Why Induction Training is Important
Human resources are an organization’s most vital asset. Keeping them engaged and productive is essential for business resilience and growth. Research indicates that solid onboarding can prevent employees from leaving the company within the first three years. On the other hand, failure to induct a recruit properly can result in a poorly equipped, uninterested and confused employee who would likely leave the company within a year, or underperform if he stays. Either way, it’s a lose-lose situation for the company.
Appropriate and engaging induction training is linked to long term employee engagement and productivity. The first few weeks can determine whether the employee successfully settles into the job. An employee who is equipped for his job, acquainted with his co-workers, aware of company goals, philosophy, best practices, health and safety rules, as well as and one that is assimilated to company culture is more likely to perform and feel a part of the company from day one.
It makes business sense to view induction training as an opportunity rather than just a routine procedure. It’s as important to engage employees as it is to engage customers. Just as companies focus on developing a distinct brand and engaging customers and prospects in unique ways, employers need to find a distinctive and interesting approach to inducting new employees.
Besides increasing employee retention, effective induction yields other positives. New recruits acquaint themselves with company culture and assimilate fast. This serves to strengthen organizational culture. Beginners who receive comprehensive job-related training perform better from the start and contribute to profitability and business growth. A well-inducted employee develops confidence in the company and has reason to believe he or she will able to contribute to its growth and develop in the process.
Many companies have induction programs in place, but not all get it right. Some programs amount to providing the new employee with job-related guidelines, a company manual and employee entitlement documents. This doesn’t exactly inspire a newcomer and give him or her the impression that your company is unique and likely to contribute to his or her career development.
What makes an effective induction program?
Planning an induction program well in advance helps to ensure its effectiveness. This gives staff who are to be involved in the process the time to slot this into their schedules. Handing the plan to the recruit before he joins is a good idea because he would know what to expect.
A one-size-fits-all approach to induction training will not work because all jobs and companies are not the same and an employee is not a statistic. The duration of a program depends on the type of role and level as well as the size of the company. Large and complex organizations would need a longer program. Induction of a senior executive could well take several weeks.
It’s necessary to cater to employees with special needs. They could be foreign employees, people with disabilities, recruits resuming employment after a gap or young people straight out of school.
An induction checklist ensures you don’t leave out critical aspects. Your induction program needs to include:
- Job-related training
- Introduction to co-workers
- Discussion on company’s business, goals and structure
- Cultural orientation
- Discussion on company values and mission
- Safety and health training
- Information about sexual harassment policies
- Company best practices
- Tour of the workplace
- Benefits documentation
Inspire your recruits
While inducting an employee, it’s essential not only to develop a relevant, comprehensive and structured program, but to make it interesting and different from what other companies are doing. Some possible formats and events to consider include:
- Welcoming video from a Senior manager
- A workplace buddy for the first week - a new recruit will naturally have a lot of questions. An experienced employee from the same department can be assigned to be friend and guide her during the first week.
- Participation in a project
- Coaching on the job
- Reading material
- Presentation about company’s business, goals and philosophy
- Visits to customers, suppliers and other stakeholders
- Interactive session for understanding health, safety and other policies
- Briefings by seniors
- Working lunch with the team
- Finally, it’s important to get feedback from your inductees as well as other employees involved in the program and review the same in order to address shortcomings. It is worthwhile to interview employees who leave soon after induction.
You need to give each employee a definite sense of where the company is headed and a clear idea of his or her role in fulfilling those objectives. Empower your recruits and see the difference.