What if your school staff said your induction procedures were fabulous?
There is no getting away from the fact that induction of new staff is a really key activity as it speaks so much about what your organisation values and how it operates.
In many ways, it is the new staff’s first impression of their new school and must be planned and executed with care.
However, the induction of new staff is not easy as it is a balancing act between imparting lots of important information and welcoming new staff to your school. Below are my top tips, gleaned over many years of running induction sessions for new staff.
1. Less is more
Do not over-plan the day by filling it with ‘death by PowerPoint’ presentations.
New staff to schools often say how overwhelmed they feel by the quantity of information they have to retain, but remember that nobody can sit through more than 30 minutes of information sharing. Think carefully about the key messages to impart to your new staff and cover the details concerning some pre-reading material and/or key documents in your school handbook.
2. Pre-record key sessions
We are all now very proficient with pre-recorded presentations and posting them online.
Why not pre-record your new staff induction sessions and let your new staff access them in their own time so they can better manage their workload and prioritise the training they need?
This has the bonus of allowing new staff to revisit sessions, and it supports the induction of new staff joining at any point in the academic year.
New staff could watch pre-recorded presentations before attending an induction day and bring any queries along with them about what they have seen and heard.
3. Make it interactive
In the same way, our students respond well to various learning activities, so do adults!
Try to build plenty of opportunities for the induction sessions to be as interactive as possible. Rather than a tour of the school, consider using a map to run a ‘treasure hunt’ where new staff work in competitive pairs to find key locations, staff or information around the school site.
Instead of going through your health and safety protocols or behaviour management system, use a low-stakes quiz to see how much has sunk in from pre-reading or pre-recorded presentations. Set up a WhatsApp group for the new staff so they can ask questions at any point to the induction lead.
4. Time with their teams
Whether a new teacher or a new member of the support staff team, time with the group of colleagues they will be working with most regularly is well spent.
Ensure at least half a day is set aside for each new member of staff to spend with their line manager or team. Make sure this time (too) is as carefully planned as the rest of the induction day.
5. Get feedback
Ask new staff how they found their induction and use the feedback to amend and plan for the next round of staff induction. Anonymous forms and structured questions to improve work really well.
Getting new staff on the right track from the start, is the first step to a successful year. You are also providing an excellent first impression of your school.