What is induction training? (And how to do it well)

Regularly cited as one of the most stressful life events a person will experience, starting a new job can be an overwhelming time. The experience a new starter has on those first few days with your company is a lot more important than you may give it credit for.

It’s an opportunity to set the tone, impart company values and iron out any teething problems that a team member adapting to a new organisation brings. Don’t forget that your new starter has come from an entirely different company, with an entirely different set of values, standards or in many cases in a completely different industry.

Creating a robust induction process allows you to pre-empt many of the issues you might normally face – which will save you plenty of time, money and stress in both the short and long term. What’s more, inductions don’t have to be a seemingly endless checklist of dull guidelines based on dress codes and office rules, they’re an opportunity to inspire your new employee, and make them feel confident that joining your company was the right decision.

In this blog post, we’re taking a look at the importance of an induction process in the modern workplace along with some helpful pointers that you might not have considered.

What is induction training?

Before we get into the nitty gritty of the important things to consider when putting together an induction training programme, it’s worthwhile defining what it is. In a nutshell, induction training is the process of introducing a new starter to both their role within your company and the company itself.

Induction processes vary dramatically from business to business, and range from the stringently dull to the outright unconventional. They can last for a short period of time, or be a process that is carried out for several months, or even years.

Common things covered in an induction process:

  1. Introduction to your company’s history
  2. Outlining of procedures and policies (dress codes, working hours, expenses)
  3. Role specific details (eg customer service standard procedures)
  4. Introduction to the company structure
  5. Company objectives and plans
  6. Industry specific learning
  7. Future training and development opportunities
  8. Company culture and values
  9. Upcoming social events
  10. Travel expectations

The list above is just scratching the surface of topics that can be covered in induction training, and as you can see, there’s quite a lot to go through. That’s one of the reasons that it’s so difficult to get it right. Thankfully however, with the right approach (and technology) it can become an asset to your business, and even a fun experience, rather than a chore.

 

Why a good induction process is important

Now that we’ve covered what an induction process is, it’s important to understand why it’s important.

Different industries have different requirements. For instance, in businesses where employees will be handling personal data, the consequences of not covering GDPR in an induction can be costly. Likewise, if a business has specific health and safety standards, these will be a necessity as well.

Other aspects that are important to consider include being able to effectively communicate company values from the off. Making sure your team are on the same page when it comes to your objectives will improve the overall success of your business. In the same vain, highlighting the positive aspects of your company culture and describing learning and development opportunities will make your new employee feel valued and increase their levels of job satisfaction. You worked hard to find the right person for the job – you don’t want to make them feel unsure, unvalued or question the reasons they chose to take the leap and join your company.

 

What options are available to make induction training easier?

Training comes in all shapes and sizes. From highly personal one on one sessions to peer-to-peer learning, hiring a professional to deliver seminars or developing an eLearning platform.

One of the major concerns that many businesses face when it comes to an induction is that it’ll cost too much, take too long and because they’ve been at the heart of their business for so long, they may assume that new team members understand as well as they do from the start. This is rarely the case.

At Titus, we specialise in creating fully managed LMS systems, which help companies deliver online training to their team members. One of the areas where we have a lot of experience is with induction training. An eLearning platform will allow your new team members to work at their own pace, and let managers keep track of progress and even identify areas of weakness when it comes to understanding.

In terms of how having a custom LMS helps to reduce the headaches that can be brought on by the process of creating an effective induction training programme, it can help with visibility of your team’s skill level, will cost less than carrying out regular training sessions and lets employees work at their own pace.

The amount of content that’s available to use will also help to bolster your platform, even allowing your team members to learn new skills that they wouldn’t otherwise have access to.

 

What you should consider when putting together an induction process

 

Map it out

Perhaps the worst thing you can do is to just throw down everything you want to get across to new employees. This will result in an overwhelming mess of information, that’s likely to go over their heads. By taking the time to step back, see it from the new starters perspective and map out the journey they’ll take, you’ll end up with a much more considered process – and your new employee will thank you for it.

 

Think about the tone

Most companies have a great personality. Some are young, cool and collected, others are professional, sultry and composed. These are the factors that you want to get across during the first introduction a team member will get to your business. It’ll not only set the tone for what you expect, but will show that you have a well connected business, something that will reap countless benefits along the way.

 

Could you use multimedia?

We already established that the purpose of your induction process is to introduce your company values, pass on essential information and welcome your new team members. To be able to do this effectively, there’s a lot of information you need to pack into a typically short space of time.

That’s where multimedia can come into play. Could you produce a company video? What about an interview with the MD talking about when they started the company? The possibilities are endless, but in the long term having a bank of resources that you can use in an induction is well worth the investment.

 

When and where will the employee be learning?

This is a tough one if you’re a fast-paced business. Sometimes when you’re so busy, it’s easy to forget about the work that really matters. It can be hard to find a suitable time for a team member to be away from their day-to-day role. However, by allowing them the right amount of time and a suitable environment to learn in, the lessons and values they gain from your induction process will be the making of them.

 

Who’s involved?

All businesses have different structures, and it’s not always obvious who should be connected. Something we do during the Titus induction process, is invite new starters to meet with someone from various parts of the business. This helps the new employee with the social aspect of the company and also gives them a better understanding of the wider impact of their role within the company.

 

What should be online and in-person?

One of the beauty’s of the modern workplace is that technology is available to offer a helping hand where streamlining company inductions are concerned. What’s more, they can also act as fantastic platforms for continued learning and development which makes them an even more cost effective solution. Some aspects, like meeting other team members will have to be done in person, however, a well thought out eLearning programme can include everything from an introduction to the wider company, compliance training programmes and countless other things.

Of course, these are just a few of the factors you’ll want to consider, there are countless others.

If you’d like to streamline your induction process with a fully managed learning management system and benefit from our high levels of knowledge surrounding eLearning, please get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to guide you through the process.

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