Saturday, May 8, 2010

Art of Induction Training Part 1 WHAT IS INDUCTION TRAINING

Art of Induction Training 

Part 1

Tips for the Induction Trainer

Are you a dog lover?
Do you have a pet dog?
Have you ever trained dogs?
Then I am sure you know the Art of Induction Training…!

Just as you welcome a new dog into your home, help him adapt, acclimatize, socialize, feel comfortable, settle in and integrate into your family, in the same way, induction training comprises acclimatizing new employees into the organization with the objective of integrating individuals into an effective whole.

While a puppy usually settles in very quickly and adapts to the new environment quite easily, an adult dog often takes longer to acclimatize and may experience adjustment problems.
Similarly there is a difference between the attitudes of “freshers” recruited directly from college campuses and lateral inductees at senior levels who already have work experience in other organizations and may have to “unlearn” some of their earlier ways before learning the new.

There are two facets to training dogs – obedience training and behavioural training – one pertaining to logical “left half” of the brain and the other facet relating to the intuitive “right half” of the brain.

Similarly induction training too has two aspects:

  1. The “hard” left-brain domain specific training with the objective of identifying and eliminating knowledge and skill gaps by inculcating in the trainee the required domain specific knowledge and specialized skill sets and proficiencies to make good gaps in domain knowledge and cover up specialized skill deficiencies in order to bridge the knowledge, skill and performance gaps to enable the inductee to fit into his role and efficiently perform his designated tasks in the organization, and
  2. The “soft” right-brain value based training to facilitate seamless integration of newly inducted employees into an organization by achieving harmony and a sense of alignment between individual values and organizational values by reducing value mismatches and encouraging value congruencies.
To put it succinctly the aim of induction training is to add value to the trainee in order to enable the trainee to add value to the organization. 

As regards the “hard” part of induction training is concerned, it can be designed using structured training design methodology incorporating need analysis, requirements formulation approach and implemented and evaluated systematically.

Like I drew the analogy with dog training, this “hard” aspect of induction training is akin to formal obedience training for dogs. Now you will train the dog depending on the role you intend for the dog – guard dog, watch dog, guide dog, sniffer dog, detection dog, police dog, search and rescue dog, working dog, shepherd ( livestock guardian ) dog, family dog, companion, therapy dog, lap dog etc – and you can clearly assess the trainee and evaluate the efficacy of the training.

Of course, you must remember that no two dogs are the same and there are breed-specific traits too…!

The objective of the “soft” aspect of induction training is to facilitate seamless integration of newly inducted employees into an organization by achieving harmony and a sense of alignment between individual values and organizational values.

Learning comprises two pedagogic processes:
Getting knowledge that is inside to move out, and
Getting knowledge that is outside to move in.

Thus the approach to induction training must be two pronged:

Encourage and mentor the trainees to look inwards, introspect, ruminate and discover their own personal values [inside -- out], and
Clearly acquaint, apprise, educate, edify, enlighten the trainees about organizational values [outside -- in] and try to inculcate organizational values in the inductees.

This will enable the trainer and trainees to identify the degree of value congruence ( harmony ) and value dissonance ( mismatches ) between individual and organizational values and then by suitably employing techniques like Force Field Analysis we can mutually achieve strengthening of value congruencies whilst mitigating value dissonance thereby enabling harmonious induction of the new employee into the organization.

Thus, induction training will make it easy for the new employee to seamlessly blend into the corporate culture of the organization.

Organizational Values may be categorized into: 

1. Stated Values
2. Visible Values
3. Invisible Values

Stated Organizational Values can be ascertained by studying various documents, HR, Quality and Operating Procedures, service rules and regulations, vision and mission statements pertaining to the organization. 

For example, Organizational Ethical Values will be enshrined in the Code of Conduct.

If the organization values punctuality there will exist laid down penalties for late-coming and absenteeism and, maybe, certain positive incentives for regularity in attendance and timely completion of work. What constitutes misconduct and proper workplace demeanour will be clearly stated where discipline is valued.

Visible Organizational Values are evident from visible manifestations like Dress Code ( Formal, Informal, Functional, Uniform ), Titles and Job Descriptions, Organizational Structure ( Flat versus Hierarchical ), Work Culture ( traditional, line-staff, bureaucratic, functional, process, time-based, network, matrix, scientific temper, family ), Salary, Perks and Compensation Structure, Workplace Environment ( interpersonal relationships, feedback, grievance redressal mechanism implementation, gender sensitivity, encouraging environment for innovation, creativity and feedback, and a positive happy friendly workplace atmosphere )

Invisible Organizational Values can be sensed as “vibes” and can be derived from intangibles like morale, undercurrents, office politics, private conversations, an atmosphere of intrigue, secrecy and rumours, an air of complacency, attitudinal issues, or even positive manifestations like “feel good factor”.

It is important for the induction trainee to explore all three manifestations of organizational values – Stated, Visible and Invisible – and discover congruencies and mismatches.

For example, a Stated Organizational Value may be “People are our most important asset” but Visible and Invisible indicators may be otherwise…

Personal Values comprise:

1. Instrumental Values, and
2. Terminal Values

Instrumental Values are core values, permanent in nature, comprise personal characteristics and character traits. 

Instrumental Values refer to preferable modes of behaviour and include values like honesty, sincerity, ambition, independence, obedience, imaginativeness, courageousness, competitiveness, and also some negative traits too. 

Instrumental Values are difficult to change.

Terminal Values are those things that we can work towards or we think are most important and we feel are most desirable – terminal values are desirable states of existence. Terminal Values include things like happiness, self respect, family security, recognition, freedom, inner harmony, comfortable life, professional excellence, etc

In a nutshell, Terminal Values signify the objectives of the life of a person – the ultimate things the person wants to achieve through his or her behaviour ( the destination he wants to reach in life ) whereas Instrumental Values indicate the methods an individual would like to adopt for achieving his life’s aim ( the path he would like to take to reach his destination ).

The aim of induction training is to create an alignment between personal values and organizational values.

As an induction trainer you cannot "set" organizational values, you can only help the trainees discover them.

Also you cannot "install" new core instrumental values into people – but you can surely through proper induction training instil desirable terminal values in the trainees.

Creating alignment is a two-part process: 

The first is identifying and correcting misalignments, and
The second is creating new alignments.

The aim of value based induction training is to reinforce mutually desirable instrumental values and instil appropriate terminal values to strengthen the harmony between individual and organizational values in order to facilitate seamless integration of the new employee into the organization. Induction training will also help the trainee and the trainer identify rare cases where there exists an irreconcilable disconnect between organizational values and personal instrumental values, which cannot be resolved, and in such cases help facilitate amicable exit of the trainee from the organization at the earliest stage before the trainee begins his career as this will be mutually beneficial and in the interest of both the organization and the trainee.

To be Continued…


Copyright © Vikram Karve 2010
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.  

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