Online Induction: How do you keep them interested?

Mention online induction training to new employees and you risk putting them to sleep on the spot.

For new employees, online induction training usually starts with a video message from the company CEO welcoming the newbie and congratulating her or him on their success in joining X-family (insert corporation).

And that’s the last you’ll see of the CEO until some major crisis erupts or you read the financial press and find out they’ve been offshoring millions of dollars.

But induction training doesn’t have to be dull. Although it has to communicate important corporate messages and organisational procedures, there are ways to make it more than just a bland recitation of compliance obligations.

First let’s identify the strategic components of induction training:

  1. Communicate company policies and procedures
  2. Present company values
  3. Offer continuing employee development through extra training
  4. Address new job concerns
  5. Create a positive atmosphere

Not all induction training will stick to these points, of course, particularly if the induction involves emergency procedures or life saving actions more suited to emergency medical personnel or shipboard drills in the Navy.

Video clip of shooting at You Tube courtesy BBC

But let’s take an extreme case here that has been informed by recent events.

We start from a premise we can all agree on: The workplace is more than just a space to earn your daily bread. It more than likely involves a complicated web of social interactions unless you are a diamond cutter or a jeweller, particularly in open plan offices that define today’s knowledge industry. Despite admonishments that you should keep your personal problems at home, that is rarely the case.

People get moody, snappish, abusive and in extreme cases violent.

How do you handle these kinds of people? There are millions of words floating in cyberspace on how to handle workplace bullying or abusive colleagues. How many online induction programs have you seen that deal with this behaviour in a way that communicates clearly how to avoid getting injured, or in the worst cases, killed?

In the U.S. we are all unfortunately familiar with former employees with a personal grudge who come back to their office with a weapon and randomly shoot.

What are the security measures in place to handle this kind of act of violence? What would you do? Many employees naturally go into survival mode—they hide. Some, who are lucky enough, flee to safety.

Granted this is an extreme case, but a good induction program will deal with this unpleasant reality, not just give out verbal lollies and pats on the back for joining the club. A good online induction should give you a solid understanding of warning signs about fellow employees who really do need intervention before their behaviour gets out of hand.

My Learning Space can help your company design a responsive online induction program. Just contact us.