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Welcome to Swale

Next Steps in your Role

Let’s get started!

Each stage of the journey will give you an idea of what you can expect. It will also provide you with guidance on what actions you are required to complete and what key actions your manager is responsible for at the relevant stages.

Your first day

Your introduction will help you understand the requirements of your role and how to effectively deliver and contribute to your department's priorities. This may vary within each section of the Council, depending on their priorities and objectives.

You can expect:

  • All IT and other work equipment will be available to you
  • An introduction to job related equipment from a nominated officer
  • If you need a laptop to carry out your role you will be supplied this along with other equipment on your first day. Our IT team will provide a demonstration of our corporate systems such as Teams, Outlook etc which should last about 30 minutes. This is a good opportunity to request any additional software you may need. You can find further guidance on our systems please visit through our IT service.
  • Arrangement of future one to one meetings which will allow you to discuss your role and objectives with your line manager
  • Introduction to key contacts, the wider team and colleagues which may include a team buddy
  • An explanation of the induction process and when your manager will discuss the key probation stages
  • You will receive login details for iTrent from Human Resources on your first day. iTrent processes things like annual leave requests. If you do not receive these details please speak to Human Resources or your line manager.

Managers responsibilities

  • Provide you with key Health & Safety Information. For example fire escape routes, muster points, first aiders, incident reporting etc
  • Introduce you to workplace facilities such as toilets, refreshments, meeting spaces and other corporate services
  • Introduce individuals within your team
  • Arrange for you to undertake job shadowing
  • Provide you with guidance on travel arrangements and the relevant terms of use
  • Provide you with your identification and the terms of its use
  • Discuss workplace adjustments if required, including evacuation arrangements

Your responsibilities

Check you are issued with the following where appropriate;

  • Travel arrangements and terms of use
  • Identification and terms of use
  • Workplace adjustments carried out, including evacuation arrangements
  • Ensure you're comfortable with your buildings Health and Safety. If in doubt, ask your line manager
  • If appropriate to the role, ensure you have a laptop, charger, a carry bag for protection, mouse, keyboard and headset. All equipment should be returned to IT if you leave the authority

Getting Paid and Payslips

Pay Day – Swale Borough Council employees are paid on the 25th for a full calendar month (or the Friday before if it falls on weekend or Bank Holiday).

Expenses - The cut off for the monthly pay roll process is shown in iTrent however, as a general rule it usually falls around 10th-13th of the month.  Expenses must be submitted and authorised by the Manager by this time in order for them to be processed for that month’s payment. If the cut off is missed any expense payment will roll over to the following month.

Pay Slips - You can view your pay slips (and P60) electronically via iTrent self-service,  if you prefer you can set it up so that a copy is sent to a personal email address (details of how to do this sent with iTrent log in details)

Please remember to update your personal information in iTrent.

Annual Leave - Be aware that annual leave is recorded in iTrent self-service and is reflected in hours rather than days to account for varied working patterns.

Pensions - You will have received a request to complete 2 Pension forms from HR and submit them to Kent County Council directly as part of the auto enrolment scheme. If you are planning to opt out you would need to visit the Kent Pension Fund website for further details.

Your first week

You will have time to get your bearings with your new surroundings, colleagues and equipment.

You’ll be busy getting to grips with new process and technology, discovering more about your role and what is required of you, not to mention meeting new colleagues and forming relationships.

Your first 100 days in the Council will be a challenge, but we want you to be fully prepared to enjoy meeting that challenge.

Being prepared is knowing what to expect. Look out for some practical advice that will help you to make the most of your induction.

Managers responsibilities

  • Will send you invites to team meetings
  • Will introduce you to the Council Intranet
  • Introduce and explain the corporate E-Learning facility - all modules should be completed within 6 months. No more than 3 per week.
  • The following mandatory modules should be completed within 6 months (No more than 3 per week)
  • Introduction to Health and Safety
  • Fire Safety
  • Driving Safety (for those that drive as part of role)
  • Manual Handling
  • Officer Safety
  • Personal Safety
  • Stress Awareness
  • Display Screen Equipment
  • Safeguarding Children
  • Safeguarding Adults
  • Further Safeguarding
  • Safeguarding – Domestic Abuse
  • Equality Act 2010
  • GDPR – Data Protection Essentials
  • Cyber Crime
  • Cyber Security
  • Freedom of Information
  • Safer Recruitment (Recruiting Managers only)
  • Managing Health and Safety (Managers only)
  • Explain departmental flexible working arrangements
  • Discuss and arrange for new starter to job shadow Customer Services plus any other shadowing opportunities to support their development
  • Provide information on Clear Review / Check Ins
  • Discuss probation policy and procedure plus arrange 1st, 3rd and 5th month probation meetings

Your responsibilities

You should allocate time to review and act upon:

If you experience any technical problems you can find support on the MKS Helpdesk.

Top Tips

Understand the expectations - You will be joining the Council as a new employee - you’ve got a lot of learning to do about your new organisation. In a job interview, you can only get a hint of the company culture so it’s in your best interest to do some research before you begin.

Review the person specification and job description which will give you an idea of your future tasks and responsibilities, and be sure that the expectations for your performance are clear on both sides.

Take your time - Don’t try to learn everything in your first week.

It takes time to understand the requirements of your new role and how that fits in with your department's vision and priorities. In most organisations three to six months will be a sensible time to aim for.

Talk to your Line Manager - Make sure you are clear about your role and your objectives, and where you fit in.

Gain a thorough understanding of your departments priorities and your own work objectives, so that you can plan and adjust your work to meet them. Keep up-to-date with team goals, work processes and performance objectives.

Agree your personal development plan with your manager.

Networking –

  • Observe – Who sets the tone in the office? Who can you talk to when you need help?
  • Build rapport - Use people's names in conversation where possible
  • Introduce yourself - Demonstrate that you’re polite, kind, and competent. When you enter a new company, take a few days to observe the organisation. For example, who forms the different parts of your team? Who can you talk to when you need help?
  • Ignore hierarchy - However junior or senior you are, chat with everyone to learn from all.
  • Face-to-face conversations - facilitate trust, openness and cooperation.
  • Good communication - it goes beyond simply conveying information; its about connecting and engaging with others.
  • Talk about non-work topics - just to get to know people.
  • Research - Explore your department's intranet to learn about the work that it does, including the work carried out shared partnerships and 3rd party businesses.  Find out who would be useful to meet, and get in touch with them.

Take any opportunity to meet with others to gain their perspective, build your contacts and networks. Look for connections in other teams, departments and other organisations.

Reward Yourself - As an employee you have access to a discount and benefits scheme. In order to access the platform you must login. If you are unsure on how to login view our how to access your Swale benefits video.

As part of the range of benefits and programmes, you also have access to rewards. - these will allow you to invest in yourself.

In order to view your total rewards package you will need have passed the employee payment date which falls on 25th of every month – your employee reference number will then populate that section in order for you to review your total rewards.

Your first month

It’s all going so fast but hopefully you are settling into your role – if you do have questions now is the time to get some answers!

Your manager will have booked in regular One to One meetings with you or you may have a work place buddy you can turn to – either way make sure you have regular time slots where you have the opportunity to find answers to your questions. Don’t wait - make a date!

Manager's responsibilities

  • Hold probation meeting to review progress during 1st month and set objectives to support employee where appropriate
  • Offer guidance to help employee arrange meet & greets with close working organisations where appropriate
  • Arrange meeting with senior members of staff

Your responsibilities

Ensure you keep your scheduled 1st month probation meeting with your manager – these are designed as an opportunity for you to sit down with your manager to discuss your progress, how your skills will be used in your new role and to identify any development needs to support you in your new role. Ensure you understand what is expected of you during your probation – if in doubt, ask your line manager.

You should allocate time to review;

Top Tips

Ask Questions - Ask any burning questions you may have in your first few days. You’re new, so this won’t raise any eyebrows – it’s expected. It would be much worse if you went several weeks before asking your supervisor a critical question. In the first few days and weeks, you’ll receive tons of information and input. Use a notebook, a folder, or a document on your computer to collect all this information. No one can remember everything.

Remember: Half of knowledge is knowing where to find it.

Take the initiative - Read, meet people and ask questions. Work out what you need to know and then set about finding out.

Understanding what happens in other parts of the organisation will allow you to make links in your work and ensure that you know who to contact with queries or for information.

Consider finding a buddy if one is not allocated to you - Having someone you can turn to is highly effective and is useful to help you get up to speed quickly. Finding someone positive, who knows the organisation can help influence your success.

If you need further information, please speak to your line manager.

Build Relationships - Exercise restraint, even if it’s not in your nature, and try to hold back from joining in the office gossip at the water cooler. Equally, make sure not to reveal all of the private details of your life all at once, you want your new colleagues to base their initial impression on your working competencies, not the fact that you won a hot-dog eating contest last summer.

Your first six months

Your journey in the Council is only just beginning

Your induction period may be drawing to a close, but you will continue to grow and develop in your role throughout your time with us. We want to create a superb service across all departments, and you will play a key role in helping us get there.

Remember, no matter where you work, you are part of something much, much bigger – the mechanism that helps the entire Borough run smoothly.

Probation meetings held 1st, 3rd and 5th months. These are designed as an opportunity for you to sit down with your manager to discuss how your skills will be used in your new role and how you can develop those skills.

Managers responsibilities

  • Allocate time to discuss employee's development and 3rd and 5th month probation period
  • Provide development opportunities
  • Arrange employee to attend the Corporate Welcome Session which is held every 6 months and provides an opportunity for you to meet old and new staff from different areas of the council and also learn about hot topics relating to Swale from our Senior Management Team
  • During a regular one to one access the learning & development calendar to help support an Action Plan or Development Plan
  • Introduce and explain Health & Safety risk assessments and identify what employee needs to complete
  • Arrange a date to meet your director

Your responsibilities

Ensure you visit the intranet to read relevant policies and complete your Elms learning:

  • Introduction to Health and Safety
  • Fire Safety
  • Driving Safety (for those that drive as part of role)
  • Manual Handling
  • Officer Safety
  • Personal Safety
  • Stress Awareness
  • Display Screen Equipment
  • Safeguarding Children
  • Safeguarding Adults
  • Further Safeguarding
  • Safeguarding – Domestic Abuse
  • Equality Act 2010
  • GDPR – Data Protection Essentials
  • Cyber Crime
  • Cyber Security
  • Freedom of Information
  • Safer Recruitment (Recruiting Managers only)
  • Managing Health and Safety (Managers only)

Top Tips

Bringing in New Ideas - Make your creativity, problem solving skills and your strategic thinking skills known like suggesting methods of how to optimize certain processes, or sharing best practices from your past experience with your new team – but it is much more helpful to support your claims with facts and studies.

  • Useless comparisons to your old company
  • To try and restructure the entire organization within your first week.
  • Criticizing during your first 100 days at your new job
  • Imposing any large changes until you’re properly acclimated in the new company

Avoid taking on “Too much, too soon” - You’re talented, you got the job but regardless, you should still remain humble. It’s much more impressive to hold back from mentioning your countless skills and strengths – it’s preferable to show what you’ve got, rather than bragging uselessly. Patting oneself on the back never comes across very well. Just because you beat out the competition [for this position] doesn’t mean that you have no weaknesses.

After the first week with the Council, you should already have a good overview – you’ve probably developed a solid routine. You’re highly motivated, and you want to show it. Think long and hard about which additional projects you can afford to take on, before you overextend yourself and cannot take care of your regular daily duties. When you’re positive that you have the capacity to take on this new project, wonderful. If not, you should wait until you’ve mastered your first 100 days at your new job.

It takes time to understand the requirements of your new role and how that fits in with your department's vision and priorities. In most organisations three to six months will be a sensible time to aim for.

Focus on one project in detail - This will help you make a contribution at an early stage and gain an insight into detailed operational issues.

Communicate your ideas, views and concerns effectively and respectfully, actively participating in exchanges of ideas with others. Always seek clarification and direction when uncertain or confused.

Getting to know the bigger picture - Wherever you work, you will benefit from understanding more about the organisation you are part of. This will help you get a better sense of where you fit in and to understand some of the nuances and ambiguities which are unique to the organisation.

It should make it easier to do your job if you have a clear idea of the objectives, interests and preferences of the most senior people in your organisation.

Major Developments - Find out about the latest major developments in the Public Sector. Even if these are not directly relevant to your job, understanding the direction, ambition and challenges of the Public Sector will help you understand and maintain the wider perspective.

Keep up-to-date with local and national News, explore GOV.UK, read publications, and visit the LGA website.

New managers - yours first few months

When your role with us has management responsibility the induction programme will provide you with vital skills, information and training and development opportunities to enable you to carry out your new role as a Maidstone Manager.

Within your first month you should talk to your line manager about being provided with key information on:

  • Corporate and Service Planning
  • Performance Management and Data Quality Responsibilities
  • Agresso
  • Our Committee Processes
  • Management Team arrangements and reporting cycle
  • Risk Management procedures and policies
  • Business Continuity planning, procedures and policies
  • Project Management Tool Kit
  • Internal Audit
  • Freedom of Information
  • The role of procurement within the purchasing process

Your HR Advisor will provide an overview of:

  • Key contacts in the HR Team
  • HR Intranet Page
  • iTrent People Manager
  • Leave policies
  • Absence reporting
  • Recruitment
  • Support for staff
  • Check-in. Our approach to performance management including Clear Review.

You'll also discuss Health & Safety roles and responsibilities with the Health & Safety officer.

Some of these policies may only be available on your first day.

Training and Development

Our Management Development Framework is designed to give you guidance about the training and development you should undertake as a manager within the council and the additional support available to you.

Your manager will complete a Training Needs Analysis with you to plan your training.

In addition to the standard ELMS course you are also required to complete:

  • Safer Recruitment
  • Managing Health and Safety

All ELMS training should be completed within the first six months.

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