What should be the GOALS of a quality induction program?
Quality induction programs may address many kinds of goals (see below), but there are three fundamental objectives recommended IF the overall purpose of the program is to improve staff performance and desired results:
1. Orientation to the work setting; job expectations and responsibilities; the organization; key people; organizational culture and philosophies; and the specific tasks and expectations of the job assignment.
2. Induction to the profession, including making a commitment to the organization and the job, and the development of skills necessary to function at least at the performance level of current typical employees. (Is that good enough?)
3. Induction into the shared vision for the profession and organization. Every profession and organization has a vision of what it is trying to become that exceeds what it is currently capable of doing. New employees need to enlist in the journey of continual improvement; the development of the skills that are needed to become the desired employee and team member of the future; and the development of the work environment, culture, and organization that are sought for the future.
In other words, an excellent mentoring program must answer the question, “How shall we induct a new person into this organization and profession when we are just in the middle of redefining ourselves and what constitutes excellence?”
It is only when induction and mentoring address all three of these objectives that a mentoring program can be expected to increase an organization and its employees’ performance.
Those three essential goals are often implemented through a set of more focused and specific objectives, such as the following list. Such specifics are critical to success because they clearly spell out what’s expected, what success will look like. That clarity is needed to plan short and long-term actions, monitor progress, and celebrate success in the end.
Caution, however, is in order. The following list does not suggest that all of these things should be undertaken by every mentoring program. Pick those that are appropriate to the organizational and individual needs your program is designed to address.
Common options for mentoring and induction program goals are:
- To speed up the learning of a new job or skill and reduce the stress of transition
- To improve employee performance through modeling and coaching by a top performer
- To attract new staff in a very competitive recruiting environment
- To retain excellent veteran staff in a setting where their contributions are valued
- To respond to competitive or contractual forces
- To promote the socialization of new staff into the organizational “family,” it’s values and traditions
- To begin to alter the culture and the norms of the organization by creating a collaborative, team-based, results-oriented subculture that promotes daily, job-embedded learning and improvement.