A key part of employee induction is to provide new employees with a sense of ‘who is who’ within the organisation. This typically revolves around understanding the different teams in the organisation, their roles and responsibilities and how to contact them.
Online learning modules are perfect for this part of employee induction. Online learning can provide teams with a template to follow for their team introduction, be made available to new employees 24/7 in any location and can serve as a reference to return to at a later date.
In comparison, when team introductions are delivered at a workshop by a representative of that team, the delivery is often inconsistent, time-consuming to repetitively deliver, lost to that moment in time and delayed in the delivery until a workshop can occur.
In this article, we review several best practices to ensure your online learning provides the most efficient and effective delivery for team introductions in your employee induction programs.
What does the team do?
First things first – explain what the team does. This part of your online module should be substantial. It should clearly outline the responsibilities of the team.
- What is the team’s purpose in the organisation?
- What tasks does the team complete?
- What tasks are not handled by this team?
- What does this team have primary responsibility for?
- How does this team operate with other teams?
It can be very useful to run through 2-3 case studies and the role of this team in those case studies. When they become involved, what they did and what the outcomes were. It can be equally useful to explain how the team was not involved in the case study too if the case study involves an example with work completed before or after this team. Ideally, if you have multiple teams creating introduction modules, ask them to use the same case studies. As a result, new employees can track work through teams in your organisation.
Where can the team be found?
Next, the team should outline where they are located. This doesn’t need to be a large section and is typically combined with the next section (Who). Essentially, this section explains where a new employee can physically find this team.
Who is in the team?
This leads to the next section – who is in the team. This is a traditional introduction to key people in the team. For small teams, it may be an introduction to the entire team while large teams may introduce team leaders and the general size of teams.
A consideration in this section is that it is often subject to change – more change than any other section. So the more detailed you make this section, by listing individual people, the more you may need to update this section. In a platform like Tribal Habits, this is an easy and quick exercise. However, if you are using more complex eLearning authoring tools, this may be time consuming and expensive.
Why should you contact the team?
The final two sections are the most important. What, Where and Who provide context. The Why and How sections provide understanding and action.
The Why section should address the reasons to contact or interact with this team. It should cover;
- Common scenarios which involve this team
- When to contact or involve this team
- What information this team may require
- Frequently asked questions (and answers!) about this team
How do you contact the team?
This final section covers the practicalities of interacting with this team.
- What are the best ways to contact this team?
- What hours does this teamwork?
- How long do responses typically take?
- Are there standard forms to be completed?
Questions for the team?
The final section should include an opportunity for the new employee to ask any questions they may have. The online module should capture those questions and forward them to the team representative for answering (something easily achieved in Tribal Habits).
The ability for a new employee to ask questions is very engaging, even if most new employees may not have any immediate questions. The opportunity to ask is the key point.
These questions are also valuable for the team which created the introduction too. They can use these questions to consider if changes are required to their team introduction or other ways to improve their module.
Templating your team introductions
As you can probably tell, it is easy to create a template team introduction which follows the above format. Teams can still have some capacity to add their own interpretations and ‘spin’ to their team introduction, but this template format will ensure some consistency in their materials.
It can also help teams get started in creating their introduction and avoid feeling overwhelmed. With a platform like Tribal Habits, you can give teams a ready-made template and assign the responsibility for completing the template to the teams themselves. This can reduce the workload on HR or L&D staff and allow many teams to be simultaneously creating team introductions in the platform. HR and L&D staff can then simply review and finalise the draft modules. Creating the team introductions can be good team-building exercises too, perhaps at a staff conference or end-of-week activity.
Suddenly, with relatively limited effort, your employee induction program can have a series of team introductions, each following a consistent approach. If completed in Tribal Habits, these team introduction modules appear in your branding, can be easily updated with organisational or employee changes, combined with other modules for induction pathways and completely automated in any location for any employee.
For new employees, they can quickly see how the teams within their new organisation fit together. Plus they can review these modules on an on-going basis, particularly when it may have been weeks or months since induction and its their first time to work with another team.