Saturday, January 7, 2012

New Hire B'orientation!

When it comes to New Hire orientation/induction training, I see a sense of desperation in many organizations. So much to tell, so little time. It's a classic case of "we know a lot of it won't make sense and they won't remember, but let's tell it anyway"- reminiscent of school teachers focused on completing the syllabus. I am not talking of one to two organizations here- I have seen this happening in many and believe it is a common problem.

I sort of get it, this need to tell all, especially if you are a large organization with many divisions and accomplishments, and an audience base that's varied. New hires need to get a sense of how big and varied the company they have joined is. There is a need to build ownership and pride. And of course, to break walls between divisions that tend to work in silos.

But really, there has to be a better way. Just moving the verbal diarrhea from classroom to online can't be the solution. Just dumping content in pages after online pages, and hiding a lot more in audio narration, can't be the solution. Just getting some in-love-with-his-own-voice trainer to go through hours of PPTs day after day in a real or virtual environment can't be the solution.

Why does this happen? Surely not because L&D folks don't know their stuff.  Maybe there are constraints of budget, time, resources or management buy-in. Perhaps there is some history of past failures and lessons that people are not ready to unlearn. Perhaps there is a diversion of design talent towards the all time favorite topic- Leadership Development. Maybe ROI doesn't justify the expense. Or perhaps, the likeliest, new hires don't complain about quality of their learning experience as much as other employees do.

As a designer and business manager, I get all this. But as a learner, the situation sucks. Who will speak for the learner? 

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