Category Archives: Induction programme

5 Ways to Elevate Your Sales Rep Training & Onboarding

The onboarding phase, in general, is the preparation and integration of a new team member in the organization.

Sales representatives are taken on board through best practices such as revising and attending guidance sessions, and preparation elements to accommodate new salespersons more closely to their environment and responsibilities. According to research by Glassdoor, organizations with good onboarding programs increase new employee retention by 82% and efficiency by more than 70%.

Ways to Maximize Efficiency During the Training and Onboarding Process

  1. Have a Standard Process

According to Harvard Business Review, 22% of companies have no formal onboarding programs. A standardized program can help to have a clear image in your mind that is intended to be long-term. Questions such as, “What basic tasks would each recruit complete in the first week?”,“What training courses do they complete in the first month?”, and ”What do they expect to do in the first quarter?” need to be answered through the program. Therefore, analyze the current onboarding program (or the one you plan to introduce if your company does not yet have one) and define unique events that a new sales rep should go through, and make them the norm for all hires.

  1. Document it

According to a study Human Capital Institute, 58% of company onboarding programs are focused on procedures and paperwork. It’s always a good idea to have some tools and reference guides on hand so they can update their memory on the fly. Creating sales processes and intelligence documents will save the new reps a lot of time and effort during their first couple of months on the job. Of course, you should provide your new reps with a comprehensive set of phone scripts and email templates that they can use right away; these scripts should cover the majority of the touchpoints in a standard sales cycle. Most good reps will later tailor these to suit their style, but supplying them with these tools upfront allows them to get up and start running much faster.

  1. Set attainable goals and milestones for new hire

Consider the following scenario: you’ve just landed your dream job, but during the onboarding process, you find that the job goals are unclear and you’re unsure what is expected of you. When new employees enter the organization, they must understand the goals for which they are responsible. Provide them with insights into the company’s principles, priorities, and long-term goals. When you approach the sales onboarding program with a target in mind, you will be able to remain focused on providing workers with the right insights to keep them motivated and efficient. This approach will also help increase employee retention

Check-in every week 

According to a study done by Enboarder, 72 percent of employees, one-on-one time with the boss are the most critical aspect of any onboarding program. Nothing is more motivating for new reps than understanding that you, the boss, care for them and want them to succeed. A weekly five-minute phone call from you will do wonders for a new employee’s morale and effort. Simply get in touch: Inquire how he or she is doing and whether there is something you can do to assist.

  1. Practice makes perfect

The stereotypical cliché hasn’t stopped being real, at least yet. The sales method, like any other part of life, can be mastered with repeated practice. This is particularly true for sales representatives since they learn at a faster and faster pace with repeated practice. As a result, ensure that the program contains a sufficient number of real-world practice scenarios.

Anything that has the new hires doing what they’re learning (while they’re learning it, not months later when they’ve forgotten it) will boost sales training stickiness and rep trust.

Conclusion

These five tips will increase the chances of your sales reps’ success, retention rate, and increase sales. Having an effective sales onboarding program is critical not just for the new sales reps, but also for the entire company. It may appear to be a lengthy and laborious procedure — and it is, but when done right, it will yield profits that are several times over. Standardization also decreases the amount of time put into daily tasks, and so, having a solid onboarding program in place will be beneficial for all organizations.

On-boarding for a Job Role STACK

Unless you have been living under a rock through the last decade, you have heard of tech stacks. A tech stack is the set of underlying elements of a software application. These are the frameworks, languages, and software products that everything else is built on. Every developer who joins a tech team needs to learn his stack.

Similarly, I believe that every business role has a stack. A stack that has to be mastered by anybody looking to do that role.

Skills

Skills are what we all need to know how to do in order to our job effectively. There are two broad categories of skills – Soft Skills and Functional Skills. In the context of this framework, the “Skills” being referred to are Functional Skills only. Every role demands certain core functional skills, that are essential for the employee to function in that job.

Good examples of these are Javascript expertise for a ReactJS developer, Negotiation and Presentation Skills for a salesperson and Accounting Skills for a credit analyst. While such skills can be trained for, true expertise comes only from experience. This is why expertise in such core skills is typically evaluated during the recruitment process itself. And once in the job, organizations trust employees to progressively get better the longer they perform the role.

In the context of role on-boarding, there is very little that can be done in a short duration program to build up these core skills. Instead, what is recommended are skill assessments and quick refreshers. Essentially, just show them a mirror and jog their memory.

Don’t spend inordinate amounts of time (not more than 10%) on skill training during on-boarding.

Tools

Can you imagine a carpenter without a saw or a blacksmith without a hammer? A skill is useless without the tools that go along with it. Similarly, every job role typically requires an employee to use a set of software and hardware tools and systems to perform their jobs.

Good examples of these are IDEs for developers, Canva and Amplayfy for content marketers and Microsoft PowerPoint for salespersons. Apart from industry-specific tools like these, most companies also have their own company-specific ERP, CRM, LMS, HRMS, etc. that the employees need to familiarise themselves with.

In the context of role on-boarding, expertise on industry-specific tools is akin to having the core skills. It is not recommended that any industry-specific tool training be undertaken during the on-boarding program. Instead, it is recommended to focus on providing primers for company-specific tools. Most people are hesitant to learn new systems, and the on-boarding program is the best place to manage this trepidation through these introductions to the tools. Giving them access to manuals or help videos in a repository format will encourage deeper self-training at a later date.

Spend more time on training on tools (about 15%) over training on skills during on-boarding.

Attitudes

Attitudes are a mixed bag of soft skills, beliefs and habits that are required for working in a role. These dictate how well you can work or interact with others to form relationships, create trust and dependability, and lead teams.

Good examples of these are leadership abilities in team leaders, assertiveness in analysts and persuasiveness in salespersons. Beyond the role requirements, all companies have a clear set of values, principles and guidelines that they look to inculcate in their workplace. Every employee must learn, internalise and display these attitudes to fit into the company culture.

In the context of role on-boarding, such attitudes need to be communicated right up front. These are best done through meet and greets, icebreakers, evangelical sessions and value discussions with the employee. Given that these require significant face-to-face interactions, it is perhaps the most expensive part of an on-boarding program in terms of time and effort and might seem to have a lower direct benefit in role on-boarding.

However, attitudes are critical in integrating a new hire into the company on the whole, and deserve significant resource allocation (about 20%) during on-boarding.

Customers

Customers are the only purpose for existence of any business activity. Customers can be internal or external, depending on the nature of the job role. But in all cases, knowing about and understanding customers is critical to performing the job well. Such customer education is unique to role on-boarding, differing from organisational induction in its application.

Good examples of these could range from retailers for front-line FMCG sales, website visitors for SaaS inside sales teams and company employees for an HR team. A stakeholder mapping exercise would be a good starting point for identifying the customer for a role.

In the context of role on-boarding, the difficult question is determining the best approach for the customer familiarisation exercise. In the case of institutional sales, it could be one-on-one meetings with the clients and account planning exercises. In the case of B2C sales, it might be participating in surveys, focus groups and interviews. Attending reviews and meetings might be a good way to familiarise the employee with internal customers.

Customer familiarisation during on-boarding requires significant time expenditure (about 25%), but reduces the need for on-the-job training in the long term.

Knowledge

Knowledge required for a job role spans a matrix of Industry-Company-Employee and Information-Concepts-Expectations. This has been explored in great detail in the ICE Cube induction framework I and II which are linked here and here.

Good examples of knowledge needs are company background, regulations, company policies, business concepts, etc. A larger part of required knowledge are job role specific knowledge of concepts, processes, products, expectations etc.

In the context of role on-boarding, the knowledge requirement takes up the largest chunk of time. It is recommended that to the extent possible, the knowledge sections should be administered through e-learning and not instructor-led training. The knowledge content should be structured as a combination of course-ware and reference learning centers, with a focus on on-demand learning and personalization. Try and find ready learning resources on LinkedIn, Coursera, Udemy, etc. before starting to create your own learning resources.

Knowledge training forms the base of the entire role on-boarding program (about 30%) and needs to be planned smartly to manage time, cost and effectiveness.

* * *

The Job Role STACK approach integrates really well with competency mapping and organizational development. Ideally, we typically recommend getting veterans of each job role in the organization to define the STACK and its constituents. Post that, taking the common elements of multiple Job Role STACKs into a common company induction program becomes easier. The remaining STACK components then move into a relatively shorter role on-boarding exercise that finally gets integrated with on-the-job training and coaching.

Do let us know your opinions on job role stacks and whether you see them being applicable in your businesses. And if you are looking for an easy to use tool to create interactive content for such programs, do consider giving Amplayfy a spin…

P.S. This was first published on LinkedIn – Click here to see the original post

Why is it important for the HR’s to upgrade their Induction programme in 2021?

The induction programme of an organization is an important process of introducing a new employee to the working environment, rules and regulations, company policies, job responsibilities and other such essential information. It forms a part of an organization’s knowledge management process and helps the new member become integrated into the team and the company’s business. It has proven to improve employee retention, build the company’s reputation and increase overall productivity of the employees.

However, the current pandemic situation has proven to be both, challenging and enlightening with regards to the typical recruiting process. With  new emerging technologies and more people opting for a digital workspace, it becomes imperative that the onboarding process be accordingly upgraded, to the changing times and scenarios. Here are some reasons why it is important to upgrade the Induction programme in 2021:

Remote Working:

Telecommuting has become the new reality for business corporations. In the current pandemic situation, the entire recruiting process is completely online. Hence, it is essential that the onboarding process also be similarly upgraded. The upgraded Induction programme should have information about work from home policies, provision for online introduction and interactions,  and should also provide technology training and support for those who require it. A mobile workforce changes the dynamics of an organisation, in the sense that it becomes more impersonal, in comparison to a face-to-face interaction. It is therefore important that the digital training process is able to make new recruits feel welcome and included in the company. 

Networking Systems :

Technology has become an integral part of business and with the introduction of new tools, services and upgrades, it is important to train the new recruits to become more digitally aware and utilize these tools for better collaboration and communication, especially during these challenging times. 

Basic training on the new networking systems like Skype for business, Sharepoint, Google Meet and emerging technologies like Office 365 should also be incorporated to the regular induction process. This would enable the new members to communicate and be in touch with the organization and also provide a great platform for them to get to know their colleagues and develop a great working relationship with them.

Introduction of Learning Management Systems :

Induction is no longer simply a text based training programme. Many corporations are now opting for a gamified learning approach when it comes to introducing the new employees to the company history, structure and policies. Using a learning management system (LMS) for the recruiting process helps the new member learn about the business culture, standard business procedure, compliance policy etc in a more interactive and engaging manner. LMS can be used to design courses for enhancing the employee’s skill or to introduce them to a new software or technology. It can also be used by the Learning and Development team for testing and assessing an employee’s performance. It can thus help to evaluate the success of a training programme and see if the trainee’s have managed to retain the information after training.

Innovation (Creativity over Formality) : 

Many organizations are going the creative and personal route over the completely formal onboarding process. Induction forms the first introduction of the organization and its tone and the methodology used goes a long way in creating a great impression on the new recruits. Therefore, some companies prefer a more innovative approach, rather than the traditional approach while welcoming their new employees. This may include-

Gifting: 

This is a great personal way to make an employee feel welcome. Some companies give their new recruits a pen and a notebook with the company logo and others even give out gift coupons.

Activity based programme:

Some organizations arrange an activity programme where the new member can interact and get to know their colleagues. Activities like sharing a funny story, engaging in some fun games go a long way in breaking the ice and building great working relationships among people.

Buddy system:

Most new recruits often feel intimidated and unsure about their roles and responsibilities when they first join an organization. Induction usually takes care of this by giving them the information in print, but some companies have introduced the buddy system to supplement this process. The buddy system involves assigning a buddy to the new member, who would be responsible for introducing them to the other team members, helping them get accustomed to the company role and answer any queries that they have. Many corporations have reported great success in implementing this method during their onboarding process.  

Thus, upgrading the induction process according to the changes and emerging trends, helps in creating a friendly and dynamic workplace which in turn enables the employees to grow and develop and achieve greater results for the organization

How to build an Induction Program

A new job comes with all new experience, roles, challenges, and environment. A new employee is full of excitement, and nervousness, while joining even if the employee has worked at other places. It is essential for the employee to get acquainted with the new workplace. 

The first impression has a long term effect on the employee. Therefore, the first few days are very important for the employee, as well as the employer. The employee needs to be felt as a part of the organization, and should not feel left out. A good Induction program bridges this gap by working two-way, and is essential for the employee as well as the employer.

Induction is a process which aims to familiarise new employees with the organisation and their job. A well planned induction program will include information about the organisation, safety rules, general conditions of employment and the duties in the section or department in which they are employed. The induction program also introduces the new employees to the culture and values of the organization for which they are working. The process helps to welcome new employees to the company as well as give refresher training to employees within the organisation so that they are aware of all the policies, regulations, dresscode of the organization.

Many things need to be considered while making a good Induction Program, as it is necessary that the induction process is successful and brings expected result. 

The program should cover basic information such as orientation in the building, health and safety information and employment terms and conditions.

The details regarding the period of the process should be clear. This includes the tasks to be given in the first week, third week, then the next month and so on.

As soon as an employee accepts an offer with the organization, the employer should connect over a phone call, involve the employee in social activities and ensure that all relevant administrative and IT arrangements are in place.

The employer can link the induction program to the organisation’s objectives and strategy. This may include social meetings wherein the employee is helped or assisted by other employees.

Planning a mini induction during the first 3 days with an immediate supervisor is also an alternative.  A more comprehensive induction training session may follow during the first 3 weeks and then a review meeting after 3 months to check everything is going according to what is planned.

The employer must ensure that all the details are stated clearly. This includes the aims and objectives of the organization, the roles and responsibilities. The employee must not feel that he is given a work which is out of his knowledge or is different.

With all the rules and regulations, the employer must take care that the employee feels as a part of the organization. This improves retention.

To build a successful induction program the employers must take feedback from the employees after a certain period. This helps to keep a check if things are on track and employees too feel valued.

Effective inductions are timely, organized and engaging, and give a good first impression of a company. The induction process doesn’t end after a certain period. It’s the responsibility as an employer to make sure that the employees   grow into their roles. Successful employee induction is a continuous process! 

Reference-

 HYPERLINK “https://belindasinduction.weebly.com/” https://belindasinduction.weebly.com/

5 ways to know if you’ve successfully launched the ON-BOARDING program

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:

1.Role Clarity

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.

Reference: https://elearningindustry.com/signs-show-onboarding-process-is-successful

https://hr.toolbox.com/articles/what-is-new-employee-onboarding/

Why should you pay more attention to the on-boarding of your new hires?

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.
References:
https://www.tanda.co/blog/five-reasons-to-do-employee-onboarding-right/
https://recruitwrite.com/why-employers-need-to-pay-close-attention-to-the-onboarding-process

Fun and games to upgrade your skills

Arijit Lahiri and Kamalika Bhattacharya, who spent over a decade in organisations like ABN Amro Bank and Intellecap, saw learning department heads begging, bullying and even bribing their learners to stick to their learning agenda.
So they put on their marketing hats to understand what would catch learners’ attention. “Game-based learning pretty much screamed itself up,” says Bhattacharya. Games allow for more engaging learning experiences while also making the learner behaviour more measurable and analysable. Today, their company, QuoDeck (earlier Ptotem), uses board games, murder mysteries and treasure hunts as learning methods, and these have been used by organisations like PepsiCo, Unilever, Aditya Birla Group and Tata Group.

To read the full article, click here

Why Mobile Learning is the Future of Corporate Training?

According to a survey by Stat Counter in 2016, the number of mobile users surpassed the desktop users for the first time, with 51.3% mobile users and 48.7% desktop. It is no surprise that mobile has now become a preferred medium for people to access content. In fact, according to a report by Growth Engineering, 43% of people find learning from mobile devices very useful and essential.

Mobile learning is more than a way to learn through a mobile device. It allows people to learn on-demand, at their own pace, and in the form of bite-sized micro lessons.  

For companies, the question is no longer whether to consider mobile learning. The question is — How long will they wait to implement mobile learning in their organization?

Here are some of the reasons why mobile learning is the future of corporate training:

International assignments and global mobility continue to rise

Talent mobility has become a norm for most organizations. In the last decade, international assignments have increased by 25 percent, and if it follows the same pattern, then we could see another 50% increase by 2020.

When your business is sending an employee to an unfamiliar and new location abroad, you need to make sure that your employees have all the training and information they need to make their assignment a success. After all, for any business, international assignments are already expensive, and lack of preparation can lead to decreased productivity and poor results.

That is why it is important for businesses to train their employees in advance so that they can deal with any type of challenge that they may experience when they are on the assignment. Though the employees may not have enough time to get their training before leaving or during work hours, with mobile learning. With mobile learning as part of your corporate training, it becomes possible for your team to learn on the go and make their international assignments a success.Millennialsusing_QuoDeck_2018.jpg

Millennials prefer short bursts of information

It is estimated that by 2020 nearly half of the workforce will comprise of millennials, which means companies have to change their corporate training programs as soon as possible to make sure it caters to the new generation and trains them in the most effective way.

Now, millennials are used to smartphones and tablets, and they are from the social media generation where they consume information in small bursts. Handing these millennials a 50-page manual or conducting a 2-hour seminar about a new technology that you are going to implement in your firm, may not help them retain as much information as you would want them to.

Instead, with mobile learning, your corporate training program can be converted into a scenario-based fun game that the millennials can play on the go and it can also help them retain more information leading to a more productive and an efficient workforce.

In-house training to make sure your team is constantly learning and evolving

With high competition, it has become crucial for companies to only have the best talent on their team. When you are hiring new talent for your company, you go above and beyond during the recruitment process to make sure the people you are selecting have all the necessary skills and knowledge.

But the business world is constantly changing, and without the right in-house training you might soon realise that you have an under-qualified staff. By implementing a mobile learning program, you can allow your team to gain new skill sets and always stay ahead of the competition by creating a corporate training program that everyone can partake in at their own speed, without affecting their work.

The rise in the remote workforce

Companies around the world are embracing mobile workforce. By allowing employees to work outside of office, according to their flexible timings, organizations are able to get better results and efficiency.

When your workforce is operating in different geographies, you also need to change your corporate training program to fit the new workforce. After all, you cannot expect the remote employees to cram all the information in a single instructor-led training event.

The employees won’t be able to understand or implement information accurately when they are taught everything in a small span of time. Instead, with a mobile learning application, your team can learn the new course and technology remotely, and at their own pace, which would make retaining and implementing information easier.

Enhanced collaboration and engagement

We live in a world where people prefer sharing their ideas online instead of doing it in person. By leveraging the social aspect of mobile learning in corporate training, you can generate more conversations among your employees and create a continous learning experience. This, in turn, increases collaboration, engagement, and motivation among your employees and makes training fun.

For instance, you could implement mobile-based gaming lessons for your team and keep the scores of the top ten people. You could also create a community page where employees could share what they learned from the game or ask questions about certain sections of the game which would encourage peer to peer learning.

In conclusion

With the flexibility and efficiency that mobile learning provides, there are no doubts that it is indeed the future of corporate training. If your organisation is yet to incorporate it into your training program, then its high time that you did.