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.
Learning and instructing can be done by various strategies. The goal is to make learner understand the topic and have a positive approach towards learning. The learner must attempt to learn what is taught and how to apply it in everyday life.
In passive learning methods, a learner typically reads content and tries to absorb as much as possible. Scenario-based learning is an effective strategy where learners are given realistic tasks and scenes. Unlike passive learning methods, scenario-based learning is characterized by a lot of interactivity.
Scenario- based learning is especially effective in corporate training. It provides the learners with situations which require analysis and problem-solving skills. Dealing with a challenge helps a learner to accelerate their thinking processes and hone their decision-making skills.
Other key benefits of scenario-based learning are:
Higher Retention: Passive learning may or may not sustain the attention of an employee, and they can miss out on certain elements which may be essential for growth. In scenario-based learning, a learner devotes their full attention throughout as they solve issues and challenges.
Involvement: Since the learner is role-playing, he gets involved in the training and experiences it in-depth, staying engaged and taking part actively throughout the training program.
Enhancement of Skills: Scenarios need a learner to put on their problem-solving hat and apply their skills. This leads to enhancement of decision-making process and other skills like time management, analytical skills, resource management, etc.
Knowledge Application: More the practicality of learning, more its application in genuine life. Since a learner gets engaged as a part of the scenario, along with better retention, it also enables the application of the learnt content in a much better way to real-world situations.
Try Again Option: Being a problem solver in a simulated environment gives you the opportunity to fail and try again without real-life consequences. A learner can take the program multiple times safely with short feedback loops. They can try unique approaches to the same situation, gaining various perspectives and enhancing their skills.
Scenario–based learning should be built only after having a detailed knowledge of the subject and understanding the audience for the training program. The scenario can be a narrative with a single character or a situation with multiple characters. The success of the training program will depend on the learners’ perspective and understanding of the thought process of the character and the situation being simulated.
The idea, ultimately, is to motivate a learner to go further into detail and trigger interest and thought. If done well, the combined use of practice and problem-solving in scenario-based learning can go and long way in building and strengthening the learner’s knowledge, skills and confidence.
With the maturing of mobile learning, the focus shifts on how to maximize its potential. In this article, I showcase approaches that will help you enhance the impact of your mobile learning strategy in 2019.
Mobile learning is the training that is available to learners on their mobile devices. It can be consumed on the go, and it gives them the flexibility to learn anytime, anywhere, and at their own pace.
Access to learning assets is not limited to smartphones. Instead, it features “multi-device” support providing additional flexibility to the learners to move seamlessly across devices during their learning journey (between smartphones, tablets, or laptops and desktops).
Over the last 2-3 years, mobile learning has transitioned from its first avatar—the mobile-friendly format—to the mobile-first format. The initial format of mobile learning was an adaptive or a mobile-friendly format that supported all devices but wasn’t fully optimized for smartphones. But the more recent format of mobile learning is the completely responsive or mobile-first format that is fully optimized for usage on smartphones. Not only does it feature interactions that align better to the way we use smartphones but also the designs adapt fully to the viewable area of each device.
It also aligns well to the changing learner expectations and demographics. Today, mobile learning is the preferred mode of training for learners and this cuts across learner profiles (not just Millennials) and resonates well with the multi-generational workforce.
What Are The Key Benefits Of Adopting The Mobile Learning Strategy?
The mobile learning strategy offers several benefits to learners and L&D teams as it:
- Aligns to the way learners want to learn (on the go, anytime, and anywhere)
- Empowers learners by giving them control on the pace they want to learn
- Facilitates a “pull” of learning vs “push” and this resonates better with the learners
- Offers a higher engagement quotient
- Can be used across learning needs (formal, informal, or social learning)
- Can be used to support Instructor-Led Training
- Can address the entire spectrum of corporate training needs (ranging from induction and onboarding, soft skills training, product training, sales training to compliance)
- Features better completion rates
- Can be used for knowledge acquisition, its application, as well as meeting specific learning needs (through instant learning aids or job aids)
- Can be used to retain an ongoing connection with learners
What Is The Value That The Adoption Of Mobile Learning Strategy Offers?
The biggest strength of mobile learning is that it aligns very well with the way learners want to consume learning. For instance, you can craft your mobile learning strategy to include learner-centric formats that sync up with their lifestyle. These could include:
- Podcasts that they can listen to during their commute to the office
- Microlearning nuggets for learning that can be easily consumed during waiting periods (and avoid carving out specific time slots for training). You can also offer microlearning nuggets as refresher nuggets to keep the “forgetting curve” at bay
- Microlearning videos for quick time learning
- Interactive videos for the application of learning
- Just-In-Time learning aids or job aids to address specific challenges or provide tips, ready reckoners, or learning summaries
- Practice exercises
- Personalized curated content
- Furthermore, you can add dollops of fun through gamified elements or make learning more immersive by using nuggets featuring Virtual Reality (VR)
- Mobile apps for learning
How Can You Enhance The Impact Of Your Mobile Learning Strategy Further In 2019?
You can enhance the impact of your mobile learning strategy by providing:
- A judicious mix of learning and reinforcements to ensure that the “forgetting curve” does not set in
- Adequate room to practice, hone skills, and gain proficiency or mastery
- Detailed feedback and remediation or recommendations to further enhance the learning
- Nudges to review, challenges, and hooks to come back for more
- A channel for informal and social or collaborative learning
- An avenue to contribute User-Generated Content (UGC)
Here is a ready reckoner of the strategies that you can use to enhance the impact of your mobile learning strategy.
1. You can use microlearning and video-based learning:
- To create buzz or awareness prior to the formal training
- For formal training
- For Performance Support
- For informal learning
- For inclusive learning (provide room for User-Generated Content)
- For social learning
2. Invest in some of the learning strategies that will deliver high-impact experiences:
- Interactive video-based learning
- Scenario-based learning
- Story-based learning
- Guided exploration
3. Retain the connection with learners by pushing nuggets that:
- Refresh prior knowledge
- Provide room for practice and mastery
- Encourage learning beyond the specified outcomes
As you have probably seen, if you want to enhance the impact of your mobile learning strategy, you need to adopt a multi-pronged approach (that cuts across learner profiles and across various types of training needs). I hope this article gives you the required insights on how you can use my pointers and step up your mobile learning strategy.