An induction program is the process used within organizations to onboard new hires into the organization and familiarize them with the new role and company culture.
As you would expect, new hires are typically stressed and nervous about the new job, and the induction program helps them to get warmed up for the challenges that lie ahead. During the course of the program, new hires get an opportunity to learn about the new work environment, company culture, and their own role. A good induction program ensures they go through this without feeling overwhelmed or stressed.
A good induction program will include activities like-
- Organizational hierarchy and structure
- Introduction to the different departments within the company
- Introduction to key members of staff
- Guided tour of the office space
- Introduction to employment terms and conditions
- Rules governing working hours
- Expected behavioral standards and dress code
- Information pertaining to benefits, incentives and appraisals
- Job description along with key duties and responsibilities
- Specific job-role training
Benefits of Induction Program
- Drives Productivity – Productivity is a major aim of business, and a workplace with comfortable employees brings more productivity at work. Good Induction training empowers your team with the skills needed to get their jobs done correctly and more efficiently. It defines the right track for one to follow in terms of the job profile and also seeks to build a positive aura in the team with respect to the organization.
- Saves Cost – Giving a certain amount of time in the beginning, leads to faster time-to-performance, which saves a considerable amount of time and money. Further, by investing time and money into induction training for your workforce, you show that you value them, which in turn, can improve loyalty and staff retention, saving your business money in staff turnovers.
- Improves Communication – Letting everyone know who is in the organization and their first point of contact sets the basis for good employee/management communication. It instills a level of confidence as to where they sit within their teams and who their leaders and mentors are.
- Improves Retention – Employees leave their job in the first year if they don’t receive adequate training, or if they find it difficult to know about the organization, and, the roles and responsibilities. Typically, employees that do receive induction training are more likely to stay and progress within the company, as they are given a transparency regarding the organization context.
- Healthy Environment – Getting an employee to know about other employees as well as the people in charge of the organization, creates a healthy environment that prevails as long as the employees work in the organization. Induction leads to a comfortable and friendly environment. And overall, with a comfortable environment around, people come out with more ideas and it paves the way for more creativity.
Induction training, is a great way to train staff, visitors and contractors on their roles in a company. It increases overall performance and job satisfaction, benefiting both the business and the employees. It significantly improves staff and visitors’ first opinions about the organization, sets their expectations and gives them the tools to make a great start at work.
Employee onboarding can be defined as the process of familiarizing a new employee with the organization’s policies, the employee’s role in the organization, and the organization’s culture. It also involves making the employee comfortable at the workplace, making interactions with colleagues easier.
The success of employee onboarding depends on the structuring of the onboarding program. Faster the employees are made comfortable and empowered to do their job, faster we get the outcome.
Onboarding may not only be for newly joined employees, but also for employees who are getting promoted. Even though they know about the work culture, the team culture can be different. The onboarding process also helps in such situations.
A formal onboarding program can range between 30 days, 90 days, 180 days, or a good 365 days. It takes place immediately after the employee joins the company. Pre-boarding can also be done as soon as the person gets the offer letter.
An onboarding program includes information about the policies of the organization, rules and regulations, benefits, job profile, roles and responsibilities, work culture, social connections with colleagues. It can also include a tour of the organization (or a virtual tour too!)
With all the effort, it is essential to know if the onboarding program is successful or unsuccessful along various vectors:
The first point to check is if the employee is aware of the job profile. If the new hires seem to be easing into their roles a few months after the onboarding process has ended, it’s a sign that the onboarding has gone well in terms of role clarity. If the employee is frustrated or confused about the job profile even after a few months, the onboarding process needs to be modified.
2. Organizational Functions
The new employee should also know about the organization along with own role. The employee must know about the departments, and whom to turn to, in case of any doubt. If the employee does not know these things, it can be stated that the onboarding process didn’t go well. A virtual tour is an option in such cases wherein the employee can go back and visit the program even afterwards.
3. Company Culture
Understanding the Company culture is very important for a newly hired employee to operate effectively in a team. It is essential that one get acquainted with the new atmosphere and co-ordinate with other employees. If the new employees find it difficult to synchronize with the team, the onboarding process surely needs modifications.
4. Knowledge Retention
It is essential to know if the new employees remember the information a few months after the onboarding process has been completed. Onboarding typically includes drives critical information and skilling centered around an employee’s role. Thus, if the employee is unable to recall the knowledge imparted, the onboarding process needs to be revisited.
5. Employee Retention
High employee retention is a sign of successful onboarding process. Every organization wants its talent to retain and sustain for a long period. If the retention rate of newly hired employees is high, it hints at a successful onboarding program, whereas, if the employees are leaving within a year, the onboarding program needs to be checked.
Often, the first impression is the last impression, and the onboarding process works in the same way. Though it is limited to the initial period of an employee’s life in the organization, it must be well-structured to bring out the best in an employee throughout their tenure. This benefits the organization in terms of profits, and the employee in terms of growth and development.
Onboarding new employees is not just briefing about the office; but integrating them into the business. The onboarding process should start from day one. Starting a new job is baffling for any employee, so it is the employer who makes the employee feel comfortable from the day they arrive and ensure that their worries are eased. The onboarding process should start as soon as the employees are offered a new role. Employees tend to stay for a longer period if more attention is given to the onboarding process.
Any reasonable employer will understand that employees are the backbone of the organization. Without good employees, the organization may rise financially but it doesn’t lead to growth and development if employers don’t consider their employees enough and this includes the way they are treated when they first sign the contract.
A strong onboarding process can ease anxiety and stress, by making the new employee feel welcome from day one. Employees feel valued if they are treated with respect and a good onboarding process can help to achieve this. If low retention is seen, it is time for employers to look carefully at their onboarding processes and make necessary changes. Here are some reasons why you should pay more attention to this process.
1. It’s cost-effective
Hiring an employee is a long process which comprises of putting up the ad, interviewing the candidates, shortlisting, negotiating salary, providing the setup. Onboarding process ensures that all the hard work doesn’t go waste. Paperless onboarding is also a way of minimizing cost. Instead of overwhelming an employee with a lot of information on the very first day, sending documents to go through becomes easier.
2. Improves retention
Onboarding a new employee is creating a good impression even though it is not just a day process. An employee gets the idea about the organization on the website but briefing personally has a different and positive impact on the employees. It’s a crucial phase where expectations are set, concerns are clarified, directions are given, and culture is instilled. If you are unable to create a comfortable environment, the risk of losing an employee increases before one can significantly contribute to your goals. A strong onboarding process improves retention as the employee feels a part of the organization.
3. It boosts productivity
Newly joined employees get overwhelmed when they try to absorb all the information in one go. This results in lower productivity. A good onboarding process includes a clear structure that helps new hires ease into the role and responsibilities. Details can be provided in stages instead of explaining all in one day. This helps in faster learning and the employee remembers the information systematically. Instead of providing theoretical knowledge of a task, if the employee is trained while performing the task, it would lead to better results.
4. Builds good reputation
An employee’s experience during onboarding, whether good or bad, can easily creep its way to review websites and social media networks, and this can affect how job seekers and clients perceive your organization. Making a successful onboarding program motivates the employee and fosters a feeling of pride in working for the organization. This further results in employer branding and creating a good reputation.
5. Creates brand champions
When onboarding an employee, you must clearly state what you stand for as an organization and explain how the new hire can contribute to that. Also provide an experience to make your employees, firm believers of the organization. This creates motivation which goes beyond the paycheck they receive. The onboarding process makes employees feel that they are an essential part of the organization and encourage them to work with dedication.
Employee onboarding is more than just communicating company policies, setting up workstations, and office introductions. It is the process which would lead to further outcome of the employee, be it positive or negative. And thus, a lot of attention needs to be paid on the process.
Gamification encourages healthy competition, and the immediate incentives range from gift vouchers to virtual one-on-ones with the CEO for racking up a certain number of ‘karma points’
Mumbai: About four months ago, helping a colleague out or going above and beyond the call of duty only earned Sukrit Sarkar, 24, a pat on the back. Now, the associate product manager at HR platform Springworks earns points every time he does something to help a team member. Sarkar had the most points, 300, until another colleague overtook him on the leaderboard last week.
Appreciation is fuel in any organization, but while working from home, it’s often easy to miss thanking that one team member who goes the extra mile. Companies such as Proctor and Gamble and Goodera as well as startups like Springworks have turned to gamification to induct new employees, motivate existing ones, and run training modules remotely during the covid-19 pandemic. Gamification encourages healthy competition, and the immediate incentives range from gift vouchers to virtual one-on-ones with the CEO for racking up a certain number of ‘karma points’.
“When you work from home, other people on the team don’t know what you’re doing. And it’s nice when your teammates recognize your contribution,” says Sarkar. “In the physical office, we’d chat or congratulate one another. That was missing.”
Bengaluru-based Springworks built a gamified peer-to-peer recognition platform called Springengage in late April after its staff moved to working remotely. ‘Kudos’ (appreciation and gratitude for help) from a fellow employee earns the person 10 points, while a ‘shoutout’ (when someone goes beyond his or her role or does something that helps the company) brings in 100 points. The scores are displayed on a leaderboard, which creates a healthy competition.
“It has helped me keep motivated during these times. It has made us more curious about each other’s work. If someone gets a kudos or a shoutout, I want to know how the person solved the problem,” says Sarkar. Recently, he redeemed half his points for a ₹500 Amazon voucher to buy a book that was long on his wishlist.
Game-based activities are also helping companies induct new hires and interns, all of whom are rejoining work remotely now. For the first time in its history, Procter & Gamble India inducted 90 interns into a two-month stint virtually this year. To ensure learning and collaboration was engaging and interactive, a gamified module was created on its app. As the interns completed mandatory and optional training courses on the app, answered quizzes and challenges, they accumulated points. This was tallied on a leaderboard on the app with the top scorers getting gift hampers.
“We wanted to innovate and truly translate our on-ground ‘GetIn’ onboarding programme to a fully virtual experience. Gamifying the experience with deliberately planned touch-points increased the overall participation and engagement on the app. This also created a sense of community, drove engagement and motivated interns,” says PM Srinivas, head, HR, India sub-continent, Procter & Gamble.
At Goodera, gamification has worked to get its young staff to interact again, and ease work stress. Over the last few months, the tech company working in the space of CSR has rolled out a virtual volunteering facility. While employees met all their deadlines, moral seemed to be flagging during the lockdown. So, founder Abhishek Humbad introduced virtual volunteering for his team. But it really took off when employees could earn ‘karma points’ for individual and team effort, social impact of the voluntary work and more. The points, which reflect on a leaderboard on Goodera’s internal platform, earn employees gifts, ecommerce vouchers or a virtual one-on-one meeting with the CEO. “People notice what others are doing, and it also nudges them to do more,” says Humbad.
Webinars and informal Zoom meet-ups are losing novelty. “Gamified content gives a sense of micro achievement, which makes people feel good,” says Arijit Lahiri, co-founder, QuoDeck Technologies. The Mumbai-based game learning app creator has seen its turnover double since the start of the pandemic, he says, adding that clients are requesting casual games to fit into a storytelling format.
Rajib Chowdhury, founder, TGC Technologies, which helps companies create gamified activities, however, says companies should not get swept away by gamification and ignore other aspects of deeper employee engagement. “Companies have to be clear about what they want to achieve from the whole exercise. Besides uplifting morale, companies need to focus on creating purpose,” he says.
This article was first published on livemint