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Seb Anthony

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new office induction


my organisation has just re-located its head office. 20 people have re-located and we have employed roughly 90 new people. I've been tasked with organising some kind of induction/welcome event for the office personnel to mark the end of the move. The event will last about 3 hours. apart from the usual welcome note from the MD and introductions from heads of depts, has anyone any suggestions for exercises that encourage people to meet those from other departments? It's worth mentioning that the organisation is rather heirarchical and the MD doesn't like "games" - i.e, nothing too physical and nothing that involves him!!
gillian doolin

6 Responses

  1. Room layout
    A simple idea but one that works really well. Given that there are going to be 100 people arrange the room in tables to seat no more than 10. Get each group mixed from different departments ( seating plan and names badges well in advance) and get each group to work together on questions ( say 2 per table).

    Give 30 minutes per question, get them all talking to each other and aim to also get them to swop cards, business extensions a bit of detail about what their department does etc as well as a question to the MD and heads of department.

    Then get the questions answered in person at the meeting by the various heads of department and MD. It works very well, we have used it on a number of sessions and it gets small teams together for a couple of hours who might never otherwise meet.

    I appreciate your MD might not favour questions from the floor, but that in itself is something that no doubt you are working on!

    Good luck

    TBD Global Ltd
    0870 241 4325

  2. Your induction
    I don’t know if the MD would regard the following as a game but overcome this by pointing out the work involved.Organise the event into an open day with each dept or pocket staffing a stall. Each stall has to carry some common corporate or generic features,alongside which in greater quantity should be items from that part of the orgnisation.Anything – literture,lists of achievements,products, staffiningdetails, main external contacts,organisational chart – links to the whole picture.Release your stall holders to visit other stalls.You could even second another stall holder to help staff your stall or do job swaps.On concluson leave 30 minutes for stall holders to regroup and brief each other on their findings.

    [email protected]

  3. Not the end, rather the beginning?
    You don’t say whether the 20 relocating are departmental heads or a mixture from across the organisation. Apart from a new office, you also have the issue of 90 new staff who haven’t worked in the company before. Along the lines of previous answers, you could use the current employees to talk about the work they do and the new employees to provide information about the local area, amenities, things to do after work etc. This might also encourage some socialising outside the workplace. Perhaps take the view that this is the beginning of a new phase for the company, rather than the end of something else.

  4. Orienteering
    Hi Gillian,

    One idea I tried in my last employment was to set up an “orienteering course” around the building. Our new intake, working in teams, had to get signatures, samples, parts of a jigsaw of our Corporate Vision poster from different departments. And to avoid cut-throat competition, all the teams had to cooperate in building the final presentation.

    As a suggestion, to get your MD more involved, get the participants to present their end-of-run result to him/her — you’ll get him/her known to the participants; and she/he will be much more aware of how new intakes understand the company & their places in it.


  5. Company Quiz
    Hi Gillian

    How about putting together a short quiz – something very simple that covers information already given during the presentations in the morning.

    Arrange the new starters into mixed teams to answer the questions and encourage interaction.

    If you are feeling generous, you could give out a prize for the winning team.

  6. Welcome Event
    I once attended an event where we were given a piece of paper with a list of questions to find out about each other such as “Find out who supports Leeds United” (Sorry for any non-Leeds fans) “Who is an avid watcher of Coronation Street?” “Who has learned Salsa dancing?” etc. It certainly helped break the ice and several conversations continued at break time between people.


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