When it comes to employee training, there are two main types: induction training and job-specific training. Induction training is a broad overview of the company, while job-specific training focuses on the employee’s tasks. Which type of training is right for your business? Let’s look at both training types and see which is best for you.
Induction training is a great way to get new employees up to speed on the company. It covers the basics, including the company’s history, mission, and values. Induction training introduces new employees to the company culture and how things work here. This type of training is important for setting the tone for the rest of the employee’s time at the company.
On the other hand, job-specific training is exactly what it sounds like training specific to the job that the employee will be doing. This type of training details the tasks the employee will be responsible for and how to do them. Job-specific training ensures that employees are properly equipped to do their jobs.
What is Induction Training?
Induction training is essential to bringing a new employee into your organization. It’s the first step in immersing them into the company culture, helping them make friends, develop a support network, and feel like they belong in their workplace.
When you do induction training right, they will be excited to come to work daily. They will be eager to learn more and won’t mind staying long hours when needed. They’ll also have a strong loyalty to your organization and won’t jump ship.
But that’s not all! Induction training is also beneficial for the employer. When new employees are inducted effectively, they’re more productive from day one. They’ll require less supervision because they understand what’s expected of them, and they’ll get up to speed quickly because the proper resources were provided at the beginning of their employment. This can save you time and money.
New employees, trainees, and contractors should always provide induction training. While such training covers pay, conditions, and quality, it must also include health and safety. It is useful if the employee signs a record of receiving training. This record may be required as evidence should a subsequent legal claim against the organization.
The Topics Included In Induction Training Programs
Most induction training programs would include the following topics:
- The health and safety policy of the organization, including a summary of the organization and arrangements, including employee consultation;
- A summary of the health and safety management system, including the name of the employee’s direct supervisor, safety representative, and source of health and safety information;
- The employee responsible for health and safety, including any general health and safety rules (e.g., smoking prohibitions);
- The accident reporting procedure of the organization, the location of the accident book, and the location of the nearest first aider;
- The fire and other emergency procedures, including the location of the assembly point;
- The hazards that are specific to the workplace;
- A summary of any relevant risk assessments and safe systems of work;
- The location of welfare, canteen facilities, and restrooms;
- Procedures for reporting defects or possible hazards and the name of the responsible person to whom the report should be made;
- Details of the possible disciplinary measures enacted for non-compliance with health and safety rules and procedures.
Additional items which are specific to the organization may need to be included, such as:
- Internal transport routes and pedestrian walkways (e.g., fork-lift truck operations);
- The correct use of PPE and maintenance procedures;
- Manual handling techniques and procedures;
- Details of hazardous substances and related procedures (e.g., health surveillance).
There should be some form of follow-up with each new employee after 3 months to check that the important messages have been retained. This is sometimes called a refresher course, although it is often better-done one-to-one.
It is very important to stress that the content of the induction course should be subject to constant review and update following an accident investigation, new legislation, changes in the findings of a risk assessment, or the introduction of new plants or processes.
What is Job Specific training?
Job-specific training ensures that employees safely undertake their job. Such training, therefore, is a form of skill training and is often best done ‘ on the job ’ – sometimes known as ‘ toolbox training.’ Details of the safe work system or, in more hazardous jobs, a permit-to-work system should be covered. In addition to normal safety procedures, emergency procedures and the correct use of PPE must also be included. The results of risk assessments are very useful in developing this type of training. It is important that any common causes of human errors (e.g., discovered as a result of an accident investigation), and any standard safety checks or maintenance requirements are addressed.
It is common for this type of training to follow an operational procedure in the form of a checklist the employee can sign upon completing the training. The new employee will still need close supervision after completing the training. The level of supervision will depend upon the individual employee, their previous experience in similar jobs, and whether or not they are deemed ‘competent’ by their employer.
When an employee has completed their job-specific training, they should be able to:
- Safely undertake their work following company procedures
- Use any tools or equipment required for the job safely and correctly
- Understand the hazards associated with the job and how to control or eliminate them
- Be aware of the safety risks involved in the work and how to minimize these risks.
- Follow correct emergency procedures if an accident or incident occurs.
It is important to remember that job-specific training is an ongoing process. As new hazards are identified or new equipment is introduced, employees must be trained to control or eliminate these new risks. Similarly, employees will need appropriate training if transferred to a new job. Regular training reviews should be carried out to ensure it is still fit.
Key Differences Between Induction Training and Job-Specific Training
Induction and job-specific training serve two different but crucial purposes within employee onboarding and development. Here are the key differences between the two:
|Aspects||Induction Training||Job-Specific Training|
|Purpose||To introduce new employees to the company, its policies, culture, and general operations.||Narrow focuses on the specific responsibilities, tasks, processes, and tools related to a particular job role.|
|Scope||To impart specific skills, knowledge, and competencies required for an employee’s job role.||Uniform and relevant for all new hires, regardless of their organizational roles.|
|Duration||Typically shorter, it often occurs during the initial days or weeks of an employee’s tenure. It may include occasional refresher sessions.||Usually ongoing throughout an employee’s tenure, adapting as the job evolves or when new technologies or procedures are introduced.|
|Participants||It can be conducted in a traditional classroom setting, online platforms, or blended learning. Involves presentations, company tours, group discussions, etc.||Custom-tailored to individual roles or departments; content varies significantly depending on specific job requirements.|
|Training Methodology||It can be conducted in a traditional classroom setting, online platforms, or blended learning. Involves presentations, company tours, group discussions, etc.||Often involves more hands-on learning, on-the-job training, one-on-one mentoring, and practical demonstrations. Requires a more personalized and practical approach to training.|
- Purpose: The primary purpose of induction training is to introduce a new employee to the company, its policies, culture, and general operations. The initial welcome phase eases employees into the organization and provides a broad overview of their new working environment. On the other hand, job-specific training focuses on imparting specific skills, knowledge, and competencies required for the employee to perform their job role effectively and efficiently.
- Scope: Induction training is usually broader in scope. It covers various topics, including the company’s history, culture, values, policies, health and safety protocols, etc. However, job-specific training has a narrower focus. It revolves around the specific responsibilities, tasks, processes, and tools related to a particular job.
- Duration: Induction training typically happens over a shorter period, often during the initial days or weeks of an employee’s tenure. It is a one-time activity, although refresher sessions may be conducted occasionally. On the other hand, job-specific training may be ongoing throughout an employee’s tenure, adapting as the job evolves or when new technologies or procedures are introduced.
- Participants: Induction training is usually uniform and relevant for all new hires, regardless of their specific organizational roles. In contrast, job-specific training is custom-tailored to individual roles or departments, and the training content varies significantly depending on the specific job requirements.
- Training Methodology: Induction training can be conducted in a more traditional classroom setting, online platforms, or blended learning. It can involve presentations, company tours, group discussions, etc. Job-specific training, however, might involve more hands-on learning, on-the-job training, one-on-one mentoring, and practical demonstrations.
In summary, induction and job-specific training are critical to an organization. Induction training sets the foundation for a new employee’s journey within the company, while job-specific training equips employees with the necessary skills to perform their jobs successfully. They are complementary and together contribute to an effective training and development strategy.