Why Induction Program Tend To Fall Flat?


people conversation icons or online comments & chats - concept vImagine the exciting energy inside the room, the laughter as we walk towards the training room, the camaraderie that is present well even before the program starts. These are the few ingredients that come together to create the first impression of the organization.

And then, the various presenters came in, play a few icebreakers, and launch into PowerPoint frenzy. Slides after slides came fast and furious as though there is a plane to catch. At times, the presentation was slow and boring that we hope the presenter does have a plane to catch.

But wait; there is one department that grabbed my attention – the HR. The topic is about salary benchmarking. I am interested to know how they calculated my pay, and yes, when is the next lunch and tea break? I heard the egg tart and chocolate dessert here is a big hit! Sound familiar?

The powerful advantage to create the impression that this is the organization to work for, through an induction program falls flat immediately when the experience revolves only around information download and slides.

The new hires and talent sees induction program as just a waste of time, especially if the presenter is reading off the slides. Their mind most likely goes, “not again” and starts watching the clock the moment it starts.

The Common Is not Uncommon.

The scenarios above are real and common feedback that I hear from friends who attended various induction programs. This only single out one thing – induction program need a major face-lift! The fact is, new hires and talent came prepared with a not-so-useful pre-conceived idea about induction program, and this can be shifted in a big way.

Keeping the vibrant energy evenly spread out on the high note can be a reality and not a fantasy. Having developed my behavioral engagement model through more than 13 years of experience in experiential building, I developed the Experiential Onboarding (EO) and am a huge advocate of how EO can engage the new people and new talent.

I realize that it is not about sending the new hires or talents into adventure camp. People can go into an adventure camp, have fun, and still not experience what the organizations stand for. The new hires and talents who came onboard want to experience more about the organization, but not from the PowerPoint. After all, if we are going to show them the slides, they can always read on the company website.

For an EO to highly effective, there are three behavioral areas to look out for: 

Motivator 1: Create More Experiences.

An experience is what makes our memory stick. Try remembering the values and mission by hard and ask the audience to repeat it days later. My best bet is that they would have forgotten – entirely!

One simple reason is that, there is no emotional connection to the message. However, if we focus on creating the experiences through experiential activity, it can dramatically reinforce the message and make the memory stick. Scientifically, we remember better through experiencing and not memorizing.

If you think about it, we can remember the fun part of a program, but not the detail. The experience is the “fun part” of the program, and how do we scientifically design the fun part with the message embedded within is key.

EO is a scientifically design process. Focus on creating the experience and the knowledge will follow.

Motivator 2: Create People Interaction.

Your organization branding is only as good as the interaction among the people during the induction program. An induction program is the best time to impress upon the new hires and talents that they have made the right choice.

Increasing people interaction during an EO helps in creating the perception that the organization is a place full of vibrant people, and this too is an important view on how your organization view work. Is it all about work? Or discovering the fun in work is an important element in your organization too?

Motivator 3: Create Compelling Stories.

An EO is about creating stories through the experiential activities designed to trigger the behavior desired, in line with the company’s value and mission. A value does not mean anything if we cannot “live it”.

An experiential activity allows people to experience it, talk about it and how it aligns with the individual’s belief. An EO can create a compelling story about the company on the spot without trying too hard to explain the theory behind.

To test whether your induction program requires a face-lift, ask the audience what can be drastically improved upon to ensure the induction program is a memorable one. Of course, having that chocolate dessert and egg tart is always a bonus.