We’ve already discussed many times just how important induction are , both to welcome people to your business and also to make sure they get up to speed as quickly as possible. That said, they can tend to err on the dry … dare we say it boring …. side? But, fortunately, you can fix that. Here are six great ideas to ensure your next induction has a lasting impact – for all the right reasons.
Most businesses have perks of one form or another. They could be ones enjoyed by the entire industry or ones only your staff enjoy. So if you get the opportunity, work one or two of them into the induction process. Your small business gives Gold Class vouchers to top-selling agents? Hand over a pair for a night of fun at the movies. Staff in your building have free access to a gymnasium? Let them take an hour for a free fitness assessment. Your type of industry is forever getting sent foodstuffs to sample? Let them take a basket home. Remember, it’s not about building ridiculous expectations, but about injecting a little bit of colour into their first impressions to remind them they made the right decision in coming to work for you.
Networking is often the key to moving up the career ladder, so show them exactly how you’re primed to facilitate it. Take the new employee to a networking meeting, a business breakfast or any other event that will have people they’ve heard off but have probably only read about. Your introduction need only be short and sweet: “I’d like to introduce Jane, our newest employee working in the contract law division”, but if it’s to someone they admire or want to emulate, it’s a tiny bit of work-related thrill to focus on during the first-day debrief with friends or family.
It’s not always possible to give new employees a space to call their own, especially if your business has embraced hot desking. But you can help them feel at home with a few small but clever touches. One idea might be to give them a photo frame and encourage them to put a favourite image in it. Make it light enough to be easily moved and it can then help to define ‘their’ space as they move around, whether it’s theirs for a morning, a day or a week. Another idea is to give them a personalised coffee mug and then whip up the first cup of joe to fill it. Again, it’s about those little somethings that say ‘You matter to us and we’re glad you’re here.’
Most jobs have dull spots, and an adult will understand this and prepare for it. But how good would it be, just as you’re covering these areas off, to show them something you’ve done to lighten the mood. For example, if their job involves a long and monotonous day of data entry, you might give them an iTunes voucher so they can download a few tunes for their iPod to help create a great atmosphere while they bash away at the keyboard.
Many good companies encourage a great family atmosphere. So why not start as you mean to go on with some great conversation over a great lunch to which their partner is also invited. It’s guaranteed to make them feel more at ease and can help both of them start to feel like they fit in immediately.
The new employee should already have an intimate knowledge of what you do and how you do it. But a real career isn’t just about procedure and process – it’s about immersion in the people and experiences. So tell them about the fun stuff and the opportunities. It could be a profile of a staff member who’s gone on to enjoy a high profile on the world stage, details of craft clubs run by one department, or even a list of environment credentials and activities. It sounds almost cheesy to do, but giving people a good sense of a company’s character on day one can make the whole induction process feel a bit more welcoming and a little less intimidating.