Study shows online and face to face combinations improve induction programs

Could it be time for your company to shake up its induction scheme? A case study has shown that an induction website and face to face session combine to give new starters the best possible head start.

Study shows online and face to face combinations improve induction programs
2013, the New South Wales Department of Premier and Cabinet’s newly formed People and Culture team began to develop a new induction programme as a part of its People plan. The induction was intended to support collaboration and a new way of working within DPC, one of the organisation’s culture change initiatives.

DPC has an annual intake of around 120 new starters from both the public and private sectors. Prior to the implementation of the new induction program, new starters partook in an online induction, which consisted of static modules. New starters read the online content but were not necessarily engaging with it. Feedback from the old program concluded that it was time consuming, repetitive and ineffective.

“Even after completing the induction, which was mostly six hours of clicking on a presentation, many felt that they still did not know what the various groups in the department did and how it all came together to deliver Government priorities,” said Karen Davis, Director of People & Culture.

The team’s intention was to create an engaging, dynamic and interactive online induction content package, which would be accessible to employees before they started work. The designers wanted to provide new starters with the “who, what and where” of DPC and make them feel valued and welcome.

Davis said that one issue with the old scheme was that it lacked a face to face induction, and the team felt that it was important for new starters to have the opportunity to connect with one another.

“We wanted them to know the right people to go to and be clear on what each part of DPC did,” she said, adding that “it was a big challenge to communicate the vast amount of information in a succinct simple way.”

Before designing the programme in detail DPC designed an online survey and sent it to all staff to understand what new starters needed and wanted to know. This was used as a base to structure the induction design and decide on the most appropriate media.

The team defined their requirements to a number of companies, who showed them their approach to online and face to face programs. Before the programme was designed in detail, DPC also surveyed their staff asking what new starters needed and wanted to know.

“RogenSi came up with options and asked us how far we wanted to go on the creative side, and put together a document giving illustrations of what it might look like so we were able to discuss the pros and cons of the different options which was very useful,” said Davis.

The renovated DPC induction website uses concise, warmer language, bright colours and images and motion graphics to present the redesigned content.

“A digital motion graphic was used to pin down what we do, explain the type of work we cover and how it contributes to the State,” Davis said. “It took quite a bit of design but it really explains what we do, and we’ve received really positive feedback.”

Alongside the online content, a half-day face to face induction was developed, with rogenSi providing a ‘train-the-teacher’ workshop.

Now, rather than having to undergo a six hour slide presentation, new starters have access to online content that is engaging and gives them a real sense of the culture of the organisation they are joining.

The new induction process is also easier to manage for the People and Culture team, due to it being simpler to update.

Both leaders and staff can participate in the program as its overhaul has made it easier for experiences to be shared.

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