Why is an Induction Program important?

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

References-

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

‘Karma points’ keep employees motivated

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.

By Reshmi Menon, journalist at livemint.

This article was first published on livemint

Scenario- based learning

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.

The 7 Key Objectives of your Induction Program

A sense of belongingness is a very important aspect for an individual joining a new workplace. A new employee who feels accepted and included at the workplace, adds to the overall growth of the organization as well as the employee.

An Induction Program can be said to be the first step to welcome new employees.  Through the Induction Program, organizations introduce the new hire to the workplace, roles and responsibilities and culture. It creates a feeling of trust with other employees and significantly improves employee retention.

The induction program addresses key aspects of working in the organization:

Inclusion: Inclusion is an important aspect for an individual entering a new group. Making them feel a part of organization can be done with a warm welcome by the team members. An employee must not feel like an outsider at the workplace. This should be collectively handled by the higher officials as well as other employees.

Introduction: The new employee should be introduced to all the departments and colleagues. Ideally, a mentor can also be assigned to initiate them into the projects which the employee would work on. It helps as employees can speak out their doubts and clear them with the guidance of a mentor.

Rules and Regulations: A key part of induction is explaining the rules and regulations of the organization like work hours, dress code, annual leaves, appraisals, incentives, and flexible working arrangements. This creates a sense of awareness and predictability for the employee.

Vision and Mission: The aims and objectives of the organization, and its work culture should be made clear, so that the employee has a clear idea of the work environment and how to behave.

Job description: The incumbent’s job profile along with their responsibilities and challenges needs to be briefed to them. This can be explained with the help of earlier projects and the execution done by members of similar profile. The employee must know about their key tasks as well as the qualities required for completing them. In this way they can brush up their skills or learn new skills, if required, to be prepared for all the upcoming new tasks.

Role training: Practical execution is always easier after an employee knows all the aspects of a particular job profile. A newly joined employee can be trained, so that they have a grasp of all the responsibilities of their position. A guide or mentor can assign tasks in the initial months and the organization can assess the strengths of the employee, basis which similar tasks can be assigned in future.

Feedback:  After a few weeks of joining the employee can be asked about his experience and if any suggestions or modifications should take place. An employee feels motivated and appreciated, when such feedback is taken.

Employee Induction needs a proper planning and needs to be revised after every year for new perspectives. It is a key to ensure retention for employees.

New employees need to feel comfortable in their new work environment and become productive as soon as possible. With some of the factors discussed here, retention rate of employees increases. In closing, induction needs to be thought of as an investment in an employee for the long-term benefit for the organization.

What is BCP and Why do you Need One?

BCP IS NOTHING BUT PLANNING EVERYTHING!

What Is Business Continuity Planning (BCP)? 

Business continuity planning (BCP) is the process involved in creating a system of prevention and recovery from potential threats to a company. The plan ensures that personnel and assets are protected and can function quickly in the event of a disaster. The BCP is generally conceived in advance and involves input from key stakeholders and personnel.

BCP involves defining any and all risks that can affect a company’s operations, making it an important part of the organization’s risk management strategy. Risks may include natural disasters—fire, flood, or weather-related events—and cyber-attacks. Once the risks are identified, the plan should also include:

  • Determining how the risks will affect operations
  • Implementing safeguards and procedures to mitigate the risks
  • Testing procedures to ensure they work
  • Reviewing the process to make sure that it is up to date

BCPs are an important part of any business. Threats and disruptions mean a loss of revenue and higher costs, which leads to a drop in profitability. And businesses can’t rely on insurance alone as it covers only a fragments of costs and the customers who move to the competition.

Business continuity planning (BCP) is the process a company undergoes to create a prevention and recovery system from potential threats such as natural disasters or cyber-attacks.

BCP is designed to protect personnel and assets and make sure they can function quickly when disaster strikes.

BCPs should be tested to ensure there are no weaknesses, and that they can be identified and corrected.

Understanding Business Continuity Planning (BCP)

A business continuity plan (BCP) is a plan to help ensure that business processes can continue during a time of emergency or disaster. Such emergencies or disasters might include a fire or any other case where business is not able to occur under normal conditions. Businesses need to look at all such potential threats and devise BCPs to ensure continued operations so the threats don’t become a reality.

A business continuity plan involves;

Analysis of organizational threats

A list of the primary tasks required to keep the organizational operations flowing

Easily located management contact information

Explanation of where personnel should go in case of a disaster, if

Information on data backups and organization site backup

Collaboration among all facets of the organization

Buy-in from everyone in the organization

Consider a finance company based in a major city. It may put a BCP in place by taking steps including backing up its computer and client files offsite. If something were to happen to the company’s corporate office, its satellite offices would still have access to important information.

An important point to note is that BCP may not be as effective if a large portion of the population is affected, as in the case of a disease outbreak.

Developing a Business Continuity Plan

There are several steps companies must follow to develop a solid BCP. They include:

  • Business Impact Analysis: Here, the business will identify functions and related resources that are time sensitive. 
  • Recovery: In this, the business must identify and implement steps to recover critical business functions.
  • Organization: A continuity team must be created. This team will devise a plan to manage the disruption.
  • Training: The continuity team must be trained and tested. Members of the team should also complete exercises that go over the plan and strategies.

Companies may also find it useful to come up with a checklist that includes key details such as emergency contact information, a list of resources the continuity team may need, where backup data and other required information are housed or stored, and other important personnel.

Along with testing the continuity team, the company should also test the BCP itself. It should be tested several times to ensure it can be applied to many different risk scenarios. This will help identify any weaknesses in the plan which can then be identified and corrected.

Business Continuity Impact Analysis

An important part of developing a BCP is a business continuity impact analysis. It identifies the effects of disruption of business functions and processes. It also uses the information to make decisions about recovery priorities and strategies.

FEMA provides an operational and financial impact worksheet to help run a business continuity analysis. The worksheet should be completed by business function and process managers who are well acquainted with the business. These worksheets will summarize the following:

The impacts—both financial and operational—that stem from the loss of individual business functions and process

Identifying when the loss of a function or process would result in the identified business impacts

Completing the analysis can help companies identify and prioritize the processes that have the most impact on the business’ financial and operational functions. The point at which they must be recovered is generally known as the “recovery time objective.”

Business continuity plans are pre-drafted, pre-determined protocols for how your organization will overcome a business disruption caused by an emergency.

Containing a serialized checklist of risk-mitigating actions to take, business continuity planning addresses both natural and human disasters that can strike, ultimately bringing operations to a halt. Such disaster scenarios include:

  • Weather incidents, such as floods, hurricanes and tornadoes
  • On-premise accidents
  • Technological outages
  • Breaches and cybersecurity events
  • Supply chain disruptions
  • Any other significant system, process or operational failure that stalls core functions and grinds “business as usual” to a halt

The goal of a BCP is to mitigate the damage and reinstate operations before any of the above scenarios become existential business threats. Even small-seeming events like a severe storm damaging physical building infrastructure can trigger consequences affecting other core business domains. For example, consider the effects of a tornado that destroys the only third-party warehousing service you use to store your inventory, or a ransomware attack holding hostage your customers’ payment and account information.

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