SRINIVASAN IYER explains how Themis Laboratories Pvt. Ltd. Inculcates belongingness and pride in new employees through a well-structured induction policy.
Starting a new job is a demanding and stressful experience. Apart from the
obvious challenge of tackling new tasks, there is also the need to become accustomed to a new organization, a new working environment, new colleagues and possibly a new living environment. The purpose of induction is to support new employees during this period and help them become fully integrated into the Company as quickly and easily as possible.
Induction has benefits for all involved in the process. Employees who settle quickly into their new job will become productive and efficient at an early stage and in turn will experience feelings of worth and satisfaction. Induction is also an essential part of the employer’s obligations to ensure a safe, healthy and enjoyable work place. It is an opportunity for both partners in the selection process to confirm or review their decision to work together. Finally, an effective induction reduces costs associated with repeated recruitment, training and staff turnover.
The core management of Themis Laboratories Pvt. Ltd. recognizes the importance of attracting and retaining skilled and motivated people. It ensures that new employees receive a planned and professional welcome. Themis is a privately owned company incorporated in 1985, with its HQ in Mumbai. The company develops oral controlled release & modified release formulations. It has a world class oral solid dosage form manufacturing facility at Ambernath with a capacity to manufacture 30 million capsules and 50 million tablets per month.
While most companies have an induction process, it is perceived as a HR responsibility. At Themis, inculcating a sense of belongingness and pride in new employees is a strategic initiative. Mr. Janak Shah, Managing Director and Mrs. Maya Shah, Executive Director discovered that each of their managers had their own individual beliefs of induction and how it should be done. They not only decided to seek professional help in preparing an induction manual but work closely with the HR team to ensure that every employee of Themis receives a well-structured induction.
An ideal Induction Manual should ensure new employees are welcomed into the Company in a consistent and professional manner. It should provide an overview of the organization and enable the new employee to see where they fit in to the big picture. Themis’ Induction Manual outlines the procedures and guidelines for managers and employees to follow during the induction process. All managers and employees are expected to adhere to these procedures. Relevant formal training necessary to assist in the induction process is also provided.
The HR Department has issued a detailed checklist to all the line managers. It’s the responsibility of every line manager to ensure effective monitoring of the induction process, particularly in the first three months. Any problems encountered by new employees must be dealt with promptly.
When should the induction process start? Recruitment is not complete until the individual is effective in the job and has adopted the values of the organization. Induction should start during the recruitment process and should certainly cover the period between acceptance and the employee becoming effective in the new role. It is important for both external and internal recruits – both have things they need to know if they are to contribute effectively. The induction process at Themis meets the above criterias.
How long should the induction be? Rather than a mere one day introduction, induction should be planned and paced over several days or weeks, marking the beginning of the new employee’s personal and professional development within the organization and allowing the employees to integrate into the organization.
According to Mr. Naresh Shah, President Global Marketing & HR at Themis, one if its key stated objectives is to be an organization with individuals who are innovative, creative and good team players. In line with this objective, the HR at Themis sees a new employee on the first day of employment to carry out the necessary personnel and administrative arrangements. The Induction Kit at Themis includes the employee welcome letter, personal information form, the employee’s job description, the employee handbook, the corporate induction schedule and the corporate induction learning material.
An induction can never be effective if it is driven by HR without the support of the line managers. At Themis, it is the immediate manager’s responsibility to ensure that an induction programme is implemented for every new employee who joins the team. HR sends out a corporate mailer informing everyone in the company about the new joinees. However, the Managers, in whose department the new employee joins, send a detailed mail to their team members informing them about the new member in the team.
The socialization of a new employee is a critical part of the induction and can reflect in the employee’s satisfaction in their new working environment. Managers arrange a departmental meeting on the first day of the new employee to formally introduce him/her to the team. Arrangements are also made for the new employee to visit other departments with which he/she needs to work closely in the course of their duties.
The Company holds corporate induction sessions that all new employeesare required to attend. Sessions are held monthly and include all relevant information about Themis , the organizational chart, its products and facilities. New employees are coached on organizational sensitivity and grooming and business etiquette. Besides responsibility orientation and support goals, new members of the Themis family learn how to be an effective brand ambassador of Themis.
In addition to the corporate induction, new members of the Themis family also undergo a local induction that is specific to their area of work. They are explained as to how their job fits into the structure of the department. Managers agree personal objectives with the new employee. The objectives are reviewed regularly through the first three months and revised to more long-term objectives at the end of this period. Managers also ensure that the employee understands how his/her performance will be appraised and how it is linked to pay. Training specific to the job is also an important part of induction.
You don’t have to be a large organization to initiate a structured induction process. Themis is a Rs.120 crore company that aims to become a Rs. 500 crore company by the year 2013. The induction manual and process of Themis is a benchmark for small and large organizations to emulate.