OHS Inductions – Have we lost direction?

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What is the required outcome of an induction?.

This question should be answered by the reader before continuing on with this article.

Many OHS inductions take the form of a detailed set of training modules delivered at the beginning of employment.

They are rammed down the throat of new employees over several days and can totally overwhelm the participant.

I have seen induction assessments consisting of  over 100 tick the box questions which endeavoured to combine  several critical safe work procedures in a one day induction and the participant had a copy of the correct answers to assist in getting a pass mark!

Inductions do not differentiate between inexperienced and experienced employees.

Inductions like any other training program needs to be properly designed with a measureable outcome in the workplace.

Do we ask what participants get out of inductions, what is their opinion and what information is retained after the first two weeks on the job.

We need to measure this and validate the effectiveness of the induction process.

You may be surprised at the low retention rate of induction information – despite the person getting the correct answer in the multiple choice question induction assessment.

I suggest the prime purpose of an induction is an introduction to the organisation on how to get through and safely survive the first few weeks or so under the guidance of experienced personnel.

This has every chance of success when coupled with a new employee / buddy integration process.

On line inductions may be useful if critical and straight forward information is presented to the participant,  but an online induction does not convey the culture of the organisation and the participant cannot interactively add their various and rich experiences which should occur in a face to face induction.

On-Line Inductions can desensitise the individual to risk and risk management.

Many on-line and person to person inductions  take the form of an induction sausage machine – just churn them out  to tick the box  but people are not sausages!!

Inductions are usually the first formal  “meet and greet” for employees – they need to use the best presenters / trainers and need participation of the supervisor or a line manager  to convey the underlying foundation and expectations of the organisation.

They set the tone of the organisation and leave an everlasting impression.

We need to enable the employee to complete the induction by seeing and knowing at least one person they will meet again in the workplace and can go to for advice and guidance.