A survey report titled “Recruitment, Retention and Turnover“, published by CIPD states that 22% of new employees leave their organization within the first six months. Although there could be many reasons for this, a strong possibility may be due to the fact that employees could not integrate well with the organization. Employees might have had questions that the induction program failed to address, leaving room for ambiguity or misinterpretation.
Typically, employees leave when they don’t see any bright future for themselves in the organization. Many a time these perceptions could be false and can be avoided through effective induction training where employees can be given an effective orientation about the organization’s vision and mission and how employee progression fits into their plan.
Below are some of the best practices that could be useful to deliver a productive induction training program for new hires.
1. Early engagement: Engage with the new recruits even before they join by sending them welcome messages and key action points to be followed once they are part of the organization. Once an employee has accepted the job offer, it is a good idea to communicate with the employee welcoming him or her onboard. Links to online resources that give basic information about the organization can be shared so that employees can get an idea about their future workplace. Online links, videos or short modules can provide information about the organization’s vision, mission, culture and press reviews. This way, new hires will feel wanted and have a fair idea about the organization even before they report for their jobs.
2. Blended solution: New hire training can be broadly divided into orientation training and induction training. Orientation training is generally given on the first day when the employee reports to work. This needs to be given face to face and typically covers information about existing physical amenities, timings, security details and peer introductions. Other aspects such as essential organizational information, HR, employee progression and job-specific information can be done using the online medium. This way, employees are not intimidated with too much information right on the first day or during the limited timeframe of a face-to-face interaction.
3. Training as a process and NOT an event: The objective of training is not information sharing but effective assimilation of knowledge. To achieve this purpose, divide the online training material into independent modules so that they can be completed over a set period of time. This provides flexibility and freedom to employees to take up learning at their own pace and convenience. Training will NOT be a one-off event where a large amount of information is attempted to be shared with participants.
4. Independent but inter-dependent bite-sized modules: In addition to the flexibility that is provided to training managers in terms of building and assigning course units, smaller modules offer flexibility to learners in terms of learning at their own pace. They are also likely to understand and assimilate the shared information better when it is presented in smaller chunks. Therefore, ensure that training modules are segregated according to the topics in small bite-sized modules for better assimilation and retention. The advantage of having such independent units is that once developed, the units can be re-used to compile induction training for different audiences within the organization. For example, Terms and Conditions and Leave Policy could be common across the organization but employee progression may be different. Thus, training managers can build and assign units based on the target audiences.
5. Allocation of training time: Often, organizations that assign online training modules to their new hires, fail to allot dedicated time slots for the purpose. Employees are expected to squeeze in some time off their scheduled work for completing courses. All they are given is a deadline before which the training needs to be completed. This puts extra burden on employees and also earns their resentment. Provide dedicated time to employees for online learning-such as 30 minutes after lunch or at the end of the day based on the organization’s timelines.
6. Tracking and assignments: It is important that the courses that are being attempted by new hires are tracked at the module level. This provides valuable feedback about the quality and success of the induction program. Additionally, it is good to have assignments at the end of each unit and quizzes at the end of each module for formative and summative assessments. Have tracking facility and assignments at the end of each module to monitor employee progress in addition to giving feedback on the training in general.
7. Evaluation: Induction training cannot be a one-way information dissemination forum. Seek feedback from new hires to ensure training is purposeful and that it attains the objectives. It is also a good idea to monitor employee turnover, which might have a bearing on the quality of the induction program. These might give valuable tips to amend or alter the approach towards future induction training programs.
Corporate induction training is being increasingly identified as one of the valuable methods for employee retention. Many organizations recognize the need to make it an extended online program instead of a one-off event that is organized more to fulfill mandatory HR requirements. In this context, what do you have to say with respect to the tips offered above? Do share your thoughts.