Ideas to spark a great induction

Ideas to spark a great induction

Induction is a crucial opportunity to get new staff to fall in love with your brand. Therefore its design is crucial. Increasingly, our clients our clients are commissioning us to work on re-designing their induction experience. Here are some ideas to add spark to your induction training.

1) Ask the right questions

There are 3 important questions you must ask when designing your induction:

  • What do you want new starters to know?
  • How do you want new starters to feel?
  • What do you want new starters to do?

Avoid the tendency to overload people with too much information. What is the key information that all new starters must know at this point and what can wait for a little later down the line?

It’s important to consider how you want participants to feel. When we ask this question, we tend to hear, “proud”, “enthused”, “privileged”, “excited”, “respectful”. Whatever the feelings/emotions, the design of the programme is crucial. With the work we did with the retailer C&A (yes for those in the UK, they are very much alive and kicking), we wanted to emphasise the company’s legacy and the many things they were ahead of the curve with.

When participants leave the programme they shouldn’t leave with a sense of just doing a job. They should have a sense of purpose and contributing to something far bigger than themselves. They must also know that you actively want them to contribute to the future and not just show up a for a salary. Be explicit about the things you want them to do.

2) Live the values

If you have a couple of slides on your organisation’s values and a discussion, you miss a crucial opportunity to get participants to truly buy into the organisation. Your induction process must get new starters to both experience and exhibit your values.  Whether it be “honesty”, “boldness” or “excellence”, design your programme to include exercises that require participants to be your brand.

3) Walk in the shoes of your customers

A few years ago we had the privilege of travelling to Madagascar and working with one of the world’s leading mining companies.  One thing that the leadership recognised was that staff were totally disconnected with what they did and the value it added to people around the world. As far as staff were concerned they simply mined. But by simply bringing into a room a range of products which included the minerals they extracted, things became real.

Provide opportunities that allow new starters to experience your brand. This maybe driving the car, wearing the clothes, or being a patient who is visually impaired for a time so they can see through the customer’s eyes.

4) Make it fun

It sounds obvious, but unfortunately, many inductions end up being quite mundane and boring. People learn more when they’re having fun. When people are enjoying learning, they are more engaged and messages stick. Build fun elements into your programme, such as game- based learning.

5) Treat it like a date

An induction should be an opportunity where you get to know the people who you’ve entrusted with your brand.  This is more than “stand up and tell us something interesting about you”!!  We have a programme called Ti Amo, which looks at falling in love with brands. The second stage is “getting to know each other”. Think of induction as a date. On a date, if one person does all the talking, there’s unlikely to be a second date. There is an expectation that both parties share information about each other and are genuinely inquisitive about the other party.

6) Make sure your induction training matches the reality

So, you’ve designed an amazingly engaging, informative and experiential induction. New starters leave the experience feeling excited about working for your organisation and then when they begin work they think ‘oh my goodness’ because the reality of working for your organisation is nothing like what they have learnt. How do you prevent this disconnect? Two simple ideas.   Firstly, talk to staff about the organisation and what’s important for new people to understand. Secondly get managers to experience the induction. Not only can this be informative, but for some a refresher, about why they brought into your brand.

7) Escape the classroom 

Nobody wants to be stuck in a classroom the whole time being subjected to death by slideshow. Get your new starters out of the classroom and active. Think about creating a treasure hunt, hiding clues around the organisation that new starters have to find and solve to complete the hunt. Not only does this help to get new starters familiar with their new surrounding but it also gets them talking to and engaging with their new colleagues.

8) Mix it up

Everyone has different learning styles, so use a variety of different methods to keep your induction training inclusive and fresh. You could include games like our learning maps, videos, role plays (but don’t call it that it puts people off!), observations, discussions and any other fun activities you can dream up!

First impressions count so use some of these ideas to make your induction training stand out. Why not download our infographic that summarizes these ideas and keep it on hand as a quick reminder?

Akin Thomas, CEO of AKD Solutions