No one can walk into a new job and be fully effective from day one – effectiveness grows with understanding of the farm. Employees perform better and are more likely to stay in the job longer when they are clear about what is expected from the very beginning.
An induction is designed to provide new employees with all the information they need to do their job effectively, enjoyably and safely. Inductions are an opportunity to familiarise new employees with the environment, layout, policies and processes of the farm business and establish the ways of working upfront. These may include:
- observing work health and safety requirements and the layout and location of safety equipment;
- understanding policies (e.g. safety, security and anti-discrimination);
- being aware of, and following operating manuals;
- knowing who to contact in an emergency situation;
- asking questions if there is any uncertainty;
- knowing how to do common administrative tasks; and
- having an appreciation of the whole farm business (not just the part they are involved in).
Read more about the different types of workplace policies (including templates) to develop these for your farm
Use an induction checklist
As an employer, you need to allow adequate time to ensure new employees receive appropriate induction training and support. This includes covering all aspects of an occupational health and safety induction. You have a responsibility to be supportive – it is important to encourage new employees to ask questions throughout the process to ensure they fully understand.
Using an induction checklist ensures all necessary areas have been covered and everyone is clear about expectations. After the induction, ensure the new employee signs your induction checklist (preferably before they start work) – this will provide you with written acknowledgement that the employee has been shown and understands the basics of the position.