The professional skill shortage is placing staff retention high on the agenda of employers in Singapore. After successfully recruiting the right candidate for a role, employers can ill afford to have their new starter leave during the probation period.

This is why a well-planned employee induction programme is so important. It helps to set a positive tone and reduces the time needed to settle into a new role, adjust to the team and become a productive member of the business.

Here are some tips to help your new employees settle in and start working productively as soon as possible:

Before they start

Having a structured induction plan for their first few weeks can make a potentially stressful time easier for new starters. Decide in advance what their main tasks will be during the induction period, what training they will receive and who they will need to meet.

Ensure their workspace is set up and that their login details, e-mail address and security access are organised. Don’t forget to let the other team members know when the new hires are starting and encourage people to say hello.

Cover the basics

Covering the basics on the first day is a good way of setting the scene without overwhelming new starters with information. Take them on a tour of the building, ask them to complete the necessary paperwork and talk through considerations such as company culture, work hours, dress codes and pay periods.

Once the administrative components are out of the way, talk through the induction programme using a checklist of what will be covered each day. The new starters can use the checklist as an ongoing reference point to make sure of their progress.

Give their role a context

To help engage your new employees, it is important they understand how their work fits into the bigger picture. Balance information about their daily tasks with an explanation of how their role contributes to the wider goals of the business.

Explain the broader structure of the company so they understand where their position fits. This will also provide them with an insight into future career progression opportunities.

Foster relationships

Key to your new starters’ success will be how well they understand the corporate culture and fit into their immediate team. Take the time to talk through the company’s core values and personal attitudes that are encouraged and rewarded.

Outline local and global reporting lines so they understand their relationship to key people. Proactively help them to develop relationships and contacts within the company to accelerate their sense of acceptance and belonging.

Be accessible

New starters will arrive with a number of questions about their role, the team and the company. Encourage questions and catch up regularly to demonstrate your interest in their progress and to provide an opportunity to clarify any concerns. They will still have questions after the induction period, so remain accessible through scheduled meetings.