Delivering Effective Inductions
Written by Geoff Newman on 26/07/2010
Induction training is meant to be welcoming for new employees, giving them the information and skills they need to perform their role in the organisation, as well as prepping them on the organisation’s objectives. One benefit of getting this right is the reduction of anxiety, so that there is a smoother transition for new employees into the work environment. In turn, this increases commitment, lowers turnover, and hence reduces the cost of recruitment.
There are a few methods that help the creation of effective inductions:
1. Have the right design - Inductions should be flexible in terms of design, to suit the audience and the type of information that is being explained. Small ‘bite-size’ sessions of information can prevent overload, but in some cases a formal block of training may be necessary, for example if there is a significant specialist or technical element to the job, or if employees must launch into their work very quickly.
2. Consider the use of pre-induction - Pre-induction includes the provision of information and support to new employees during the period between receiving a job offer and actually taking up the position. This can help employees to begin understanding their role before they arrive, and reduce their anxiety.
3. Consult with and involve colleagues - Prescriptive inductions that are delivered by the HR department only are not as effective as those that have taken other colleagues ideas into account. Colleagues should be consulted to identify the key areas that need to be covered alongside the statutory information. Asking colleagues who have recently joined to deliver at least some of the induction’s elements allows them to reflect on their experiences as well as connect with the new employees in a way that older colleagues may not.
4. Policies, procedures and processes - Employees need to be familiar with these in order to work effectively. These should be considered in the induction, alongside the other standard information like the organisation’s context and future plans.
5. Have the legal issues covered - Issues like health and safety, equality and computer use should be fully explored for employees even if they have worked in similar organisations. Covering these in terms of how the policies affect them is a most effective way of doing this. Employees should also be asked to confirm the receipt of policy documents and their attendance to the training explaining them.
6. Support new employees - Some employees may need additional support when starting a new job or returning after a long absence. This can be done simply by providing materials that answer questions, and by explaining the support that is available. For international employees, new graduates and parents back from leave, this is particularly important.
7. Evaluate your induction - Organisations should evaluate their programmes to make sure that they fulfill the needs of both the new employees and the organisation. This should be done immediately after training, and revisited later when the effectiveness of the training in preparing employees is evident.