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Trainer’s Tip: The Induction


This week Clive Boorman offers some advice on how to conduct a rolling induction.

I have extensive experience of managing an accredited rolling induction process - here's what we do. People will simply not retain volumes of information delivered in only one way. Whatever you do, you need to have different people involved in delivery, introducing different elements of the induction and using different ways of delivery. For example, one of the main points of our induction is to make new people feel really welcome and part of things so our chief executive always introduces and runs the first session (on the culture and history of the organisation). By seeing the 'top person' early on, the new starters feel important and see that the organisation cares about them by making the senior managers accessible (all senior managers join the group for a lunch to welcome the new staff on day one). Then, senior people from other departments would come and run sessions on the work of their area of the business. For fun, each manager would give the new starters a clue to a puzzle (about their area of the business) and once they have all the clues, they solve a puzzle or quiz to win a prize.

We also give the induction a theme - originally, we saw the induction as a pencil case and each day was an introduction to a new tool to put in their case, The tool being knowledge, skills or training on a topic in one themed area. For example, day one was about culture and history of the organisation, day two was about HR/ personnel/health & safety, day three was about putting customers first etc. We also actually really gave them a pencil case and gave them a new tool each day, pencil, pen, ruler etc

We have a variety of different delivery methods i.e. videos, games etc and continually worked on getting things right by getting feedback from inductees. Using the Honey & Mumford learning styles, we have appropriate activities and material for theorists, reflectors etc. We do have some e-learning, for example, but as some of the jobs didn't actually need the staff to have PC skills, it's not always appropriate. Our induction lasts six weeks but not all in one go - staff have two-to-three days induction each week combined with meeting and working with people in their own section.

Day one, for example, always starts with the new starter's manager meeting them and showing them round, introducing them to their new colleagues and then taking them to the first induction session which started about 11am on the first day.

We also met the new staff, face-to-face, (in a neutral place), the week before they started. We bought them a drink, ran through the induction process with them, answered any initial questions and made sure they knew where they were going.

That takes quite a commitment but one of the benefits was a much, much lower attrition rate than we had before this induction was introduced.

* Read the question that prompted this response and other members' advice on inductions here.


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