Take away the ‘Yaaawwn!” from Induction Training – Facilitate!


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‘Inducting’ new hires into an organization can be challenging, especially when the intake is regular. HR and Trainers struggle with sharing the same content over and over again, and the routine becomes a repetitive activity that no one enjoys.

Here is how to change the induction session into something interactive and fun-filled, yet helping participants to learn and retain content!

Sharing company policies with new recruits – leave, attendance, performance review, dress code, email etiquette, IT security, physical security, compensation and benefits, medical benefits………..and so on, is mandatory, but can be daunting and extremely boring.

Want to change this to something fun, yet have a lasting learning experience?

Use the ‘Textra’ Magic Wand! Here is how:

Break the participants into small groups. Groups of five or six are ideal. Have printouts of each policy document (leave, medical and so on) printed out and ready. Give each team one policy document (one copy for each member of the team) to read and discuss. Allow 10 minutes for this activity (longer or shorter based on the number of pages).

Ask each team to prepare a flip chart with highlights of the policy – let them get as creative as they like! They should also prepare a set of questions that they would expect others to ask, and be ready with the answers.

Each team should now make a presentation to the rest about their understanding of the policy. After that, all other participants can ask questions. If now questions are forthcoming, the team presenting the policy can use their prepared set of questions to ask the others – this way they test the understanding of the group.

And that’s it! No more PowerPoint! Not only will you be able to keep the group engrossed, but you will find that they learn and retain more of the content!

There are dozens of variations you can bring into Textra – it is only limited by your creativity! ! With creativity and imagination, there is no limit to what you can accomplish with even ‘routine’ training, without sacrificing efficiency but enhancing participants’ learning exponentially!

What do you think you can do with Textra? Share and let me know!

Sunder Sharma is a member of The International Association of Facilitators (www.iaf-world.org). The India Chapter has over 70 members, and organizes learning and sharing events regularly. check out the website www.iaf-india.org; or the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/indianassocfacilitators for more information.

The IAF is celebrating ‘Facilitation Week’ from October 19th to 25th, 2015. This is a world-wide coordinated effort to spread the awareness and advantages of Facilitation. As a part of this, the India Chapter of the IAF is providing pro-bono services to several organizations, groups and Institutions to help them get an overview of Facilitation and how it helps them to share learning, encourage participation and get involvement from each individual. If you wish to explore a session in your organization, please email me at sunder@innerview.in.

Waiting for Godot


The Vladimirs and Estragons keep waiting till 11.30, getting vague updates – he is on the way, will reach any time, held up due traffic and so on. Finally – wonder of wonders – Godot appears! A brief, curt apology, and Godot is off. Missing again for an hour – and Vladimir and Estragon keep waiting – they expect to do business with Godot.

The Great Indian Stretchable Time Malady is a great leveler – a malaise that straddles generations, languages, cultures, industries, businesses, everything. Indians, as a class, seem to be unable to keep appointments or schedules.

Across the world, business professionals schedule their work and meetings – and keep their schedules. Meetings not only start on time, they end on time. I’ve scheduled multiple meetings in a day at different part of a city in the US and Europe – and had people coming on time, every time. But back in India – and waiting!

Let ‘em wait!

The Great Indian Stretchable Time Malady is not restricted to managers – it can go all the way to the top. Indian corporate leaders seem to derive their power and prestige from making people wait – the higher you are on the Totem pole, the longer you make ‘em wait. Two of my CEO’s were notorious for this – if they scheduled a meeting with you, that’s all you could have on your calendar. And even so, the meeting may not happen at all! I recollect the entire Executive Committee – 18 high-powered Executives – wandering around the Corporate office for an entire day for a meeting to begin because the CEO was dealing with ’other priorities’.

It starts from the first job Interview

The induction to the corporate version of the IST Malaise starts right at the first interview. Have you ever walked into a large company’s office and seen people milling around waiting to be interviewed? I wonder what standard of professionalism the organization communicates when it assumes that the candidates’ time is of no consequence – after all, they are job seekers.  What do you expect these future employees would do? Make people wait!

People work, and time is the resource they offer, which is what organizations pay for. Wasting that in any form is criminal. Can you even estimate the cost of lost hours due ‘waiting’?

Dealing with the Malady

How do you deal with this? This is what I do.  I am willing to invest 25 minutes in waiting for any face-to-face meeting, and that is my consideration for the chaotic traffic situation. After that, I walk away. This is a practice I have followed since I was a struggling entrepreneur, when I walked away from a scheduled meeting with the COO of the then Hutchison Max. (At least the man was courteous enough to rush out and offer to buy me lunch when his secretary informed him I was not willing to wait).

Great Leaders set examples

All is not lost, however. There are still the old-time business leaders who keep their appointments. One lasting memory I have is that of Mr. Adi Godrej, who promised to attend my daughter’s wedding and said he would come to the venue at 7 pm. And he was there – 7 pm on the dot! No excuses – a new place, no directions, traffic, other meetings – nothing! And that is Corporate Leadership – by example! How do you stack up?