A critical evaluation of induction in American Express

Harding, Aimee (2008) A critical evaluation of induction in American Express. MSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    In today's highly competitive environment where organisations need their employees to 'hit the ground running' and begin performing well as soon as possible, with the minimum amount of resources, starting them off on the right track at the beginning of their employment can be the answer to developing and keeping a high performing, highly committed and engaged workforce who is aware of what is expected of them, and what rewards they will receive in return. Having a well designed, interactive, comprehensive induction programme that endeavors to meet the complex individual needs of the new employee is key to orientating and socialising them, allowing them to feel content and happy within their role, their team and their physical environment faster, which leads to the employee performing better, faster, displaying the 'discretionary behaviour' which is considered to be a sustainable source of competitive advantage. From the research undertaken for this report, it is clear that new employees are not getting what they want from American Express, leading to time spent resolving issues and sourcing information, which results in less time spent doing their job. If new employees are feeling overwhelmed, disorientated, unvalued, and 'left to get on with it - how does that shape their perception of the company? What are they saying about the company to their friends and family, their customers and colleagues? American Express views their brand, not their employees, to be most important to them - but if they are not careful, one could destroy the other. HR are not involved in the delivery of the induction programme currently, it is available on-line, however research undertaken for this report suggests overwhelmingly that employees would have liked HR to handle induction, either on their own or jointly with their line manager. Many employees did not know that there was an induction opportunity available to them, indicating that too much responsibility lays with the line manager to guide them in this matter, and that the current delivery method is not being effective. Informal inductions are taking place within the sample frame, however it is not answering the questions that the employee has, leading to increasing levels of frustration and time spent resolving the issue or sourcing the information. The current on-line induction concentrates on the organisation's values, and what behaviour is expected from the new employee. When asked to rank how useful this information was to them in their first few weeks from 1-5, with 5 being the least important, the large majority of respondents ranked it 5. Number one for them was meeting their colleagues and having a tour of their physical environment. The summary of the recommendations made in this report is that HR needs to re-engage with the induction programme - design it, deliver it, track attendance and evaluate how effective it is being. From the organisation's perspective, it is already delivering a contemporary, 'one size fits all', global, low cost, e-based solution to employee orientation which is aligned to the company culture, with the emphasis on the individual proactively seeking out any additional information that she/he needs to know.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Portsmouth Business School > Organisational Studies and Human Resources Management
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:48
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:14
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/579

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