2 January 2022

CASE: Accelerating Onboarding with instructional videos at PI Dordrecht

The Challenge 

Penitentiary institution Dordrecht is one the institutions within DJI who are already  using GPAL. They successfully show how GPAL can be employed to accelerate and digitise the Onboarding process. 

“The real added value of GPAL is the innovative results of instructional videos. With all the digitalization we see in our daily lives, it only seems logical that our workplaces will become digitised too.”

New employees have to familiarise themselves with many diverse procedures and tasks at PI Dordrecht. From the moment the new employee enters the building, questions arise such as: How does the detection procedure work? How do I safely store my keys? And How do I use the radio? These are some of the questions the new employee is immediately confronted with and is supposed to know. For this reason, the Onboarding process often takes a long time and sometimes even a formal course needs to be followed simultanously. The goal of using GPAL was to shorten this Onboarding process with visual instructional videos, always available in the mobile App. These videos allow new employees to familiarise themselves with procedures faster, reduce the lack of knowledge, and help them acquire new skills. 

“New employees are often faced with a substantial gap in their knowledge when they begin working [at PI Dordrecht]. With GPAL we are trying to reduce these gaps in knowledge, and due to the visual aspect of the videos this happens even faster.”

The Approach 

PI Dordrecht used the GPAL Sprint method to organise and facilitate short-term projects. The first project was focused on a general introduction of the workplace for new employees, which has now been successfully completed and is already in use. The second project, digitising the Onboarding process of different functions via instructional videos, is still a work in progress. Where the first project is more generic and available to everyone, the latter is focused on function-specific instructions and tasks. 

Project 1: Facilitating a warm welcome for new employees 

The first project was started to welcome new employees and familiarise them with the structure of the organisation. More experienced colleagues made short videos in which they introduced themselves and briefly explained their role within PI Dordrecht. In this manner, new employees can meet everyone in the organisation, from those working in catering to the director. This immediately creates more engagement with new colleagues and the organisation. It is therefore not that odd that these introduction videos are very popular and often get many positive reactions. 

“In the introduction videos, everyone gets a chance to tell their own story, which makes the Onboarding process very personal. We often hear that new employees feel more included and at home faster.” 

This is how instructional videos are made at PI Dordrecht.

Project 2: Digitising Onboarding via video

Recently, a new project was started at PI Dordrecht. Namely, filming specific Onboarding processes for different functions. New employees can work in seven different departments within PI Dordrecht and therefore will have to receive an Onboarding process specific to their own function. That is why different Onboarding booklets are made for every function, provided with accompanying QR-codes and explanations. When the new employee scans the QR-code with the GPAL App, the right video will immediately come up. 

We combine the instructional videos in GPAL with the physical Onboarding booklet. The videos provide the information a lot faster and often give clarification. This is a very modern way of education.”

A fixed film team of three is sent into the organisation to film different procedures. They visit different workplaces and create short instructional videos together with the employees. These are then shared in the GPAL app and made available to other colleagues. The enthusiastic members of the film team have become familiar faces within the organisation and their enthusiasm is contagious. The ease with which videos can be made with GPAL (simply on a mobile device) makes employees more confident, which makes the filming process run smoothly. By assigning a fixed film team, employees are included in the filming process, while maintaining a high standard for the videos. 

“The enthusiasm of the film team is infectious. The employees are encouraged to contribute ideas and participate in making the videos. GPAL is really a product of everyone in the organisation.”

Due to logistical problems, filming on a regular basis can be difficult at times. During Corona times it can be especially difficult to rearrange working schedules. GPAL’s 3-weekly sprint method proved to be of help in solving this problem. By appointing specific goals, filming happens more regularly, and it also keeps the project on people’s minds. Furthermore, the most important procedures are scheduled, and this schedule is already full till May next year! Also, an evaluation video about GPAL was made at PI Dordrecht. 

Below you will find the evaluation video of GPAL, made in PI Dordrecht

The Results

Accelerated Onboarding 

The work-related tasks of employees at PI Dordrecht are very diverse. Due to the visual aspect of instructional videos, the new employees were able to learn the procedures in a shortened time period. Video instructions are also experienced as a more fun and effective way of Onboarding, because the videos are made by colleagues. GPAL makes the Onboarding process shorter, more efficient, and more fun. 

“GPAL accelerates the whole procedure. You may not be able to explain something in-depth in a short instructional video, but it does provide employees with a much stronger foundation. Especially the younger colleagues seem to be very  enthusiastic about GPAL.”

More engagement: for & by employees

Due to the personal elements of the introduction videos and the enthusiastic film team, the instructional videos are full of charisma and playful banter. This makes it truly a product of PI Dordrecht and new employees feel immediately included. Apart from the fact that videos are a more fun way to introduce colleagues, it also results in a quicker familiarisation of procedures. 

It also creates a sense of pride and confidence when a good instructional video is made. The overall reaction to the instructional videos is therefore very postive. 

“It is very satisfying when a good idea or concept turns into a good instructional video. It is really fun to watch the result and it definitely adds to the pride and confidence that employees experience.”