2.4 Training Period

There is the discussion on how long an induction training program should be conducted. Most organizations try to squeeze an introduction within a day’s period but several suggestions have been presented on the length that this type of program should be done in order to get the best out of the new employee. Torrington et al., (2008) admits that there is no specific length for an induction program. They suggest that it all depends on the job, as for some it can be accomplished in a few days but for others it could last over a number of weeks. However, Pilbeam and Corbridge (2002) believes that it is activated during the ‘pre-engagement process’ and should not be completed until the employer and the employee are reasonably satisfied with the employment relationship. In their view, induction should be viewed in a holistic manner which makes recognition that the transition from candidate to employee may commence several months prior to starting work and continue for 12 or even 24 months into the employment. In agreement that no induction period should be done all at once, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Services (ACAS) Guide (2010) entitled, ‘Recruitment and Induction’ states that an “induction programme may be spread over several days or weeks, and may incorporate specific job training whilst Goyal (2007) added that it should be span across a period of time to avoid providing too much too soon which would lead into the employee being overwhelmed. In an effort to avoid information overload Mc Connell (2007) states that induction training should not be crammed into one day but should be spread over a period of a month.

2.5 Effects of Induction Training

When induction training is conducted, there are specific outcomes that the trainer or the organization will hope to be developed. However, some organizations have, whilst some don’t have the necessary resources to design training procedures that would encourage the appropriate learning outcome. When good or bad induction programs are conducted, particular results may be seen, some favourable and some not so favourable.

2.5.1 Impact of Bad induction program

(Goyal 2007) compares the effects of a bad induction program as being attrition. This author highlights that it leads to confusion, stress and the de-motivation of staff. McConnell (2007) also added that the effects of a bad induction can cause confusion and have great impact in the decrease in productivity as staff is unfamiliar with their position in the company. The ACAS booklet (2005) entitled ‘Induction Training’ states the effects of a poor induction training as ‘unsatisfactory performance and low job satisfaction, absenteeism, high labour turnover and resignations or dismissals, tribunal cases if employees complain of unfair, dismissal because of inadequate training, high demands on managers, accidents leading to injuries and or prosecution.” CIPD (2010) states that the effects could lead to “poor integration into the team, low morale, particularly for the new employee, loss of productivity, failure to work to their highest potential and in extreme cases, the new employee leaves, either through resignation or dismissal.

2.5.2 Effects of Good Induction

Goyal (2007) refers to good induction as retention and credits this to the employee becoming more engaged, being prepared to compete fiercely in competitive markets and helps in reducing attrition rates. ACAS booklet (2005, p. 2) credits induction as a key to improving motivation and performance, extends the range of skills of employees which enables them to become more adaptable, help employees become effective quickly. McConnell (2007) believes that a good induction program will leave the employee feeling empowered and a full part of the team, find their way around the organization faster, it reinforces the employee’s feelings of wanting to work at the organization, they become integrated and productive team members.

In a report by Von Rohr and Associates (2007), they state that “the effective induction of new staff members leads to their initial and ongoing engagement with their organization. It is also the first step in retention.”

Organizations that realizes the importance of the induction training and embark on establishing such a procedure, needs to be very mindful as to not waste company’s time and resources by not taking the process incoherently. However, as outlined by the authors, a well planned, structured and delivered program will pose to be beneficial to the organization at all stages of the relationship.

2.6 Checklist of Induction Training

The authors of this chapter are in agreement that benefits derived from an induction program and more so an effective induction program. Many companies in their efforts to incorporate all that is necessary for the smooth and effective engagement of the new employee into the organization have outlined checklists that should be followed to ensure that all areas in the induction process are covered. Kandola and Fullerton (2005) expresses that, “if an organization’s induction processes are not effective, significant numbers of staff could leave relatively quickly and this could reflect on the validity of the selection processes.” Lamb (2009) states that “staff induction should be a series of ongoing activities for a new recruit; these activities provides the time and information the new employee needs to develop and understand what their role are within the organization”.

Figure 2.1 Title: Sample Induction Checklist


Person responsible for covering this topic

Day 1

First Week

First Month


Human Resource Manager


Documentation and introduction to manager

Human Resource Manager


Hours, clocking on, flexitime, lunch breaks, overtime

Human Resource Manager


Layout of department, outline of function and introduction to staff



Tour of main work areas, staff restaurant, toilets, fire exits

‘Buddy’ or person delegated by the supervisor to look after and befriend the new starter


Health and Safety rules



The organization –products, services, the organization’s handbook

Learning and Development Officer or on company intranet


Rules and procedure – discipline and grievance

Human Resource Manager


Payment, holiday pay and sickness pay

Human Resource Manager Support materials on intranet system


Communication and consultation

Learning and Development Officer


Training and Development

Learning and Development Officer


Performance appraisal and set-up of personal development plan and reviews

Learning and Development Officer, Additional material on the intranet system



Learning and Development Officer, Additional material on the intranet system


The trade union and trade union appointed learning representatives

Shop Steward


Source: Introducing Human Resource Management (2008)

by Margaret Foot and Caroline Hook

In Figure 2.1, Foot and Hook (2008, p. 294) outlines some important areas that should be covered within the induction program and also includes who is responsible for each elements as well the appropriate times to administer the training. Appendix A (Professional Staff Induction Checklist) and B (University of Melbourne, Staff Development Unit Human Resources Checklist) are also similar checklist that highlights the important areas to be addressed when induction programs are conducted. Similarities includes, categories for time span, persons responsible for the learning delivery, health and safety, introduction to staff, rules and procedural matters, pay information etc.

In an effort to make the new employee feel engaged and a part of the organization, different checklists are developed to seek the needs of their organization.

2.7 Summary

The review of the literature aided the researcher in analyzing the Induction process to it’s’ entirety in order to generate supported theory on whether an induction program would be beneficial to new recruits in an organization. There was seldom any instances that denied its’ benefits as the author’s stated a magnitude of advantages of its implementation.

In continuing our research, the researcher would now decide and highlight the methods that would to generate theory on whether this program should be implemented or not.

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