What is INDUCTION and when is it needed in business and other non-educational settings?
Induction is the process of joining a profession, learning the specialized knowledge and skills expected of members of that profession, and being accepted as a professional by one’s peers.
In some settings, that means nothing more than signing a contract to be considered a “professional” employee. However, many people feel that this narrow conception lacks some of the richness and complexity that we assign to our professions. If a professional is more than someone whose living is earned by doing a paying job, then induction to a profession must be more than signing up for the career.
Induction can be a long process requiring up to several years, which is needed to reach some level of competence worthy of being called “professional.” In other words, when that level of competence is achieved, one is considered a “professional,” and the induction process is complete. The difficulty is determining what level of competence is enough to be considered “professional.” When employee skill certification is involved in the profession, the most reasonable way to determine when a novice employee becomes a professional is when he or she attains professional certification. That level of certification is earned because a level of competence based on some set of standards has been demonstrated.
Often, standards for professional conduct are not well defined. That’s where an effective induction program can really help. Not only does induction define the transitions and provide the help and guidance to ensure a smooth transition, but effective induction actually accelerates the rate of learning during the transition and affirms and supports the effort needed to make the transition.
Mentors, coaches, managers and supervisors can all help the induction process along. However, as defined elsewhere, the roles of supervisor and mentor must be played out differently to maximize the employees growth and performance.