MAKING IT INDUCTION PART OF A NEW USER PROCESS
At this stage in the IT Induction journey you are now ready to share IT Induction with your users, and regardless of how you have decided to deliver this knowledge, which was discussed in Chapter 5, how can you ensure that all your target audience participate in the programme?
It will certainly help if you have gained approval from senior management to make IT Induction a mandatory activity for a new starter. However, if this proves too difficult to achieve in the short term, then having an optional IT Induction programme is far better than not having one at all. Before accepting these faits accomplis, consider the approach, adopted by The Salvation Army UK.
The IT department of The Salvation Army UK has wide-ranging responsibilities including information security. They also have their own IT Learning unit which is teamed with User Support. The IT Learning unit has the responsibility for enabling staff IT competency, education and knowledge sharing. Consequently, the HR department have separated the responsibility for IT Induction from employee induction, endorsing both the subject matter expertise and teaching skills within the IT department, and therefore the IT department have the responsibility for IT Induction and Information Security Awareness in its entirety.
The IT Learning unit redesigned their classroom-based IT Induction programme to bring it up to date and also to make it available online. Consequently, all new users located anywhere in the UK were able to access IT Induction Online.
To ensure IT Induction and Information Security were taken seriously, they gained support from the leadership of the organisation to make IT Induction a mandatory undertaking. Given their partnership with User Support, they then devised a process by which all new accounts were put on hold until the IT Induction had been successfully completed. Successful completion was defined as working through the online material and answering at least 70% of the knowledge questions correctly. The tracking system they employed enabled them to check staff progress and therefore sanction release of the user accounts accordingly. Staff who are unable to meet the success criteria are coached and supported as appropriate, although this remains a rare occurrence.
Paradoxically, to access IT Induction Online, the new user requires a network account, but their account is on hold pending successful completion of the IT Induction. This impasse is resolved by the provision of a unique IT Induction account which enables the new user to use the organisation’s network to access IT Induction Online, but which prevents them from accessing any other system resource.
IT Induction Online is also published as a private secure website, making it available to any new starter with Internet access. At the log-in page of the IT Induction programme they use personalised log-in credentials, provided by IT Learning, to gain full access to the programme and this enables their individual progress to be recorded.
All temporary and contract staff are also subject to the same process and procedure. As a consequence of the programme being available from any Internet connection, they are able to choose when and where they complete the programme, even from home, therefore enabling them to start work as soon as possible.
And the result?
IT Induction Online was launched in the summer of 2008, and around 50 new users a month have undertaken the programme since then. Following an evaluation of these users during September 2009, when a proportional representation of Salvation Army staff expressed their views about the programme, the following results were revealed:
• 90% of the staff understood the necessity for IT Induction.
• 80% indicated IT Induction Online had some influence on their working practices (13% reported a large influence).
• 97% reported it was very easy to access and navigate.
• 76% reported the content was easy to follow.
• 63% reported the knowledge questions helped them quite a lot to further their understanding of the content.
• 75% rated the experience as ‘Very Good’ or ‘Excellent’.
• The majority of the users spent between 30 and 60 minutes working through the programme.
Furthermore, the results showed that making the course mandatory had not caused any real issues with staff and they viewed the process as a quick and easy solution. They acknowledged the vast improvement over face-to-face or telephone training and the flexibility that enabled them to undertake the programme at any time, which was particularly valued by shift workers.
In addition, User Support fully endorsed the process, and the Service Desk tools they used enabled effective logging and delegation of new user set-up tasks, which included the IT Induction element of the user account process.
The evaluation results also reported that 36% of the staff would be prepared to revisit IT Induction Online especially if the material was updated. This suggests that IT Induction should not be viewed as a one time only experience and is the subject of the final chapter in this pocket guide.
For further information contact:
Head of IT Learning & User Support
The Salvation Army UK