Think induction training isn’t important? Then think again. All the latest research points to it being more important than ever in acquiring and retaining talent and in filling new employees with confidence and knowledge at the outset.
According to a survey by TLNT, a third of new hires make up their mind on staying with a business in the first week! Millennials also expect an onboarding programme that inspires them. With talent in short supply, you don’t want to let it slip through your fingers by throwing a bad induction experience at your new recruits so they depart almost as soon as they arrive. Neither do you want to miss this brilliant opportunity to inspire your new employees with your company’s culture.
Leading organisations recognise that recruiting and retaining employees is a huge issue. In Deloitte’s 2017 Global Human Capital Trends survey of more than 10,000 HR and business leaders in 140 countries, 81% said talent acquisition was either important or very important. And in a study by PwC, 77% of senior leaders cited the retention of talent and the availability of skills as a top concern in their organisation.
So the benefits of induction training are now being seen for its true worth. Most of the time…
Getting it wrong
Most employees walk into a new job full of enthusiasm. They can’t want to get stuck in, make an impact, develop their skills and progress to the next stage in their career. Sadly, this idealism doesn't always last and some staff members become disenchanted very quickly. Often, this can be attributed to a lack of support, a failure by the business to communicate key responsibilities, and an overwhelming amount of new information.
The traditional workplace induction doesn’t generally fire people up and this may be due to its delivery method. The usual “all at once” induction creates information overload. New employees can quickly become swamped by all of this new information and as a result fail to truly learn and understand the inner workings of your business. This can have repercussions on both the happiness of staff members, and the productivity of your business.
Start as you mean to go on
If you get it wrong, you’ll have to fix things by retraining your staff and providing them with the knowledge that you failed to communicate effectively the first time. Perhaps you can begin by changing the term induction to orientation – a word more suited to the actual task in hand.
What really matters is the method of delivery. Remember, inductions or orientations should focus on the individual and what they need to know. Make sure that you’re providing them with actionable information – not just dry, theoretical concepts about how the business works. The aim is to provide them with what they need to be competent with their job responsibilities. Be clear if you want clarity in response from your employees. There should be continuous support, and there should be ample opportunity provided for the learner to assimilate and understand what is being taught.
Keep it simple
An induction doesn't have to be an intensive process; instead it can function as a slow and simple introduction to your business model. Either way, introducing your employees effectively will increase knowledge retention rates, making the investment in an induction programme cost-effective. A consistent, engaging and individual-centric approach using digital learning might not be as easy as methods used in an earlier era, but the benefits far outweigh the cons.
Here are some ways that your business can utilise elearning inductions into its infrastructure.
Timing is important
If you design an online induction course you’ll increase the chances of employees revisiting knowledge discussed. Online induction courses are always available to hand via multiple devices so can be accessed at a time when it suits both the business and the learner. There’s no excess cost, and learners can use this online resource without taking more time away from your business. No staff member has to be available to talk it through and instead learners can tackle it in their own time.
An elearning course is consistent as well as accessible. It also has key objectives and actionable items. In this way your business can monitor new staff members and understand how well they are progressing through the course. If something isn't working – adapt, and change it.
Encourage productivity through elearning
So when’s the best time to introduce new employees to your online induction? Day 1 might seem the obvious starting point but a pre-boarding online course is increasingly seen as the way to optimise induction. The advantages are that it can be completed at the learner's convenience and can serve as a bridge between the job offer and the start date. Employees who start a new job already with a good understanding of the business and their role have a much better chance of enjoying it and being productive.
You could even use an online induction as a sort of test to see how well an employee would fare if employed long-term by your company. Your call!
Elearning induction training defines the job
An ill-defined job can cause stress to the employee and harm productivity within your workplace. There are lots of unknowns when it comes to starting a new job – use an elearning course to make everything clear from an early point.
Provide learners with a guide as to the time frame and what will be included throughout. By creating this timetable online you create a central hub that everyone can access easily and quickly. Effectively, you’re creating a business resource that will benefit everyone – from employee to employer. Create an ongoing programme, one that runs alongside day-to-day tasks, and you’ll find that induction and employee development become a continuous process.
So, to summarise, here are five clear benefits to using an elearning model for your business’ induction program:
- Timing – it can be implemented whenever it suits your business
- Clarity – new employees understand their job role/responsibilities
- Flexibility – it’s made bespoke to your employee pool
- Measurable – actionable items make it possible to measure efficacy
- Continuous – learning is delivered on an ongoing basis
Crucially, online induction programmes are designed with you in mind. Every business is different and has its own needs. Because elearning is bespoke, it’s made for your own needs. It introduces your new employees to your workforce, ensures better productivity at your business, and makes for a happier team in the process.
Here are some examples of where global leaders have digital induction courses with great success:
Toyota’s pan-European induction programme used interactive video to immerse new starters in the company’s ‘Customer First’ business ethos. The video took the learners on a virtual tour of the customer journey so they could understand the customer experience from start to finish.
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) used a simulation game to bring the work processes to life for new recruits at locations across the world. They learned how decisions in one part of the business impacted on other parts, giving them a ‘bigger picture’ experience.
UK frozen food company Farmfoods used a multi-device responsive framework to deliver an innovative, award-winning online induction programme that provided essential training for new employees and helped to identify the brightest potential talent. The custom-made modules featured relevant work scenarios and helpful guidance so that the new hires were up to speed with the jobs they’d be doing.
Optical and hearing company Specsavers use motion graphics, games & gamification and responsive elearning in a Global Online Induction pre-boarding programme for 5,000 new starters across 30 countries each year. The company wanted a consistent digital learning programme that could be accessed before Day 1. At the same time, they were looking at ways to excite new joiners about its brand and values.
Retail giant Sports Direct became one of the first companies in the UK to have a fully responsive multi-device onboarding programme. The initial part of the programme is completed before Day 1, so new starters are familiar with the company and their role.
When it comes to talent management from day 1 or sooner in the digital age, we can deliver learning that’s accessible and flexible: accessible because it’s delivered online and via devices at any time, anywhere in the world; flexible because it’s personalised for each learner.
Finally, digital induction is evolving to meet changing needs and to utilise the latest tools. It’s getting more realistic (through experiential technology); it’s starting earlier and finishing later - leading organisations see induction as an ongoing process for several months; and it’s also getting more collaborative, with shared areas helping both the learner and the business by sharing knowledge and culture. With business leaders now regarding talent acquisition as a key goal, suddenly induction has also become a top business priority.