The first day at work for any employee feels like a race well won that started on the day they first applied for that job. For employers, however, the games have only just begun. In fact, the games began right from the time the employee was selected to join. The next stage - employee induction training - is a precarious time for both company and new employee, one that will either forge strong bonds or one that will soon drive them apart.

Gone are the days when companies simply employed a one-size-fits-all onboarding process involving long lectures, reams of boring company & product brochures, and little to no interaction with co-workers. A time when employee induction or onboarding was a mere formality, and when HR’s only role was to handover strict instructions to new employees. Such apathetic assigning of roles & responsibilities just doesn’t fly in today’s work culture. In today’s work environment, the employee has taken over the customer’s role as King.

Research shows that the benefits of a good induction process are actually quite substantive. A 2008 study by the Aberdeen Group showed that the best-in-class onboarding processes improved retention rates by 100%, reduced ‘time-to-productivity’ by 60%, and ”increased the completion rate for induction tasks and activities” by as much as 57 percent. An article in Harvard Business Review observed in 2018, “with up to 20% of staff turnover occurring within the first 45 days of employment, a standardized onboarding process is essential.”

An effective employee induction programme benefits both the employee and the organization. Your new hire feels welcomed, settles in comfortably, and has a smooth transition into his/her new role. When new employees are well-adjusted, they’re unlikely to look for other opportunities, and your company’s retention rates improve dramatically. Here are some broad commonalities that can be found across all well-structured onboarding processes:

  1. Communicating Company Culture: This is your all-important first impression, where you communicate your organization's values, mission and culture. Good onboarding is not just about ‘what to communicate’, but ‘how to’.
  2. Meeting The Team: Who are the founders of the company? Why did they start it? This is the part where you explain to newcomers why it is important for them to be a part of your company’s mission. Some organizations use a buddy system, where the recruit is assigned an induction buddy who they can turn to for help or advice. 
  3. Policies & operations: A good employee induction/onboarding process includes a highly effective and easy-to-recall brief on company policies and operations. For instance, what is deemed appropriate or inappropriate, the right attire at the workplace, HR policies, sensitising on gender issues, etc - all things newcomers need to know before they get started.

Personalizing the onboarding process - like a personalized note from the CEO or HR - adds a human touch, which goes a long way in ensuring that employees feel welcome. And remember not to rush the induction, or pack in too much into just one day. Give some breathing room so the newcomers can absorb the information. Follow-up with them at regular intervals -3, 6, 9 months- and, at the end of the first year, request the employee’s feedback on the effectiveness of the induction process.

Here are 5 tips to improve your employee induction training and ensure new employees feel welcome and productive right from day 1 -

  1. Customize your induction programs based on roles, seniority, needs and complexity of your new employees. It is a good idea to define different ‘personas’ to classify them under, and then design different onboarding processes to suit each of those personas.
  1. Leverage technology to effectively engage new employees and keep the induction process light, convenient and fun for them. Presently, an emerging trend is that more companies are using audio & video podcasts as an effective tool to enable ‘micro-learning’ - by breaking complex topics down into short-form, stand-alone soundbites or short videos that can be viewed as many times as necessary, at the new employee’s convenience.
  1. Engage employees right from the day they accept the offer letter to make them feel special and eager to begin working on day 1. A lack of engagement is often detrimental to companies, and can encourage the new recruit to accept other job offers, even from your biggest competitors. Be sure to keep communication lines open with them so they feel involved and excited to be a part of your organization.
  1. Build a sense of community to create a feeling of belonging for your new employees. Informal meet-ups, team lunches, snacks breaks, and other light team-building activities can help to break the ice. The buddy system is another helpful tool to help newcomers feel comfortable, and answer any questions or doubts they might have.
  1. Having a clear roadmap during employee induction training creates a clear path for new employees to tread on in their initial days or months in your organization. A structured way forward gives new recruits something they can look forward to each day and use their unique skills to chart out their own progress - making them more efficient and productive in the process.

Many companies in India and the world over are leveraging Timbre Media’s decade-long expertise in content & technology by having their own customized audio and video podcasts to boost employee engagement.

Right from planning their podcast strategy to providing the technological infrastructure needed, these podcasts powered by Timbre Media have truly revolutionized their employee induction & training. Podcasts are indeed a powerful tool that can boost your employee engagement by creating the right conditions to propel your HR department’s simulation and gamification drives.

We create meticulously researched and structured content in the form of virtual modules, radio shows with sound bites from existing employees founders and senior leaders that ensure unity of voice and communication. Our services provide great flexibility – from quick-burst capsules to long-form podcasts that cover serious topics like POSH, or multi-episode series that cover broader categories. These radio and podcast solutions make the communication between recruits and organizations interactive and mutually beneficial, adding value to your employee induction services.

Depending on the objectives of your company’s induction training for new employees, Timbre Media customizes audio and video solutions that represent your company’s unique culture, diversity policies, code of conduct, perks, milestones, marquee events.

Timbre Media has come to be known as the preferred podcasters for India Inc., and for good reason!

Get in touch with us at [email protected] or visit our website to find out how your organization can take advantage of corporate podcasts to enhance and augment your employee induction to deliver great results, even during this difficult phase.

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