In Part 1 of this series (here) we explored the first elements of a good New Staff process in the unique and challenging P&C environment.  We did a deep dive on position descriptions, selection approach and criteria, job ads, application and interview processes as well as reference checking and work trials.  Now we will examine what to do once you have found your new staff and investigate the paperwork associated with the offer of employment and the establishment of a new employee, as well as the critical training and onboarding processes that are needed to take a new employee from zero to retail hero.  We will also explore the important elements of review.

As noted last month the considered and appropriate selection and training of staff is key to the stability and success of the business.  Being able to source appropriate staff and assist them to achieving competency in their role requires planning, documentation and engagement.

A considered recruitment, selection and onboarding system allows for the quick and effective communication to all staff not only what is expected of them, but also how to achieve and exceed expectations within the business.

Appropriate staff recruitment, selection and onboarding also has a compliance element.  Following carefully considered systems and processes ensures that employee rights are communicated and respected and that the business can demonstrate compliance in the area of employment law, work health and safety training requirements as well as tobacco and environmental requirements.

While recruitment and selection, as explored last month, are about locating the right person for the role, Onboarding is a broad term given to the activities that ease the employee into the business and their role.

Onboarding includes;

  1. Offering the role
  2. Establishing the candidate as an employee in the business systems
  3. Inducting the new employee into the business operations
  4. Training the new employee in their new role
  5. Observing the new employee in the discharge of their duties

Each of these elements of Onboarding come with important compliance and business requirements, and we will investigate each separately below.

Offering the role

Once the candidate has been selected the business needs to offer the role to them.  The compliance requirements around the offer to the employee will differ depending on the status (casual or permanent) of the employee but at a minimum must include;

  • Outlining the employment instrument
    • In the case of fuel retail workers this is most often the Award
  • Providing a copy of the employment instrument
    • A copy of the instrument that will apply has to be provided to the employee so they can read and understand it.  Providing a link is acceptable
  • Outlining the classification of the employee in the employment instrument
    • An example for fuel retail workers would be Console Operator R4.  It is important to understand that this classification is different from the Job Title, which could be, for example Customer Service Rep.  The Classification is the title that the employment instrument gives and must be confirmed to the employee.
  • Outlining the status of the employee (permanent or casual)
    • An employee is either Permanent or Casual.  There are no other status.  There is no such thing as a permanent casual status, or a part time status.  The status of the employee is either Permanent (which can be worked full time or part time) or Casual (which can be worked on any pattern as offered and accepted)
  • Outlining the guaranteed hours of the employee
    • This must be in the format of the day/s that the employee will work, the time they will start and the time they will finish each day – total hours is not acceptable.  It is worth noting that the Guaranteed Hours for a casual employee can be expressed as “as a casual employee there are no guaranteed hours”
  • Providing a copy of the Statutory Information Statements
    • The Fair Work Information Statement (most recent one) for all staff, and the Casual Employment Information Statement for casual staff

Failure to provide this information, and be able to demonstrate that it has been provided will result in a breach of the Fair Work Act and the Award – so it is vital that it is provided in writing and acknowledged by the employee as having been provided.

Pro Tip:  If you have current staff that you are not able to demonstrate this information for then you should undertake a Confirmation of Employment process.  ACAPMA Members can reach out to employment@acapma.com.au for templates and guidance to address this common area.

The offer is also a great time to confirm some of the key elements and expectations of the role such as business policies and fuel quirks, like the operation of crib breaks or smoking onsite/at work.

ACAPMA Members can access detailed Letter of Offer templates , guidance and checklists by contacting employment@acapma.com.au

Establishing the New Employee on the Business Systems

The employees details should be confirmed on the system, including tax, superannuation, next of kin and other emergency information.  An employee file should be started for the employee and copies of the job ad, application, letter of offer, new starter forms and all future employment documents, like copies of training evidence, performance management and commendations should be placed on the file for future reference.

Inducting the New Employee into the Business

Induction is the process of familiarising new employees with the site, the Business Policies and Standard Operating Procedures and Task Instructions so they are motivated and productive as soon as possible.

Induction should cover;

  • Introduction to fellow employees
  • Business policies
  • Code of Conduct
  • Health and safety and environment and risk requirements and standards
  • Dress code
  • Hygiene standards for people and the store
  • Duties and expectations
  • Hours and breaks
  • Roster and Payroll and associated procedures
  • Leave procedures
  • Security procedures
  • Fire and Emergency procedures,
  • Commencement Training,
  • Standard Operating Procedures and Task Instructions, and
  • Customer service

When inducting a New Starter it is important to remember that new staff are exposed to a lot of specific information in a short time period, so inductions should be structured to review and repeat information at different times, and in different ways to ensure that the new staff member understands all of the information that they are given.

Following the Induction Checklist and completing the Training Register ensures that none of the important steps of induction are missed.

ACAPMA Members can access detailed Induction Checklists and resources by contacting employment@acapma.com.au

Training the New Employee in their Role

It is a requirement of the law that the business train all employees in the risks and hazards associated with their work.  It is a business imperative that the business train the staff in the way the business insists on completion of tasks and the standard operating instructions.

For each role the business should develop a Learning and Development Plan that outlines what skills and competencies an employee must have and outlines the training (formal or otherwise) that the employee needs to undergo in order to achieve in the role.

It is vital that records of the training provided to staff are kept in a Training Register

ACAPMA Members can access detailed Standard Learning and Development Plans for Fuel Retail Workers and resources including Sample Training Registers by contacting employment@acapma.com.au

Observation of the New Employee

Fuel retail is typically a role that is undertaken by a single employee working alone.  While it is important to verify that any new employee understands the information and training they have received, it is even more vital in the context of an employee who is in charge of a dangerous goods site that is working alone.  Before allowing a new employee to work alone their knowledge and competency, particularly to respond to incidents onsite, should be verified by observation and that verification recorded.

ACAPMA Members can access detailed Ready to Work Alone Assessments by contacting employment@acapma.com.au

Next time…HR Questions and Conundrums… Can casuals work the same hours every week? How long can an unpaid mentorship go on for? Can juniors retail restricted products? Are Site Managers Award Free?

Here to Help

This article is general in nature and covers things to consider, implement and watch out for in your business. It is provided as general advice and you should seek further advice on your situation.  ACAPMA Employment Professionals are available to assist ACAPMA members via employment@acapma.com.au. ACAPMA membership is affordable at only $810inc GST per year for a single site and valuable with sites gaining HR advice support and representation as well as a raft of other benefits and discounts.  Visit: https://acapma.com.au/membership/   to learn more or to apply for ACAPMA membership.

Elisha Radwanowski BCom(HRM & IR)
Executive Manager for Employment and Training
ACAPMA

Adapted from an ACAPMA article first published in Convenience World June 2022

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