New TOP 10 checklist supports induction training of young immigrants
In addition to learning their work tasks, when new employees start their job they have to become accustomed to the workplace’s rules and the whole work culture. For an employee with an immigrant background, Finnish work life as a whole may be unfamiliar. The Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH) has produced a checklist for organizations of the areas that should be covered in young immigrants’ induction training.
”Good induction training makes work easier. It is important that a young person learns ways of working that promote work ability and health at the very beginning. In this way, work continues creating well-being even at a later age,” explains Marika Nevala, Specialist at FIOH.
It is also important to inform young employees of employment-related issues such as the content of their work contracts and their rights, benefits and obligations. It is good to go through the laws and insurances that concern both the employer and employee, and the working methods of the new workplace. When young people are aware of all these things, they are better equipped to handle the various situations that may arise, and to take better care of themselves. Although it may seem obvious, they do not always know of their right to a lunch break, for example, which is essential for coping with the long working day.
”Are you advised about safe, ergonomically correct working methods? Are you encouraged to take lunch and coffee breaks? Are you told about how the workplace and occupational health services promote well-being at work?” Merja Turpeinen, Specialist Researcher at FIOH lists the important issues that need to be taken into account.
Everyone can make a young immigrant feel welcome
The supportive role of the supervisor is important for the young employee. The supervisor should give feedback, especially praise. Experiencing success at work is important, in order for professional skills and self-confidence to develop. Successful induction training leads to a joint understanding of what work needs to be done, how it needs to be done, and how to act at the workplace.
”The supervisor is mainly responsible for induction training, but the whole work community can participate: colleagues, occupational health services, the shop steward, and the occupational safety representative. In this way a new employee gains an overall picture of the workplace. It is also essential that the young immigrant is not left out of coffee break conversations. When the work community gets to know the newcomer, the foundations for good co-operation are laid,” says Nevala.
”Each member of the work community can help a young immigrant to adapt. It is good practice to introduce newcomers to the whole community, include them in conversations, and invite them to lunch and coffee,” encourages Turpeinen.
FIOH’s Promoting the work ability of young immigrants at the beginning of their careers (NuMaT) project has published a TOP 10 checklist (in Finnish), which anyone can use to check whether induction training in their organization is effective and promotes work ability. The project is funded by the European Social Fund.
Induction training on FIOH’s website
The Finnish Institute of Occupational Health researches, develops and specializes in well-being at work. It promotes occupational health and safety and the well-being of workers. It is an independent institution under public law, working under the administrative sector of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. It has six regional offices, and its headquarters are in Helsinki. It employs just under 800 people.