Information is crucial but delivery sets the tone.
It may be difficult for the average, hard-working HR professional to admit, but most employee inductions are met with a muffled groan. That’s because most of the time inductions are dull, boring and often delivered without any concern for the education process or the new employee’s learning experience.
But it has to be done. That doesn’t mean it has to be done poorly.
What if your new employee was able to complete their induction before they arrived? What if it was actually engaging? What if the new employee’s induction experience resulted in them feeling connected to your organisation from the moment they step through the door? As an HR professional, that’s the goal you should aim for – and it’s a goal more and more HR departments are achieving. And they’re using less effort to do so!
It’s all in the delivery
There’s a good chance you’re fairly on top of what information needs to go out to your new employees; company history, policies and procedures, safety information, etc. The primary change that most HR departments need to make centres around their delivery system. Many organisations simply provide a booklet or a DVD for the new employees and ask them to read and sign it. Maybe they have their act together and provide face-to-face training. But how much time does it take – and how is comprehension assessed?
A recent and comprehensive study conducted by the US Department of Education* shows that students’ comprehension and retention of information is enhanced when they can learn at their own pace. “The overall finding … is that classes with online learning (whether taught completely online or blended) on average produce stronger student learning outcomes than do classes with solely face-to-face instruction,” states the report. While the study focused on students from primary to tertiary levels, the results are equally relevant for employee inductions as the research is solely on the methods being used, rather than the subject material itself.
The differentiating factor to be considered above all, the report claims, is the amount of time that a student is able to spend with the course material.
Deliver it online!
Online inductions are possibly the simplest way to deliver and manage employee inductions. They also provide the ability for employees to take the course at their own pace. A good online induction program will give you the ability to:
- create and adapt course content quickly and easily
- induct contractors before they arrive on-site
- test inductees as course content is presented to them
- provide control and consistency across multiple sites and divisions from a single location
- create a consistent, company-wide message that communicates your dedication to safety
- automatically collect and report all course and inductee related data
There are a number of options on the market today. Some area better than others, so do the research to find the best induction system to meet your employee induction needs
Frank Templeton is Owner and Managing Director of the John Temple Group, an Adelaide, South Australia based company providing solutions and advice regarding employee/contractor induction, risk assessment, contractor management and security access.
*Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies