How to create an effective hospitality induction process

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Business is certainly busy in hospitality! Over time, certain processes can be muddled or left behind altogether. One of these processes that needs your attention is your staff induction.

First impressions last, so it’s important to make sure the early days run smoothly for new team members. Feeling safe, properly trained, and relaxed is imperative to a positive journey with your company moving forward.

Most small businesses run their induction process in a haphazard way, whilst larger businesses can overlook the softer ‘culture’ issues that are now so important.

As a management refresher, this article will review the four major consideration points when creating or re-organising your official induction process. We’ll look at the documentation, collateral, company information, and action points; as well as other points you can look to include for the smoothest induction possible.


DOCUMENTATION

Making sure your new employee has all the correct documentation is crucial. Package together the following in a folder - preferably with ‘sign here’ tabs, and instructions of when and where it needs to be returned.

  • Essential Staff Information Form
  • Tax Forms
  • Banking Forms, Superannuation and Insurance Forms
  • Staff Manual and Staff Policies
  • Government’s Fair Work Information Statement
  • Job Description

Don’t just hand them a folder and expect them to get it all – make time to go through it with them! This is your opportunity to really explore what is be expected of them. Why not invite them to your venue the week before starting? This will give them plenty of time to fill out the forms in time for their first day.

COLLATERAL

Alongside the documentation, there will be other items to hand onto your new team member. Branded bags are a fun way to present them with the below, and will ensure nothing goes missing.

  • Uniform and Uniform Agreement to sign
  • Roster or work schedule (and where to find it in future)
  • Keys, passwords and access codes
  • Locker access key or swipe
  • Emergency information and contacts

If you like, you could also include any small gifts or branded merchandise you want to pass on to the new team member. Think coffee mugs, hoodies, t-shirts branded with your business’ logo, or even vouchers for local businesses.

COMPANY INFORMATION

On your new staff member’s first day, it’s crucial you take the time as soon as they arrive to ‘show them the ropes’. Throwing them into the workplace without any background information will make them panic and feel overwhelmed.

First things first, head on a tour of the business and the building: this means showing them where to find emergency exits, toilets, fire extinguishers, and other safety equipment. For those that drive, show them the carpark or spaces around the building, and for those catching public transport, show them where the stops are.

Back inside, trace the steps of a normal shift and go through any company specific information. For example, where are the menus kept? Where do you stack the furniture at the end of the day?

Other things to cover at this stage is how the business is organised with a review of your company structure and some history on how you got started. It’s also nice to let them know about your company vision and future direction.

TRAINING

The staff training will need to take place over an extended period of time, given the sheer quantity and time they’ll require. However, during the initial induction process, there are some important elements you need to cover.

These include:

  • How their job fits with your company goals
  • Meal and rest breaks
  • Smoking policy/smoking areas
  • Grooming and appearance
  • Use of mobile phones and social media
  • Who to call about lateness or absence
  • Probationary period – how long it is and how we review your progress
  • Pay day and pay arrangements
  • How to use the point-of-sale (POS) system, cash register, phone system or any essential equipment
  • How equipment works and instruction manuals

Simply put, the induction process is to show your new team member how to do their job. Encourage lots of questions and maybe even bring another staff member along for the tour to cover anything you might miss.

Induction is your time to let the business really shine: prepare well, be organised, and your new team member will be sure to start their time with your venue on the right foot.

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