Induction training is undergoing a makeover: thanks to e-learning, it's breaking out of its traditional first-week confines and becoming a continuing, on-demand training programme.
"We call traditional induction the fire-hydrant approach: you get a lot out but lose a lot of it, too," says Emil Reisser-Weston, director at bespoke specialist e-learning WMB. "The approach we take is to provide something people can track and refer back to, rather than something they do just once."
The company has been involved in e-induction for two years and is one of several that provide organisations with tools and expertise to create online induction courses.
While some areas of e-learning have struggled to make a sound business case, e-induction can easily justify itself. For example, it has a relatively low entry-level cost. E-learning WMB's e-start customisable courses cost from £20 per user. This compares favourably with standard classroom-based induction, which is more likely to be about £175 per head.
New recruits can undertake induction (or part of it) before they've joined the company, taking away some of those first-day nerves and enabling them to hit the ground running in their first week.
For companies that only run induction at set times of the year, this is especially advantageous. This also suits organisations with workforces that are geographically dispersed.
"Web-based induction allows them to apply consistency across the organisation," says David Hill, managing director of Echelon Publishing, which produces a range of courses and e-induction templates under its Learning Matters brand.
Where to start
Organisations can create their own online induction course with some of the do-it-yourself e-learning tools discussed in last month's issue of Training & Coaching Today. But, to get the best results, it may be worth enlisting the help of a company that develops customisable template-based or off-the-shelf induction courses.
They will help to tailor the course for your organisation and get you up and running with the programme. The cost will depend on how much customisation you require but will likely range from £5,000-£20,000. That should include the content management system or tools that would then enable you to carry out upgrades and further customisation yourself.
Sometimes the developer will host the course on its own or a third-party server before installing it ont