This article is part 1 of a three-part series called ‘Onboarding and the art of employee induction’. In part 2 we’ll discuss the role that a well-structured online induction plays in creating high employee engagement and reducing employee turnover.
It’s 11am on your first day at your new job. You look around the stark meeting room you’ve been sitting in since 9.30am.You think to yourself, ‘Have they forgotten about me?’
You shift your focus back to the induction that you’ve been slowly navigating for the past hour. The subject has moved on from Health and Safety and now appears to be warning you against bullying your colleagues. You think.
‘Don’t bully’. You scrawl on your notebook.
Not for the last time today you check the time and think that you’d do just about anything for this day to be over.
Okay, so your first day at a new job is rarely a walk in the park. Your energy is focused on remembering names and you’re probably trying a little too hard to make a good impression; those smile muscles will start cramping up at around 3pm. Your short-term memory is filling up fast and you’re starting to realise that ‘Password01’ doesn’t cut the mustard. All you want is to feel like you’re part of the team and that you can ask questions without feeling like a fool. You just need a little empathy for Pete’s sake!
While all this is going on, your employer is fighting a different battle altogether. They’re focused on getting you up to speed as efficiently as possible. They need you to be ‘competent and compliant’ right away. Time is money after all.
This disconnect between the needs of the employee and employer is as old as the hills, and the need for speed and efficiency in on-boarding has driven employers to seek new ways of delivering large amounts of information… FASTER!
And so the Online Induction was born!
The ability to deliver induction training online ticked so many boxes for employers. It was easy, cheap and effective. How can you go wrong? That said, as the online induction grew in popularity, employers would seize the opportunity to cram weeks, if not months, of on-boarding information into a single online presentation. Over time new employees became increasingly subjected to mind-numbing levels of detail on their first day.
Fortunately, as with most aspects of e-learning, inductions have come a long way. They are now seen as short, sharp pieces designed to connect with the employee, make them feel inspired, productive and, above all, a part of the team. A good online induction successfully balances efficiency for the employer with empathy for the new employee. Everyone wins!
In a nutshell, an online induction is the method by which an organisation welcomes a new employee and introduces them to the business. Sophisticated organisations recognise that it is one step in a larger onboarding process and that treating an induction as a one-stop-shop for all things compliance and policy related can potentially disengage your new employee before they have even started. It is important that your employee understands their responsibilities around compliance issues. This is a no-brainer, but if you include these topics in your employee induction, you risk diluting their messages, thus exposing your business to unnecessary risk.
In our experience, organisations that place a larger focus on company culture, company values and career development opportunities are able to connect with their employees earlier, contributing to a higher level of engagement.
After all, it’s what we all want as employees and what employers should be striving for.