Research has shown that the quality of training provided to employees has a huge effect on a businesses success (pdf) and inductions are, for many businesses, where that training begins.
Covering everything from what is acceptable in the workplace to essential passwords and login details, they’re also important because they give a new employee an impression of how the company functions, its brand and its culture. Most employees enter a new workplace energised, but a low-quality induction can take the wind completely out of their sails, which can impact negatively on the employer.
Another issue is that inductions regularly front-load a new employee with so much information that they can end up forgetting it, leading to more stress for both them and their employer downs the line. E-inductions are exciting because they offer solutions to both these problems, as well as saving money and providing a much more streamlined experience for new and current employees.
The Benefits of E-inductions
Every time you assign a manager or another member of staff to deliver an induction, you’re taking them away from other work they could be doing. This is especially telling in businesses with naturally high levels of employee turnover, where staff are constantly having to train either themselves or others in new skills. An e-induction is a one-off investment that can be used to train all of your staff that requires only occasional updates. This both saves you money and frees up your employees to do the work you hired them for.
An online induction course can be done at any time, even before an employee begins work at their new office. This helps them hit the ground running, familiarising them with how the business works and what’s expected of them before they arrive. It also serves as a bridge for the new employee between their old and new workplace; helping to keep them up-to-date and familiar with your organisation, even as they work out their previous contract.
Furthermore, the fact that an e-induction can be broken up and returned to over several smaller periods makes it much easier for a employee to absorb all the information, leading to better retention from them in the long run and therefore more efficient workers.
It can be anything from frustrating to catastrophic for a business if a new employee forgets an important detail from their induction. Quite often, if an induction was delivered in person, there may be no one around to clarify that detail later. E-inductions remain available to the employee for reference after, they have completed it, ensuring that the never feel lost about what to do in the workplace.
It’s much easier to modify and improve upon an e-induction. One person can update the software for an entire business with no requirement to brief and re-brief managers whenever there’s a change. Even if there’s a much more sizeable change required, updating your intranet or software is much faster than retraining your staff.
E-inductions ensure that, whether your business is growing or you’re already based in several countries, each office is working in sync with all your other offices. Studies have shown that collaboration is crucial for businesses seeking growth and can have a tremendous impact on revenue. This should not only improve your productivity as a business, but also ensure that no matter where in the world your workers are they’re always on the same page with one another.
Whilst many induction programs are dedicated solely to introducing new employees to a business, e-inductions can be used to keep long-term employees up to speed with the newest developments. You can’t always spare a member of staff to train employees in the latest techniques, but you can generally always create a new page on your chosen intranet or software that fills them in quickly and efficiently.
The Human Element
Of course an e-induction works best when paired with a human element. You want your employees to feel part of a community and that can be hard if their only interaction is with a computer. However, e-inductions can still be of use in developing a welcoming and well-structured corporate culture. E-inductions can also generate timetables that integrate personal learning at the computer with group learning or a ‘buddy system’. Timetabling these events ensures that new employees don’t get lost in the office space and are properly integrated into the team.
As businesses become ever more fluid, and others face deep restructuring, the importance of efficient staff training can’t be underestimated. With the almost complete availability of broadband internet to businesses now, it is clear that e-inductions should be a key part of any business’ development strategy. It allows current teaching staff to move to more of a coaching role, reacting to any problems that may emerge instead of just frontloading their students with knowledge.
By harnessing e-inductions, businesses can make significant savings and increase the efficiency and happiness of their workers. This increased efficiency will, in turn, allow businesses to become more agile and able to respond to the needs of their customers, which is crucial for any business wanting to move forward.