Making the case for technology and media in the induction process
Induction is difficult.
A recent survey by XpertHR found that of 122 employers, only 21% felt their processes were highly successful. A similar proportion admitted they were not satisfied with their processes.
Part of the problem is the quantity of information new hires need to consume, and equally the amount of information they have to provide in return. Every new employee will see a core of guidance, rules and help that is the same for everyone, but after that the information varies according to department, role, competencies and a multitude of other factors . The result is that in many organisations, every new employee journeys through a unique process.
HR professionals are often desperate to improve aspects of the process by reducing this complexity. They have imaginative ideas about training new employees using dynamic online content. They want to be able to keep accurate records, spend less time checking that a new starter has met the area payroll officer or viewed the health and safety video, and devote more time to supporting employees in other ways.
Let’s consider some of the pressures to create great induction processes. A survey by the Aberdeen Group in 2008 found that the top drivers were new employee retention (70%), new employee productivity (53%) and company reputation (41%). The rewards for getting it right are substantial: the best 20% performers at induction achieved 100% improved retention rate of new hires, reduced time to productivity by 60%, and increased completion rate for induction tasks and activities by 57%.
Yet getting much of the content online, using the full range of multimedia to deliver training, and recording the stages of induction in a meaningful way, are often a challenge.
Making the case for changes to induction
Almost everything you need to ensure new hires feel well informed, properly trained, welcomed and valued is available. They will see the information they need to see, be assigned a mentor, given the training they need and gain a full understanding of culture, rules, opportunities and benefits.
But making the case for changes to the process can be tricky.
And yet Paul Turner, who has studied how organisations such as the BBC use technology and media in their induction processes says “the use of social media in every aspect of people management has really grown in the last year or two years and I think it's a very valuable contributor to the induction process. Some people say that induction is about making people feel welcome on the first day, I think really it should start before then, it should start with the offer letter if you like. Using technology and social media in particular to engage people before they actually step into reception I think is a really great way of helping to induct.”
Here are some clear benefits an HR professional can work with to make a persuasive case:
- Automation can help track the progress of new employees. It ensures they’ve seen the relevant documentation for new hires, allowing them to get up to speed more quickly. It becomes easy to check they’ve seen the crisis management plan and understand what to do if their team members call in sick.
- It ensures compliance and creates a paper trail. Automation can highlight which new hires have not yet been given the documentation on, say, money laundering, and it simplifies record keeping.
- First impressions count. In many organisations, technology takes second place to informal training, information packs and presentations by senior management. When new staff retention is so difficult, it pays to deliver fresh and exciting content, and deliver on the promise that attracted applicants in the first place.
- Technology can speed up the evaluation of the induction process. The most popular way to assess how well the process works to ask – informally or via an exit interview – for feedback. This means coordinating with HR, finding space and a convenient time, when an online survey (or series of questionnaires) can be built into the process.
- Finally, there is the logistical problem of mentoring, particularly for organisations whose staff are geographically spread out or travel a great deal. An online platform allowing both public and private conversations around particular documents or content solves the problem of coordinating mentors and mentees.
By building a case around clear advantages such as those above, HR professionals are likely to get buy-in from senior management and turn a consensus that “something needs to change” into a practical strategy for taking advantage of the range of technology available.
The Learning Line platform from Coracle provides many of the features HR can use to transfer the more repetitive induction tasks online, freeing them to concentrate on improving the experience for new starters. If you'd like a demo, why not sign up here or call us on 01223 422015 to discuss exactly what your organisation needs.