revitalise your induction program by going social

L&D Managers: Is your corporate induction program putting new employees to sleep?

Inducting new employees is an important process.  You have the opportunity to maximise engagement at this critical time of the employee lifecycle, and get people started on their career in the way you intend them to continue – collaboratively, with an open mind and a willingness to learn from others and take self-responsibility for their contributions to your organisation.

Why then do so many corporate induction processes focus on bombarding new employees with information that has little practical relevance to them at this early stage?  Or worse still, starving them of the information and connections that will help them work more effectively and navigate their way around your company.

There is another option – go social!

Social learning is about designing learning experiences within a socially collaborative context that more closely resembles the way people actually learn and go about their day to day work – interacting with the information and colleagues that will help them get the job done.

I’m currently participating in the Guided Social Learning Experiences workshop with 23 other people from around the world.  The program is deftly facilitated by Jane Hart from the Modern Workplace Learning Centre.  One of the activities is to develop a social learning experience that will address a learning or performance problem, and I chose to re-design a standard corporate induction and orientation process, using a hypothetical company – GreenLight Manufacturing.  Here is what I have developed:

The learning/performance problem

The induction and orientation process for new employees to GreenLight Manufacturing is static and linear, with a hard copy welcome pack, and a traditional scheduled classroom session. While the process is information rich, it does not maximise opportunities for social engagement between employees, on-demand interaction with content or learner choice.


The induction and orientation process has been redesigned using the Guided Social Learning Experience Model, utilising a blend of Social Online Workshops, regularly scheduled Social Classroom ‘Welcome Workshops’ and an opt-in/opt-out Learning Flow via the company portal. This provides a flexible open-streaming model, allowing new employees to hop in and out of the GSLE induction and orientation process as it suits them and their new work schedule.

Performance Outcomes

  • Early engagement with new employee cohort
  • Learner-directed interaction with company information
  • Establishment of collaborative employee social network

Evaluation Strategy

  • Pre- and post- learner and hiring manager engagement survey
  • Post-event social network mapping

So what would the program look like?

Here is the overview, summarising each element of the program from a learner perspective.

example social learning induction program overview

Could this work for you?

If employee engagement and improving the effectiveness of your induction and orientation process is a key metric for your organisation, consider the possibilities of revamping your program to incorporate social learning elements.

Printable PDF: revitalising your induction program by going social

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