We did a post before on Inductions that you can read here which gave you a breakdown on the basics, the benefits and everything in between.
Today we thought we’d try something a little different.
1. Be Creative
We’ve all sat through dull, lacklustre induction classes and wondered whether time was standing still or moving at all and what on earth the Powerpoint you were watching had to do with your new role. (aka did I make a mistake accepting this job?!)
Well no more — inductions do not have to be boring, they also do not have to take a huge chunk of time.
The most engaging inductions and training courses are the ones that think outside the box. Instead of using traditional training methods, ask your current employees for ideas on what a newcomer should know about the company when they first join. This could be practical information such as the HR payroll policies, how to claim expenses and what are the codes of practice but can also be more light-hearted and personal – eg. best route to take, where to park your car or where’s good for lunch. You want to train your new employees; you want to make them feel safe but you also want to make them feel welcome.
Materials such as handouts, eLearning courses and audio-visual representations are great ways to break up the monotony of classroom training.
2. Keep it Simple
No one wants to have to wade through heaps of unnecessary information – keep your message short, concise and to the point, otherwise the message will be lost or misunderstood.
When developing an induction, there is a tendency to write too much content which clutters up the course and automatically disengages the learner. While you want to give them all the information pertaining to the company, you should ensure you’re only giving them information that THEY need.
If you have a group of new hires into your manufacturing plant, they do not need to know about Office Safety and VDU Assessments. Likewise, with temporary or seasonal workers, make sure that the information you are delivering is relevant to them for their time at the company.
Otherwise you’re wasting valuable resources on a message that isn’t needed.
Which brings us on to our next point…
3. Know Your Audience
If your new hires do not speak English, or English is not their first language, make sure you have visual representations and translations available. In the same vein, if your new hires are not computer-literate, avoid using technical jargon which will confuse them and blur the message of the course.
If you are training warehouse employees – do they have a basic understanding of warehouse rules? Have they worked in a warehouse before? Should you organise a smaller class for beginners?
Never be under-prepared, this may be a case of asking broad questions at the beginning of the training session to gauge your audience’s prior knowledge or doing a bit of research before they arrive onsite.
We’ve mentioned simplifying the course, knowing your audience and making it engaging..now on to the nitty gritty stuff.
Ever hear the expression “all style, no substance”? Style? Sure. Anything visually appealing is always going to be a winner, but if there’s nothing real behind all that style, what’s the point?
If you’re planning on delivering an induction which is information-heavy (firstly, see above, we did warn you about that), consider breaking up the modules into bite-size chunks. Too much information and you’ll lose the learner (and bore your trainer).
Consider getting employees involved in the development stages. Start from the top. Management will have a clear view of the level they’re looking for their employees to reach and exceed, they will also have first-hand experience of dealing with employee issues that they have resolved.
By introducing your line manager’s experience, you have the chance to address these issues before they even arise.
Get every department involved. Your I.T. department can shed some light on equipment, email protocol and technical FAQ. HR can outline their policies such as Bullying & Harassment, Annual Leave, Employee Benefits. Your Health & Safety or EHS Team can give you a lowdown on the health and safety element of your induction. Every employee is an invaluable resource.
Ask employees about day-to-day situations they face and incorporate these into your induction. Ask employees what they would teach a new team member, or what they wish they knew before they began.
Perhaps organise a Suggestion Box for ideas for staff to chip in.
5. Do it, then Review it
Your training course you wrote on a particularly productive day 5 years ago may have sentimental value, but believe us, probably isn’t an accurate representation of your workplace today..
Every training course will have a few kinks on its’ maiden voyage. Perhaps that joke about the water-cooler doesn’t hold up to packed room or you haphazardly forgot to mention the designated smoking area.
Whatever it is, there will always be something. Big, small or minuscule, it is up to you to iron out these creases and keep your induction fresh and en pointe.
Your business will change, policies will evolve, premises will come and go and likewise your induction should reflect that.
Keeping your training up to date with your current practices is imperative.
Stay fresh, stay current, and stay safe.