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Induction: presentation or training

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New employees are given an induction on company history, products, standards, health and safety, work procedures, etc. General tendency is for internal trainers to give presentations on these. What can be done to make these more like training programs so people aren't falling asleep? Or or should they be training programs?
Thomas Vinkler

5 Responses

  1. Underlying lack of knowledge
    Thomas,

    I think you need to be clear on the difference between trianing and a presentation. Training has learning (of a skill or knowledge) at its heart and ensures that delegates are using that skill/knowledge to the required standard when finished.
    A presentation simply presents facts or skills and there is no requirement that the skill or knowledge is used after the training intervention.

    If your trainers have conducted a TNA and designed the course and its structure well then the former should happen.

    Just because the material is delivered using powerpoint that doenst mean it isnt a training session.

    Training sessions shouldnt be ‘more like’ training sessions they should be training sessions, I am uncomfortable that you have asked this question in this way, it may indicate gaps in your understanding of training and what it can accomplish. Good training requires considerably more than simply making something ‘more like’ training and I would urge you to read more into the theory of and application of training and consider upskilling your trainers.

  2. Overhaul your induction
    I am going to assume that because you have referred to delegates “falling asleep”, there is no interaction going on in the induction programm – why not?. It sounds as though your induction needs an overhaul. If new employees aren’t engaged and interested in their first few days then what will their perception be of your organisation? You have trainers so use them to review the induction ‘presentations’ and add energisers, exercises, quizzes etc. This should be a simple task for any trainer. If you are the stakeholder for induction then simply go back to the training team with your question. This should be something easy for them to sort out.

  3. thanks Nigel. Q about quizzes
    Nigel,
    Thanks very much for your input, your questions are quite valid. I’m new in this role, and my gut feeling was that these induction programs should be done in some other way, but as usual, when you see everyone doing something one way, you start to question whether you just want to change something for the sake of changing it. If I understand what you’re saying inductions really should be treated as short training programs and the principles of adult learning should be applied just as much. As opposed to presentations that everyone is used to giving. One question: you mention quizzes. Are you talking about short fun things to make sure they pay attention or should we actually hold them responsible for whatever was taught?

  4. Re Induction
    Thomas – I’m glad you appreciated the reply. I think you need to go with your ‘gut feeling’ as it appears to be right, but also ensure you do apply sound learning principles and practices so you can justify why you feel the need for change. Also, don’t think of the induction as ‘short training programs’, it is one very important event. Some of the information you need to put across may be ‘presentations’, other could be more interactive. The point is, the whole induction program should be thought of as a learning event. There is a wealth of information on the internet about induction which may give you some ideas and how to better structure your induction program. To answer your specific question, it’s a bit of both. For example I might do some ‘fun’ energisers/quizzes to stimulate and ‘wake them up’ (bear in mind that a distraction and change of topic is a good way of keping the mind going). On the other side, I work in a regulated business and need to deliver a presentation to cover certain regulatory issues. At the end there is a test which has a pass mark, so this is more formal and serves two purposes – one is it can be seen as a review of understanding and – two, it is evidence of meeting regulatory requirements. Hope this helps
    Nigel

  5. induction train the presenter
    Nigel, thanks again for your comments, in fact I have begun the “induction overhaul” as you called it, and I’ve started organizing a short workshop for all the people that are in charge of giving their piece of the current program. Hope you don’t mind but I even quoted you by posing the question to one of the more open managers about what the new employees will think if on the first days they’re subjected to boring presentations.

    So I’m planning to run a 2-3 hour workshop, where I want to get an agreement on what we want new employees to think and feel at the end of their first couple days, and what tools they think they have for making sure they reach those goals. I also plan to introduce (or hopefully have them come up with) learning principles and see how they could apply those to their sessions. How does that sound to you as a plan? Now reading it back I think I need more time for this.

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