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Training Programs: Induction Training To Take The Fear Out Of A New Job
Thu 24th March 2011
If you are a manager reading this article, don't put your employees through these feelings of disillusionment and doubt about their place within the company. Don't make them dread every single day. An induction training program should gently ease employees into the rhythm of the day so as confidence grows and new members begin to feel part of the team.
This requires an orientation which is structured in such a way as to teach duties quickly and effectively so as new staff begin to feel valued from the very first week onwards.
By listening to new staff members, it is easy to spot areas of training which need to be covered. It is also worth showing appreciation for the knowledge that they already have as this saves time and helps to make them feel more empowered. By going over points that they already know, individuals feel demeaned, undervalued and can even lose interest.
A good training program should build on the enthusiasm that the employee had at the interview so as the whole induction period is one of enjoyment and progression. This makes it easier to become acquainted with fellow workers, office surroundings, the job itself and the company as a whole. Working in this manner will quickly develop a productive team member who is likely to become a dedicated employee for many years.
An induction training program is often a two tiered system with some aspects carried out by the department manager and others completed by a mentor or colleague. The manager should always be there to greet new employees on their first day and present them with their own personally named induction pack.
Always remember that first impressions count so this personal touch makes an employee feel very much a part of the team and shows that the company has given a lot of thought and preparation for the new arrival. Keep information light and fill the pages with lots of colourful images to make diagrams easy to follow. If the office is large, a tour would be useful to point out areas such as fire exits, meeting rooms, boardrooms, bathrooms, administration departments and IT support. Also remember to include the little things such as where the photocopier and tea/coffee is situated.
The areas covered usually include:
An outline of the company's culture. Include information most widely needed so as an employee has enough knowledge to handle at least 75% of calls, the rest can be learned as the weeks and months pass. Ensure that content is useful, absorbing and relevant.
Company history: Keep it to a minimum or better still write it as a timeline.
Clarification of policies such as sick leave, holiday and special leave.
The duration and length of breaks.
How often salary is paid and the method of paying: Cheque, direct deposit, cash.
Health and Safety procedures: Including evacuation and first aid.
A breakdown of who is who: Usually in the form of a staff hierarchy.
A run through of the job description.
Amenities: Written directions to the canteen, toilets, sick room.
Introduction to the team: Brief biographies of the people the new employee will work with.
A good induction training program will allow new staff members to be as interactive as possible thus creating a feeling of inclusion and allowing information to absorb naturally. Swap boring PowerPoint presentations and mind-numbing screenshots with interactive, brain-friendly activities to help stimulate the mind and keep attention focused.
It may also be a good idea to allocate one room where training can commence without disturbing other staff members. Using a room solely for training indicates the importance of the process and gives new employees a peaceful environment for study. The best way to move forward is to set them tasks which can be checked and reviewed to see if they have been understood. It is only when there are minor errors that the next stage should commence.
A good induction training program should also cover the role itself and how to complete work quickly and efficiently. This should not be an in-depth breakdown of every task as the employee should already have sufficient knowledge in this area, hence the reason for being hired. Instead, the new member should be given an overview of the computer system and how the company operates. It should then be explained how day to day tasks should be completed and where all necessary files/folders can be located.
All of this information will take time for a new employee to absorb and should be introduced gradually over the first month. This way, the office continues to run smoothly whilst tasks are mastered and the employee starts to make a valued contribution to the team.
An induction training program is the perfect way to nurture staff to the level that is expected of them but if the process is handled haphazardly, the results could lead to absenteeism, a poor work performance, lack of interest and costly mistakes.
Remember, your new employees will walk through the office door with enthusiasm, looking forward to building some long-lasting corporate relationships. With new staff members feeling this positive, it is vital that your induction training program does not shatter their dreams.
Stoke their ambition by ensuring that your company takes its induction training program seriously and that it is properly crafted. Remember, these new members have no idea about you or your organization other than the information which was provided during the interview.
Show sensitivity to their lack of knowledge by filling in the blanks. Allow plenty of time for informal and formal conversations to take place and do not expect your new team members to hit the ground running in the first week. Another way to make trainees feel supported is to offer your phone number or email so as contact can be made if problems arise. It is also useful to provide your trainees with a reference guide so as tasks can be constantly reviewed.
Keep in touch with your new staff members...do not make the assumption that because they have not called, everything is going well, some people do not want to be a nuisance and will suffer in silence rather than ask for help.
And finally...when all of the training has been completed and your new members are up to scratch, don't assume that your system is foolproof. Ask for feedback on the whole process and for any ideas as to how the training program can be improved. It is this vital information which will ensure that your company continues to offer the best form of induction training available.
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