Five employee induction tips from the Fair Work Ombudsman

The Fair Work Ombudsman has highlighted the importance of employee inductions, saying employers who fail to properly induct new employees risk disrupting their entire workplace.


In an article for The Sydney Morning Herald, Fair Work Ombudsman Nicholas Wilson said his office investigates complaints from more than 20,000 employees nationally each year.


According to Wilson, it only takes one disgruntled worker to disrupt an entire workplace, while one poorly handled performance decision can give an employer a bad reputation.


“Most employers are well aware of the dangers of having a disgruntled worker, but I suspect not all are aware of the practical things they can do, particularly at the induction of a new worker, to help avoid the problem in the first place,” Wilson wrote.

Problems can begin with lax management practices when employees start their jobs and those issues can compound over time.”


“Many of the complaints we receive could have been prevented if the manager had been more thorough in inducting new employees.”


Here are five of the Ombudsman’s top tips for engaging new staff:

  • Establish performance expectations. Clearly explain the employee’s responsibilities, key work tasks and standards required, as well as the rewards for achieving them.
  • Be sensitive and respectful. Ask employees if they have any personal requirements related to cultural, medical, language, disability, family or any other factors, and be respectful and as accommodating as possible.
  • Get the pay right from day one. Before a new employee starts, the employer should ensure they know which industrial instrument, classification and pay rates apply.

    One of the easiest ways to put an employee offside is to short-change them.

  • Understand your employee’s induction rights under workplace laws. Employers are now required to provide all new employees with a copy of the Fair Work Information Statement.

    The statement provides a handy summary for employees of their workplace rights.

  • Keep the lines of communication open. Make it clear from the outset that employee initiative and suggestions are encouraged, and that the boss’s door is open if employees are concerned or uncertain about any issue.

This will help prevent issues festering and snowballing.


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