Engaged from day one… is it time to rethink your new-starter inductions?
Chief People Officer
New-starter inductions. What do they amount to at your organisation? Typically, new-starter inductions represent the rather daunting, and often time consuming, process of taking a new employee through everything they need to know about the organisation they’ve just joined. Little wonder it doesn’t tend to be something everyone across the organisation is rushing to sign up to deliver.
Get it right, though, and your induction process provides you with the best opportunity you’ll get to bring a new member of your organisation on board, fully signed up to (and with a thorough understanding of) the company goals, priorities and culture. No pressure then.
Prior to joining Benefex, my experience of organisational induction processes was… underwhelming. You tend to sit through a short deck of PowerPoint slides, showing you a series of organisation charts and a set of instructions about how you should book your holiday. If you’re lucky, you might get a brief office tour, and that’s pretty much it: on with the day job.
Inductions at Benefex
When it came to what we do at Benefex, I wanted us to set the bar high. Our induction process was going to be unlike any induction our employees had ever gone through before. It needed to reflect our culture and be fun, fast paced, entertaining and highly interactive. As someone with a notoriously short attention span, I figured that if I could come up with an induction which would keep me interested, I had to be on to a good thing.
It also needed to focus on the real priorities. As a business, what did we feel it was critical for our new starters to understand in order to have the best possible chance of delivering within their roles? This set of priorities became the ‘Induction Objectives’ around which the induction process hangs.
It wasn’t just senior stakeholders we talked to either – I spoke with employees right across the business, getting their views on what they most felt they needed to know when they first joined us. This ranged from understanding our three year strategic plan, to working out how to operate our hot water tap in the kitchen!
As a result, the Benefex induction has developed into a week-long immersion into our business, featuring everything from work shadowing and video watching, to card games and biscuit eating! The brilliant graphic designers in our Engagement team have done an amazing job of pulling the entire thing together using our internal branding, giving it a really friendly and familiar look and feel.
Not for the faint hearted... Inductees hoping to fade into the background whilst a series of PowerPoint slides plays will be disappointed.
We place the same demands on our new starters as we do on all of our existing employees: throw yourselves into things, don’t be afraid to make mistakes, and have a fantastic time while you’re doing it. Thus far, feedback from our new starters suggests we’re getting it overwhelmingly right.
Oh, and one more thing? We don’t restrict our induction programme solely to our new starters. The entire business – some of whom have been here for a number of years – have recently been through it. By doing this, we’ve ensured consistency of understanding throughout the business, but we’ve also given everyone who works for Benefex a chance to input into the induction process.
Inductions shouldn’t, in my opinion, be solely the remit of HR, it should be something which everyone in the organisation sees as the opportunity it is – to get our new starters on board and equipped for delivery from day one. You only get one chance to make that first impression… make sure you do everything you can to ensure it’s a great one.
Would you like to join the team and witness the induction process first-hand? Take a look at our current available positions.
Kathryn joined Benefex in October 2014 and has overall responsibility for managing the HR function within Benefex. She has over ten years’ experience of HR management across a variety of sectors. During this time, she has not only managed HR teams but has also had responsibility for operational departments, meaning she has a great understanding of what it actually takes to get a business delivering.
Kathryn’s remit at Benefex covers a wide spectrum, from developing a recruitment strategy to bring in the very best people to deliver to our clients, to designing and delivering in house training solutions, to ensuring our company values are at the heart of everything we do. She is passionate about ensuring work becomes a great place to be for absolutely everyone, and believes that life is far too short for us to spend it dreading Monday mornings. As she’s super multi-talented, she also runs her own HR blog, Up Close and Personnel.
Kathryn’s claim to fame is that she is so bad at parking, she once drove her car into the side of her old office. We’re hoping she doesn’t go for a repeat performance here!