Have Your New Hires had the Benefit of Productive Induction Training (Onboarding)?

Have Your New Hires had the Benefit of Productive Induction Training (Onboarding)?- I found the following results, from a Survey carried out by Forbes, to be extremely disappointing:

‘Many of today’s early career professionals haven’t had the benefit of traditional company orientation sessions, team building events and professional networking that are critical for them to ‘learn the ropes’ and build their professional networks’. It is highly likely that this will have a negative impact on both the culture and employee engagement within an organisation.

Culture and engagement is not just about enhancing the bottom line, it can be directly connected to the Value Chain within an organization. That is to say that we need to start with the customer and work backwards through the organization in order to ensure that we are meeting the needs of the end user. If we are providing both a quality product and a highly reputable service to the customer. Together with the elimination of waste, then the bottom line should look after itself. 

So how does this relate to the way in which HR is managed?

There are two main failings that can disrupt the Value Chain and both highlight the need to understand the inter-departmental interactions within the Organization. The first is the failure to understand how changes in one department can have a ‘knock-on’ effect in other departments. Change programmes need to be undertaken holistically rather than unilaterally and employees should be made aware of the need for change, as well as being made aware of how they can add value to the change process.

 The second is a lack of understanding by the workforce of how their own work can enable, or put a constraint on, operational performance – not only in their own department, but across the Organization. To achieve this there is a need to move away from having ‘unwritten ground rules’ to a culture of collaboration, innovation, efficiency and a high-quality service provision. Much of this will be dependant upon the Culture within the Organization; the way in which people are developed and treated. 

Notwithstanding the need for HR to seek out talented individuals during the recruitment process. And have in place a package of benefits that will attract them; a culture by which the Value Chain can be sustained. Together with the ability to retain talent, can often be reflected in the quality of the Induction Training provided to new starters: 

Introductory Address.

This would be a good opportunity for a member of the Senior Management Team (SMT) to provide new starters with an overview of the Organization. What is being achieved at that time and also a view of how the SMT see the Organization developing in the future. It also provides an ideal opportunity for them to explain the Value Chain. And how each department/team can contribute towards enhancing value to all stakeholders (including the employee). The speaker might also provide an insight into changes that may be ongoing within the organization at that time and/or innovation programmes. This would provide the employee with an overall picture of how the Organization is structured and how it is moving forward.

Organizational Fit.

Having departmental heads explain how the different departments interact. And how the post, to which the new employee is allocated, can add value is a must. In this way, s/he will have an understanding of how the quality of his or her work can have a knock-on effect across the Organization.

Career and Professional Development.

An overview of developmental opportunities open to the individual can often enhance motivation and engagement. It might also be advantageous, to both the Organization and the Individual, for a mentor to be allocated to the employee so that s/he starts his or her new employment on the right footing. An outline of how employees can make a contribution through their own innovation. And how this might be implemented through a suggestions scheme, could also add value.

Communication.

A subject that is often forgotten. What should be communicated and to whom and how it should be communicated. Extremely important in any organization but often neglected.

Inclusion, Equality and Diversity.

An extremely important subject. From both the employers’ and employees’ viewpoint a good Equality and Diversity Policy, together with associated training, can often provide for a harmonious workforce. 

Human Factors.

There are a number of human factors, both in the workplace and in peoples’ personal live. That can have a detrimental effect on productivity, the quality of their work, health & safety and even in their behaviour. There are three important issues when dealing with human factors. Firstly, there is a need to get to know your employees so that you can gauge if something is amiss. Secondly, employees need to be able to highlight the fact that they are experiencing problems. This means knowing who they can approach for help or advice. 

These two issues might be incorporated into the Organizations’ Workplace Wellbeing Policy. Thirdly, it is human to err. Most mistakes can be rectified easily and quickly if they are picked up in good time. This means that there needs to be a ‘No-Blame’ culture. Whereby people are not scared of admitting that they have made a mistake. And either rectify it themselves or seek assistance in order to put things right. From the employers’ point of view if a mistake is not picked up. And corrected quickly it can become costly to put right further down the line.

Health & Safety

Having a Workplace Wellbeing Policy, as well as a Health & Safety Policy, can be advantageous in a number of ways. Not least it shows that the employer cares about the workforce. For example, ensuring that employees are not working overtime. When there is no requirement to do so is an aid to ensuring that there is a good work/life balance. Ensuring that people are not put under unwarranted pressure is another. With regard to health & safety, everyone should be aware of the content of the policy and also, where risk assessments have been carried out. The employee should be aware of what those risks are and of the action taken to mitigate the risk.

Disciplinary and Grievance Policies.

Everyone should be aware of the where these policies are loca

ted and how they can access them. The Induction Training Programme is ideal for ensuring that new employees are provided with guidance of what is expected of them and of how, and to whom, they should report a grievance. It might also be advisable to provide an insight into mediation procedures. 

To my way of thinking, a good Induction Training Programme is the starting point for a movement away from ‘unwritten ground rules’. It also provides the new starter with everything that s/he needs to get started. And a platform on which to build their professional network leading to development for both the employee and the organisation.

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