Induction, everyone must do it when you start a new job.  All too often it is incredibly boring and laborious, with lots of online, tick box training to be completed before you can be let loose within the service or organization.  While it might be a necessity, from a practical standpoint, I don’t think there is much gained from this type of induction.

So how we can we make induction not only beneficial and practical, but also meet the tick box requirements that must be done?  Here are some ideas:

  • Make it practical!  Arrange for the person to shadow/buddy with a range of team members, even if it isn’t the role they will be doing.  It is important that people not only understand their role, but what other people do as well, so that the team can work together as effectively and smoothly as possible.  In a previous role, when new OT’s or students started with our community-based home visiting service, we would arrange for them to spend time with the builders who installed our recommended modifications.  It was so beneficial to see not only how all the parts worked together, but also how what we did made a difference in the life of the people we were there to support. 
  • If possible, and people are eager to get started, provide early access to your LMS or online training to complete before they start.  Lots of people are motivated to know as much as they can before they start and can also complete this learning at their own pace.  It also means they can largely hit the ground running on their first day.
  • Be prepared and have a plan for the first day.  Have their workspace prepared with what they will need such as a new notebook, pen and/or diary.  Make sure they have all their login details for computer access too.  People will feel welcome and included from the outset.
  • Have a welcome morning tea / lunch.  Make sure the person feels valued and appreciated from the outset and take them to lunch or arrange a team morning/afternoon tea. 
  • A key part of person-centred care approaches is to understand people’s life history and life story.   A central feature of this within our MCM accredited services is for both team members and the people we support to share of themselves through memory boxes or life story books.  Incorporate life story as part of your induction process.   
  • Many services and organisations have fantastic vision/mission statements, but what happens on the ground, is not consistent with this.  Make sure the service / organisation mission and values can be seen, heard and felt in action.  If the service or organisation says that they value people, how is that demonstrated in action? 
  • Keep induction records, but don’t make it the focus of all interactions.  Making sure people are safe to work and get paid is important, but being person centred with each other is vital to providing person centred care to the people we support.

OT (Australia)
Managing Director MCM

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