Friday, June 2, 2017

How to conduct Induction Training – A Values Based Approach

HOW TO CONDUCT INDUCTION TRAINING – A “SOFT” VALUES BASED APPROACH

I believe in the philosophy: 

In whatever you do – Try to be the Best 

If you cannot be the Best – Try to be Different 

During the multifarious jobs I performed in the Navy – I may not have been the Best 

But – I certainly was Different”.

Anyone who has worked with me will substantiate this – that I was Different”  and – that I had a unique style of working. 

I never tried to conform to the stereotype – I prefered to be a nonconformist and I did things in my own way. 

This was true in my Training and Teaching Assignments too – I may not have been the best Professor – but my students still remember me for my maverick style of teaching. 

That is why when I was tasked with conducting Induction Training of Newly Recruited Scientists – I junked the earlier stereotyped “hard” managerial approach and adopted a “soft” Values Based Approach to Induction Training.

The fact that even after so many years  my Trainees still remember me, my training style and the induction training I conducted – all this bears testimony to the effectiveness of Values Based Induction Training

I want to tell you about it.

So – let me delve into my academic and managerial writing archives  and pull out this article on INDUCTION TRAINING based on my own experience – I wrote this article 9 years ago  in the year 2008.

This article is based on my own experiences which I implemented when I conducted induction training and which were highly appreciated by the induction trainees.

HOW TO CONDUCT INDUCTION TRAINING 

A Values Based Approach
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Induction Training

I have participated in, designed and conducted all types of training programmes - formal, informal, programmed instruction, cognitive, affective, simulation, tailor-made, on-the-job (OJT) 
 even peripatetic training  but the one type of training that I found most rewarding and satisfying was Induction Training. 

My induction trainees feel the same way. 

So here are some of my thoughts on the Art of Induction Training.


EMPTY YOUR “CUP

The first thing I tell a fresh batch of Induction Trainees is this famous Zen Story – EMPTY YOUR CUP

The Japanese Zen Master Nan-in once gave audience to a Professor of Philosophy who wanted to know about Zen. 

Serving Tea  Nan-in filled the Professors cup  and he kept on pouring the Tea into the cup – even when it was full.

The Professor watched the overflow – until he could restrain himself no longer – and the Professor said to the Zen Master Nan-in

Stop...!!! The cup is over full  no more tea will go in... 

Zen Master Nan-in said to the Professor: 

Like this cup  you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen – unless you first empty your cup...?


The Aim 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 personal values and organizational values

Good induction training will make it easy for the new employee to easily and seamlessly blend into the corporate culture of the organization 
 and also make it easy for the organization to smoothly absorb the new employee within its fold.
 

FUNDAMENTAL ASPECTS OF INDUCTION TRAINING

Are you a dog lover...? 

Do you have a pet dog...? 

Have you ever trained dogs...? 

If your answer is YES 
 then I am sure you know key to Induction Training.

Just as you welcome a new dog into your home, you 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 dog 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. 

Both categories  the freshers and the experienced  they must “empty their cups”. 

The freshers must realize that they are no longer students  and those with work experience must try and unfreeze some of their attitudes formed in earlier organizations.

There are two facets to training dogs:

1. Obedience Training

2. Behavioural Training


Obedience Training pertains to logical “left half” of the brain 

Behavioral Training relates 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 congruence.
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 the needs 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.
 
This “hard aspect of induction training may entail quantitative training evaluation metrics to assess and qualify the trainees and also get an idea of the efficacy of training and the trainers.

Of course  while training dogs – you must remember that no two dogs are the same  and there are breed-specific traits in dogs of different breeds and lineage, mixed breeds and mongrels. 

It is here that the “soft” behavioural training comes into play.

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.


INDUCTION TRAINING PEDAGOGY

Learning comprises two pedagogic processes: 

1. Getting knowledge that is inside to move out   

2. Getting knowledge that is outside to move in.

Thus  the approach to induction training must be two pronged:

1. Encourage and mentor the trainees to look inwards, introspect, ruminate and discover their own personal values (inside --> out)

2. Clearly acquaint, apprise, educate, edify and enlighten the trainees about organizational values (outside --> in) and try to inculcate organizational values in the new 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 or Soft Systems Methodology we can mutually achieve strengthening of value congruence 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 and CORPORATE CULTURE

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 and its 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 Values – and discover congruences and mismatches.

For example, a Stated Organizational Value may be:

“People are our most important asset” 

But Visible and Invisible indicators may reveal a different inference. Stated Organizational Values may not always match Visible and Invisible Organizational Values at the ground reality level.


INDIVIDUAL or PERSONAL VALUES

Individual or Personal Values comprise:

1. Instrumental Values

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 tend to 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. 

Unlike Instrumental Values 
 which a permanent in nature  Terminal Values are amenable to change – and it is here that both the induction trainer and trainee must focus in order to derive optimal benefit for both the employee and the organization.

In a nutshell:

Terminal Values signify the objectives of the life of a person – they indicate his life goals and the ultimate things the person wants to achieve through his or her behavior (the destination he wants to reach in life).

On the other hand  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).


VALUES BASED INDUCTION TRAINING

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
instill desirable terminal values in the trainees through proper induction training.

Creating Alignment is a two-part process: 

1. The first part is identifying and correcting misalignments

2. The second aspect is creating new alignments.

The aim of value based induction training is to reinforce mutually desirable instrumental values and instill 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 to identify rare cases where there exists an irreconcilable disconnect between organizational values and personal instrumental values 
 which cannot be resolved.

Discovery of irreconcilable disconnect between organizational values and personal instrumental values helps facilitate an amicable exit of the trainee from the organization at the earliest stage  well before the trainee begins his career in the new organization  and this amicable exit is in the interest of  and mutually beneficial to  both the organization and the trainee.

To sum up 
 induction training makes it easy for new employees to seamlessly blend into the corporate culture of an organization  and good induction training also facilitates the organization to smoothly and harmoniously absorb new employees within its fold.

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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Disclaimer:
1. These are my personal views based on my personal experience. Please do your own due diligence while selecting a training philosophy.
2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)

This is an abridged, upgraded and revised version of my lecture on INDUCTION TRAINING written be me Vikram Karve 9 years ago in the year 2008 and posted online earlier in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog on March/May 2010 at urls: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2010/03/induction-training.html 
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