Is the staff induction process a dying art form?
Far from being dead in the water, clued-up employers realise that for maximising both staff retention and productivity, the staff induction process is crucial. It’s far more accurate to say that staff inductions are evolving rather than dying - with technology and employer branding both playing a big part in driving that change.
Revitalising the staff induction: the business case
The new employee arrives on day one. Someone points outs the toilets and kitchen and then hands over the employee handbook for them to plough through over the next hour or so. If this traditional and rudimentary staff induction is dying, then it’s no bad thing!
Both sides are generally hoping for a long and mutually beneficial relationship. Yet despite the best intentions, we know that a fifth of employee turnover takes place in the first 45 days - and that replacing an employee can cost between 16 and 20% of that person’s salary. From a business point of view, to maximise the chances of new starters sticking around, putting in the groundwork is definitely worth it.
How inductions still feature as part of the onboarding process
The terms “induction” and “onboarding” are often used interchangeably. While it’s true that they are closely linked, there are differences...
Induction generally refers to the process of introducing the specifics of the role and your organisation as a whole to the new starter - and vice versa.
Onboarding is wider than this. LinkedIn has referred to it recently as a process of “fostering belonging” - of building those all-important relationships between the new starter, their peers and the organisation as a whole. It’s about ensuring that new members of staff “find their place” with you.
HR gets creative...
How do you get inductions right where there’s a multi-site, diverse workforce? It can be especially hard to make the experience relevant to individuals, while still maintaining an organisation-wide sense of shared culture.
This was the challenge faced by BBC Worldwide as it sought to improve its induction process. The company wanted to ensure that the same company-wide essentials were covered by all new starters, but in a way that made sense to a wide variety of employee profiles scattered across different locations.
The solution included the following elements (many of which are typical of lots of different companies who are seeking to transform their induction processes):
Starting the induction at the time of hire. On getting their job offer, new starters get access to the company intranet. Here, they can view promotional and instructional video content designed to inform and excite.
Avoiding the deluge. To prevent information overload, group induction sessions were spread out. Full orientation was delayed until new employees had been given time to marinade in the culture.
Tailored for local needs. Wherever new starters happened to be based, the same organisational essentials were covered. But the material was tweaked to take into account regional differences to ensure that it hit home.
Employer branding brings it all together
A single “company handbook” now looks hopelessly outdated. Inductions are becoming much more personalised. But that said, it remains as important as ever to provide a company-wide sense of shared experience. This is where employer branding comes into its own. If you are able to ditch the stale training manuals and replace them with company-specific interactive programs, streams and other content, that info is much more likely to “stick” - and you can give a truer picture of what you stand for.