Trainer's tip: Orientation or Induction? That is the Question

6th Feb 2008
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Bob Selden says induction may be the most important training a company ever undertakes.

I believe that induction is the most important training the organisation can undertake and deserves a large portion of the training budget - after all, this is where and when people are keenest and where you will shape the way they see the organisation for many years to come.

First you need to identify what outcomes you are expecting from the induction/orientation programme. You can do this through survey, interviews and needs analysis.

Secondly, in designing many such programmes, I like to distinguish between orientation and induction.
Orientation in my definition is being made to feel comfortable with one's new surroundings.
Orientation should be the sole responsibility of local management (with perhaps some corporate policy and/or suggestions).

Induction on the other hand, is making the new starter fully accustomed with the new organisation's aims, values, methods of operating and ways in which key stakeholders are managed. This should be a corporate responsibility.

Thirdly the process needs to be multi-dimensional. For example, some pre-reading (brief) before the person starts, partnering with a peer for investigative type exercises, face-to-face small group sessions, one-on-one interviews with key stakeholders and perhaps some online training modules. The extent of the process will depend on the outcomes you are expecting to achieve.

Finally, my best induction was a two-week group training session involving workplace simulation, case studies, syndicate exercises, personal presentations, senior manager briefings and real world visits. It was extremely effective and highly motivating.

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Best Company Orientation Ever

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