6 Ways To Improve Employee Induction Training
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A Short Orientation Course In Employee Induction

Once upon a time, companies could afford to let new hires to leisurely learn on the job. Then again, there was plenty of time for that, as employees in that era were expected to begin and end their career at the same company.

Today, of course, neither of these things holds true. Employees usually change several jobs over the span of their working years, and companies want their new hires to be productive as fast as possible. Even more so, when we're talking about seasonal hires, in industries such as hospitality, manufacturing, and sales, that need to hit the ground running.

This is where employee induction training can speed things up, by arming new employees with all the organizational knowledge and job skills that their new roles require.

For all of the induction training advantages, though, designing an effective employee induction course can be quite challenging. Which is why in this article we're going to let you in on 6 tips and guiding principles that you can use to improve any induction training program.

1. Keep It Simple

It's an induction program for new employees, not a Ph.D. curriculum, so keep it light.

The purpose of an induction training program is to teach new hires the most important things that they need to know to begin working, not to teach them all there is about their new job (unless, of course, their new job can be covered in a few days' lessons).

If your industry is complex, and there is a lot of stuff for employees to learn, it can be taught in either a pre-employment training program or a regular employee training program.

2. Remember Culture

Your employee induction program is the perfect opportunity to introduce new hires to your corporate culture. This is where the generic welcome from your CEO fits in, but also where you should tell a few things about the company's history, goals, and place in the industry.

If you're one of those companies blessed with a genuine and warm corporate culture, don't be afraid to let it show in your employee induction program. Crack a few jokes, mention a few unexpected perks that you offer (akin to Google's gourmet chef or Zappo's "flat hierarchy"), and let you casual/geeky side shine.

Your employee induction is also where you should inform your hires of your company's cultural and ethical codes (environmental responsibility, equal opportunities, non-discrimination, and so on).

3. Don't End It On The First Day

When we advised you to keep your employee induction program simple in tip #1, we meant it. That doesn't mean it should be a one-day affair. Unless you're hiring short-term seasonal staff, and need to introduce them to a few very simple responsibilities as fast as possible.

In the general case, when you're onboarding people for long-term employment, the ideal employee induction program would be somewhere between three days and a full week. This gives you time to cover everything at an easy to follow pace.

4. Have A Plan

As you've probably guessed by now, there is a lot of stuff that goes into a good employee induction program.

You could improvise something as you go along, but if you want your induction to be effective, it will very much help to have a plan. At the very least, you should start with what you want to include in your employee induction program, and how to structure it. Some of the stuff we've already mentioned could be individual chapters: one or more welcome messages, an introduction to your corporate history and culture, a description of your employee's job responsibilities, some notes on your organizational structure, your code of conduct, safety information and so on.

Once you have put the objectives of your induction program and its general structure down, you'll need to collect the material to flesh it out. This might involve coordinating with several people or even an elaborate production process (e.g. to produce a corporate documentary that will give new hires a glimpse of your company's history).

5. Personalize

While you absolutely need to have good generic content for your induction training program, such that you will re-use across many employees, it's also worth it to spend some time to personalize your employee induction for each individual employee.

A personal note from the CEO or HR welcoming into their new job, for example, can add a human touch, to an otherwise impersonal employee induction program.

Beyond that, your induction program is also where you should answer your new hires questions regarding their new job, or whatever else they might want to know about your company and their career prospects in it. For this, you could arrange for a (real-world or teleconference) session with your inductees, where you take time to talk with them and address their questions and concerns.

6. Use A Robust LMS

Like most other forms of corporate training, employee induction is nowadays more often than not performed online, through a Learning Management System (LMS). Not all LMSs are alike though, and not all are up to the task, whether that task is employee induction or general employee training.

Ideally, you want an LMS, like TalentLMS, that can handle all these use cases (and more, such as compliance training). At a minimum, an LMS suitable for employee induction should offer:

  • Instructor-Led Training support, for real-time, physical or online sessions
  • Reporting, to stay ahead of your employee's induction progress
  • Multimedia support, so that you can embed videos, images, and audio to your employee induction program
  • Mobile support, so that your new hires and employees can check their induction program on the go or at home
  • Testing support, so that you can verify whether your employees remember their induction material
  • Teleconference support, for online sessions
  • Forum and/or messaging support, so that new hires, instructors, and even senior employees can answer each other's questions and collaborate
  • SCORM support, so you can author your induction training with industry standard tools, or buy and import professionally-made induction content
  • Easy installation and good support, so that you can concentrate on your induction program, not on troubleshooting your LMS

Conclusion

The benefits of induction for the employer should be obvious by now. An online induction training program for your new employees is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to introduce your new hires to your organization and boost their performance during their first weeks on the job.

Be sure that a good employee induction program will give new hires the confidence they need to tackle their new responsibilities. It will help them understand what's expected of them, and how they fit into your overall structure. It should, of course, also make them feel welcome.

Looking to implement and deliver successful induction training? Go ahead, create a forever-free account at TalentLMS and discover the features that will make creating your onboarding training a real breeze.

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