Induction and Training
Induction and ongoing training involve teaching people initially about the role and offering ongoing opportunities for renewal and to learn new skills. Providing such opportunities for the people who work for you can increase their enjoyment of the role and can increase the likelihood of them staying longer in your employment.
The induction and training required for any worker will depend on the position that needs to be filled and on each new worker's background and experience. For example, someone may have been working in a support role in a residential setting and will need to understand the difference between this work environment and a self-directed arrangement.
The type of training will also depend on whether they are engaged as a Contractor with expected outcomes and goals in mind and an expectation they will bring suggestions and ideas to the role, or whether they are engaged to assist with one particular aspect such as physical fitness, cooking, tutoring.
Induction and training involve both the practical part of the role and issues beyond the practical. You may wish to include a discussion about the kind of life you would like to live and how you plan to achieve that.
The induction process follows on from the interview and helps to set the tone of the relationship. Inductions can either assist in establishing a good long term working relationship or set the worker up to fail from the start.
An induction is the time to:
- Set your level of expectation of the role
- Clarify any ambiguity and misunderstanding of the role that could lead to poor performance, unsafe working practices and reliability
- Be clear that about who has the authority to make decisions
- Deal with all the paperwork required for payroll
- Look at the practical issues like safe working practices, avenues for the people you employ to express a disagreement or to make a complaint.
Keep a booklet or a folder with all the necessary information and paperwork for the induction. This is a useful strategy for making sure you cover all important topics for for each new worker.
This Induction Checklist list is an example of everything that needs to be covered. A checklist like this could be very helpful for people mentoring others in the role. It is also a useful document to have so that new workers can sign off that they have been advised about all aspects of their role.
It is a good idea to review workers' performance or abilities regularly to see if they are meeting your expectations. Do they need further training from other staff, outside training opportunities or time to practice skills? A review is a good time to discuss whether the current role is meeting your needs or if the role description needs to be adjusted in any way.
Successful training would involve a variety of approaches to take into account people's different learning styles. Consider actual demonstrations of how to do particular tasks, supervision and mentoring as well as providing training videos and articles to read. Ask for feedback and review what training people might need as circumstances change.
Who can help?
The Victorian Government document, Supporting decision making: A guide to supporting people with a disability to make their own decisions, outlines seven principles behind supporting decision making and give examples of what these look like in practice when you employ people in support roles.
Training in practical areas such as first aid and workplace health and safety are offered by many organisations including Red Cross and St John's Ambulance and businesses like HERT and Allens Training in Queensland.
Training for support workers in different forms of communication is available from organisations such as Qld Facilitated Communication Inc and AGOSCI a national organisation concerned with types of augmented and alternative communication.
The Fair Work Ombudsman website has general information for employers and includes information about the particular induction and training needs for young workers.
Read more about other stages of the Recruitment Process.