'Selfstart' by Hugh Garai and David Hill

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Selfstart.
Hugh Garai and David Hill.
Echelon, 1999. A4 ringbinder, £195.
ISBN 1901600 05 X.

A number of research studies have shown that there is more likelihood of new employees settling down faster, making a speedier and effective contribution to the organization and their department, and staying with the company if there is an early, effective course of induction. Organizations who have training departments usually run highly effective induction programmes, but not every company has the benefit of services of this nature, either through choice or because they are not large enough to support such a service. In the latter case, rather than not doing anything, new employees should be encouraged to self-develop in these early stages, with the support of a mentor, manager or personnel manager. Self-development is not easy and the new employee will have many questions about how to go about it; the company may have little more knowledge.

This collection of self-starter, self-development activities can guide both the employee and mentor through this important period. The collection consists of 30 activities that can be followed progressively during the induction period. They cover three major areas – Understanding my role (11 activities); Knowing the business (9 activities); and Working with others (10 activities). The activities themselves range from ‘Understanding my job’, ‘Knowing my personal helplines’, and ‘Working with my manager’; through ‘What business are we in?’, ‘Our organization’s values’, and ‘Our organization’s image’; to ‘Working with my team’, ‘Treating others fairly’ and ‘Developing myself further’.
Recommendations are made that the new employees and their line or personnel managers hold regular meetings together and suggested talking-points for each stage are given.

Each, very clear and straightforward activity describes its purpose, methods of achieving the aims, and contains all appropriate questionnaires, guidelines and checklists. The final activity contains a format for producing a development plan for the remaining part of the first year in their job. The 30 induction activities are intended to be completed ideally within their first month.
This is a well-recommended collection of activities , custom-designed for the particular purpose, clearly written and presented, and are suitable for the lone new employee, the mentor- or manager-supported learner, and also to help trainers responsible for induction programmes to develop an effective programme.

Leslie Rae
April 1999

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