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Help for small firms

Settling in a new employee: A step-by-step guide

Settling in a new employee - Useful tools: Real-life situation

You spent a long time getting the selection and interview process right, and now you're itching to get your new employee started.

Surely, there's no better way for them to learn than throwing them in at the deep end? Also, they need to get moving straight away on a big new order. You can always fill in the gaps later.

So, what do you do next? Get them working on that order?

In an ideal world, the employee's first day or days should be devoted to their induction. Otherwise, they may start to question where they fit in - and that's how misunderstandings start.

However, the realities of running a small business can mean that best-laid plans sometimes have to be put on hold for a while.

If that new order really has to be the priority, then explain the position to your new employee and how vital it is for the business that they help with it on their first day, and apologise for having to postpone their induction.

But, at the same time, reassure them that you are fully committed to them having a full induction as soon as possible so they understand their role and genuinely feel part of the business. Also explain the need for everyone to be flexible in a small business, where there can be only a few staff to meet a sudden influx of demands.

Next, as soon as the order is in hand, dedicate the new employee's time to their induction - and thank them for their understanding and flexibility.

But first on day one, before they actually do start on that order, you must ensure they know how to do their job safely so they do not harm themselves or their colleagues, they know what to do in an emergency, and they have been shown the way to the toilet, washing, first aid, drinking water and rest room facilities.

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