Welcome, You’ve Got The Job!

Induction training is one of those areas that is consistently over looked, particularly in real estate. In this article Paula Irvine explains how good ‘induction procedures’ will lead directly to you agency being more productive.

Welcome. You’ve Got the Job!

Making a new, probably unproductive employee into a quality performer quickly and painlessly is in your interest and theirs. A strong induction process is the key. Read how to implement.

Induction training is an area consistently over looked, particularly in real estate. Even if induction occurs it usually consists of showing people where the toilet is, where the coffee is, their desk and possibly an introduction to other staff. Induction is more then this – it is vital to a confident employee who will become productive very quickly.

Planning should begin for induction of the new employee as soon as the job offer is accepted. Induction is the opportunity to provide the new employee with:

  • Introduction to the company culture and values or “how we do things around here”
  • Background information on the company
  • Organisational structure, work hours, OHS, company policies etc.
  • Detailed understanding of what their role is including all information needed to perform their role effectively, any targets and how their performance will be measured
  • IT training on the agency systems, data research tools, etc
  • Introduction to their “buddy” – the staff member who will assist with any questions, guiding them through the first few works and on going training.

A good way to provide all the information required by a new employee is an ‘induction package’.

Small agencies are often have little or no formal induction processes mainly due to time, no understanding of the vital role induction training plays in getting that new employee “up to speed” and cost. Inductions should be seen as an investment activity. An effective, thorough induction can accelerate new employee integration into the agency and make individuals operationally and productive more quickly.

Induction can reduce the anxiety and stress of new employees and start the employee employer relationship off on the right note. There are also legal implications to for a thorough induction. New employees need to be aware of all company policies and procedures including, but not limited to, health and safety, equal opportunity, codes of conduct etc.

New employees take time to settle in to their jobs. Even employees who are promoted within the same agency are not fully productive in their new positions for some time. It is during this time that staff members are more likely to leave. Effective induction programmes can minimise this non productive time period and help ensure the retention of employees.

In order to fully benefit the agency and employee, the induction program needs to be planned in advance. A timetable should be prepared, detailing the induction activities for the first week and the following 3 months. The “buddy” will be responsible for each activity. This plan should be circulated to everyone involved in the induction process, including the new employee. If possible it should be sent to the new employee in advance.

The “buddy” should be a person who the new employee will not be working with directly, but who can undertake some of the tasks on the induction program, as well as generally make the new employee feel welcome. (For example, by ensuring they are included in any relevant meetings or regular social activities.)

A typical induction programme could l include:

  • a guided tour of the building including evacuation procedures
  • introductions to key members of staff
  • any legal requirements (for example OHS training)
  • any regulatory requirements (for example any forms that need to completed)
  • completion of any government requirements (for example, tax forms/ superannuation forms)
  • introduction to terms and conditions (for example, holiday entitlement, how to make expense claims, etc)
  • set-up of payroll details
  • a basic introduction to the company
  • specific job-role training

An induction program should be:
1. Interactive

An induction program, like any good training program, should be interactive. New employees should be invited to discuss and respond to information, not just sit passively “soaking it all up” (people often forget most of what is just ‘told’ to them.) The training environment should always be a relaxing, pleasant one so that new employee can really feel comfortable and take in new information – this is especially important when they are suffering from first-day nerves.

2. Tailored
The induction program needs to be tailored to the individual. A personalised folder, name badge and a “buddy” who is familiar with at least the basics of their CV can be a very comforting welcome to a new starter. Ideally there should be the opportunity to tailor information and focus on the areas and information for the particular role.

3. Well delivered
The induction is the first opportunity for the new employee to experience their new workplace. If the “buddy” is not a good speaker or does not facilitate well, then the new starter may become bored and disillusioned and may even question their choice of employment. Induction “buddies” should be selected for their training delivery skill and their knowledge and experience of the agency.

4.Well structured

An induction program needs to be planned. It should allow new employees get their bearings on site, ensure they have all the relevant access passes, keys, permits and log-ons they need. Provide information about facilities such as toilet facilities and tea and coffee facilities, and know the basic expectations of them for the duration of their training (ground rules, timekeeping, etc). These topics need to be covered in order for the new employee to feel comfortable and before the formal on the job training commences.

The on the job training needs to follow a plan –
a good rule of thumb is to follow through the work flow – from one task to the next. The ‘buddy” needs to allow time to reflect, ask questions and practice before moving to the next task.

The induction and training plan should be for the full period of induction.

Induction is a MUST!

The importance of a thorough induction process cannot be stressed enough. Induction ensure a happy, productive and committed employee. It ensures that all employees see the agency as a professional, well run office and a great place to work. A great induction process also assists in retention of staff thus reducing the costs associated with the loss of staff and the ensuing recruitment process.

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Paula Irvine

Paula is a well respected Real Estate agent with over 25 years of practical experience across the industry and property training. Paula is the RTO Manager at Harcourts Academy.