Six Tips for More Engaging Induction Training
First impressions matter. Most people starting a new job make an effort to dress nicely to impress their co-workers. Are you making the same effort for your employees to welcome them to the company? What is their typical first day like?
If at any point you find yourself saying to a new person “I know you probably won’t remember this, but …” you've got room for improvement. Here are some ideas of what you could do differently.
1. Change the “but” to a “so”
Make a rule that if you ever say “I know you probably won’t remember this, but …” you will stop and change the sentence. The better option is ”I know you might not remember this, so …”. As in “… so let’s take a break for 10 minutes and then come back” or “… so let’s leave it for tomorrow because it’s not critical that you know this right now.”
2. Space the induction out
There’s a temptation with induction and orientation to do everything you can on the first day. You wouldn’t expect an employee to do more than 30 minutes of eLearning or 90 minutes of face-to-face training in one go. So make this your guide for induction too.
Make a list of everything you usually train on and then highlight the things you MUST complete on the first day. Here’s an example:
3. Let each staff member choose their own pace and order of learning
Some people learn faster than others, and different people are interested in different things. Why not set a checklist of all the things a new staff member needs to know in the first week? You could also give them hints on where to find that information. Make sure to book 15 minutes with them each day to check their progress and answer any questions.
4. Incorporate activities
Try to avoid the temptation to just ‘tell’ staff a lot of information. Passive absorption is a bad way to learn. We've moved away from this in other types of face to face and online learning, but induction training still seems to make this mistake.
A classic example is the organisation chart. You might hand a copy to a new staff member, or even talk them through it. Why not provide an organisation chart with photos, but no names or job titles? Finding out and writing in the answers is a good way for your learner to reinforce this new information.
Another induction mistake is saying “read through the Code of Conduct”. This on its own is not a very valuable exercise. Instead, you could say:
“Here’s a table showing eight questions about our Code of Conduct. Read through the Code over the next few days and answer the questions. We’ll check in at the end of the week and discuss any further questions you have.”
5. Distinguish between ‘training’ needs and ‘information’ needs
Some things are difficult to understand and need training. Other things can be quite simple. Point employees at the right resources so they can work it out themselves. This includes little pieces of information that they might need once in a blue moon.
Keep your training time focused on stuff that actually takes effort to understand. Stick all the other information somewhere that’s easy to search, like the intranet or a big ‘just-in-case’ master document. Then refer to Points 3 and 4 about how to get learners to engage with the information.
Training on computer systems is often a place where training and information get blurred. There’s a temptation to tell new employees EVERYTHING they may need to know or do. Don't. They'll forget most of it.
Wherever possible, try to train people for specific processes as they encounter them. Why not give them easy-to-follow steps for the first time they do something? Make it a requirement that they then follow up with a co-worker or trainer to double-check their work.
6. Talk to the people who know best
Ask your employees what they thought of their induction training. If the answers aren't "useful", "engaging", "interesting", or something similar, contact Pure Learning. We’re happy to help.