At the start of lockdown we were informed that the library team was being re-deployed to support staff induction as the usual group corporate induction could no longer take place. This was to support managers, particularly in clinical areas, to save them time and enable them to concentrate on caring for patients.
It was expected that we would no longer deliver a library service, although staff would still be able to access online resources.
4 people in total were identified to deliver induction including 2 library staff. Capacity issues soon identified a need for more staff to be involved and another library staff member joined.
There were 2 meetings to sort out how the new process would work. In brief, there was a rolling programme where we were each allocated with a number of new starters to ‘induct’. This involved contacting them and their manager to explain the process, sorting their ID badges, smartcards, uniform, IT login details and systems they needed access to.
On their first day we met with them (on a 1:1 basis) in the library to do their induction. We gave them their ID badges, got their IT passwords and ensured they could log in, showed them how to input their bank details and then checked relevant e-learning was loaded and helped with any issues they had. We also went through the local induction checklist with them which involved showing them our intranet, key policies, and what health and wellbeing support was available.
This face to face induction lasted for 1 hour and was the most valuable aspect of the induction process for us. Particularly as it was a positive introduction to the library and we were able to discuss services we offer that would be helpful to the new-starters in their role.
Staff morale as the message we heard was that the library service was not important. There was a capacity issue as despite being told we were not expected to offer a library service, we continued to do so. Staff induction had to take priority as we were always working to deadlines; the whole process did take over a lot of headspace as we were constantly checking where we were up to with 20 + staff each at any one time, chasing for documentation etc. and noting everything on an induction tracker spreadsheet.
Positive Outcomes / Lessons learned
- Increased understanding of the recruitment process
- Greater understanding of ESR and e-learning system
- Closer working relationship with HR colleagues, but also with managers across the Trust whose staff we were inducting
- Increase in numbers joining the library
- Fuller induction to the library
- Appreciation of our skills and the excellent job that we did
- Positive image of the library and library staff – good feedback received from new starters
- Acknowledgement that the library users never went away and that the library was a valued resource and space for Trust staff
- Agreement to improve communication should we ever be in a similar situation again
- We all realise that we like our library work – although some of do miss that contact with the new starters
The support for induction was formally stopped in September, despite some managers asking for us to continue with it.
Now we are “back to the day job” .