Image courtesy of jscreationzs from

Image courtesy of jscreationzs from

I watched in horror at first, then they simply continued!

On reflection they did the best possible thing, so simple yet it worked a treat! I was witnessing what I had come to see, a team that had a rock solid induction program for new employees. Their drop out rate was low, their success rate post induction very high.

The secret was very simple, although I was told it took them a long while to figure out what needed to be done. The aim was good, to make sure the induction program gave new employees the best chance of success going into their role in a new company.

One of the best things they did was the early research, those that didn’t do so well were solidly interviewed to find out why. The answers ranged from, the recruitment process right through to the induction program. Some of it was a clash with the approach the Trainers used, for others it was the lack of depth in the training.

Identifying and consistently working on the program gave them a best practice approach to work with.

Here are just some of the big changes they made.

  • Make the new people feel fantastic – They made sure that the arrival of the new people was as stress free and openly welcoming as possible, hand shaking, warm smile, a top notch training room, equipment and facilities. The start time was purposely 1/2 an hour later than normal, parking had been paid for and made seemless, lunch provided and any details not quite right were adjusted post haste
  • No nasties – The training program had been worked on to ensure it was direct and punchy, the speakers were coached and stayed within their time frames and followed the outline of what they had to say
  • Repetition works – When the program got underway the details of company wide tasks such as answering the phone were clearly outlined, then practiced over and over in ways that defied the old ‘rote learning’ miserable repetition. The training team had developed a simple video, worked out a series of small team coaching approaches and worked with each person to ensure they got the basic message and clarified the details. Each new employee was then given a link to an in house video to follow up with and practice in their own time
  • Real people with real feedback – At various times team memebers from various parts of the organisation came in and gave a few minutes of their view of the organisation and why they were believed they were part of a fantastic winning team. They spoke in glowing terms about the organisation as well as giving real world examples of challenges they faced and how their supervisors coached and mentored them through the challenges
  • Day two begins… – A review of the previous days highlights soon got the room energised and up to speed and ready to tackle new material. The training crew had also checked out how many views the online in house training video had, they were pleased to report the view number was high. Discussion took place about details of the video which lead into more hot topics on ways things were done company wide
  • Interactive – The new recruits were given ample opportunity to interact with each other and discuss what they had learnt, reviewing the material presented. They then had the chance to discuss any challenges with the trainers and speakers
  • Practical points and conecpts too – While the practicalities of the organisation and the role were discussed, so too were the underlying concepts and notions that caused the organisation to be what it is. The mission and vision with a full values list were put forward. The group then explored the values in action, with examples given from current employees and training staff alike. Another link was provided to a slide show with narration on how the values could be worked on, develop and explored
  • Catch up time – The whole group was given a time to get together again in a few weeks to discuss how things were going and ways to make the next induction process even more effective. Of courrse they were also given details of their “support buddy” in their area and a HR contact to chat to as well.

You can imagine how thrilled I was to witness all of this, clearly a first class organisation that cares about it’s team members and the vital role they play in the organisations success. Shocked, yes because this level of care they were willing to show, and clearly how they wanted their external paying customers to feel as well.. I smiled widely!

It was about then the alarm went off and I woke up.

Hope you enjoyed my outline, I can only hope that one day most mid to large organsiations actually do this as a matter of course.


Steve Gray

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