Induction training is the first opportunity for an organization to build a long-term relationship with employees. However, my own experiences in the past leads me to believe that not enough attention, care and thought is paid to induction training.
Here are some strategies to add some life to your induction training program:
1. Create an “experience” and not a hodgepodge of reading material and lectures. An “experience” should focus on a proper structure (order in which content is shared), consistent document templates and branding, personal rapport (when possible), and should never end abruptly. It should allow for projecting the company’s culture and have new employees actually “live the culture.” Here is an interesting blog on this topic.
2. Ensure remote employees have access to structured on-boarding content the day they join the company or even before they come on board. The last thing you want is to have somebody on-board and have them waste their time wondering about their decision to join the company in the first place!
3. Use technology where possible. Technology-based support tools could potentially address situations where the employee has a question but doesn’t know who can provide the answer or, in a worst case scenario, believes in a wrong assumption. Here are some interesting ways to use technology for induction:
- Gamification of the entire induction program could make the whole process interesting and rewarding for employees. Think about leaderboard, opportunity to score points through games, quizzes, and completing certain activities associated with induction training.
- Create collaboration portals that could provide a platform for new hires to ask questions, get proper guidance, and build a personal network of contacts.
- Use tools like augmented reality to provide interactive experiences. Museums are already using this technology to make exhibits come alive. Imagine walking through the corporate office, pointing your mobile phone at a photograph on the wall depicting the company’s first ever manufacturing plant to invoke an audio podcast or a video on the history of the plant and its current status.
- All of us use mobile apps for directions but new hires continue to get lost trying to find the office building! A mobile app to help get directions within your office complex will avoid the unnecessary trek to the wrong building and the anxiety of arriving late. Mobile apps also provide an opportunity for HR and line managers to reinforce key concepts and provide a quick reference for the new employee as they settle into their role.
- Virtual Worlds provide a great platform for an immersive and collaborative induction training program for geographically dispersed employees.
4. Collect data pertaining to usage of online content and performance of participants in the various tasks, assignments or assessments that are a part of the induction program. Systematically gather feedback on the induction program from the trainers and the participants for improving your program.