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Let's talk! How do you welcome new starters to your company??

3rd Aug 2011
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Hi Everyone,

Seems like a very basic question, but how do you welcome people into your business?

I'm looking at the period from offer of employment through to the first week or so at the new place of work.

I'm keen to see what innovative, or just plain easy ways you have to make sure people who start employment with you

  • gain the knowledge they need to get them through their first weeks
  • feel good about starting work with you
  • experience a smooth transition to the role
  • .....without overloading

I'd love to see use of various media, a real blended experience!

Please share...!

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By Chutzpah
03rd Aug 2011 19:35

Hi Janet,

Your question is very pertinent for me right now, just today I sat down with a member of staff who has just been tasked with HR to talk about just this. Therefore I'd be interested to see what else others here do.

We are aiming to introduce a "welcome pack" that will be posted by snail mail to new starters. This will probably be in a nice, printed folder to give it a really professional look, and we can then print out the content manually and place it inside. From our past dealings with printing companies this will probably work out to be just over a pound a folder - peanuts really.

The content will probably be an offer letter, their contract and what they need to bring on their first day.

That's something that we don't currently do but want to do in the near future.

In terms of what we do now, I currently run the induction process on "day one", taking the learning aside for around two hours to discuss the most "interesting bits" of the staff handbook, take them through the history of our company and our values (which goes a long way to explaining our culture and how we do things) and some simple compliance training.

The compliance training I am currently looking at converting into e-learning training. But I do think the other induction training should be in person to help welcome them on board - I've never like the idea of a full e-learning induction like I know some companies do.

I do try to minimise how long this goes on for as I'm always keen for them to spent the majority of the day with their colleagues.

That's the training that ALL new starters get, what happens then depends on their job role. Our company is a relatively small one, so I am always keen for as much of it as possible to be performed within their new team, so I have started sending them "learning packs" that they can work through from their desks with a very loose deadline, allowing them to talk to colleagues, watch what they're doing when necessary but still do their own self-led learning.

I hope that's a good start to the conversation!

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By f1girl
08th Aug 2011 16:44

You are so right about making the most of the period between a new starter accepting an offer and feeling fully 'settled in'. I specialise in Induction Training, and it's good to see that you use a good variety of techniques to deliver (and prioritise) what needs to be covered.

I've just finished writing the Induction Programme for a very well known food brand, and they were especially keen to make the most of this 'notice' period. We decided to send out different things at different times, including product samples, 'challenges' & quizzes in an informal booklet, suggestions to visit the company website and company magazines. It is to be officially launched in October, so I haven't got any feedback on how it is being received yet.

The 'job-specific' training that should form part of the extended induction is very important, and I find that a self-directed approach generally works well. Encouraging people to take responsibility for their own development, but making it easy for them to do so, allows them to fit learning into everyday work, allows them to get up to speed quickly, and doesn't interrupt every day operations too much.

Hope this helps,

Sheridan Webb

Keystone Development - Specialists in Induction

PS - If you want a free 7-page guide to creating a great induction, just email me: [email protected] 

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By TerryG
15th Aug 2011 08:58

Don't forget the basics.

I always greet new starters at the front door on the first day. It makes them feel wanted. A clean desk and a new basic stationery pack with an unbroken chair is a good start.

A quick tour of the site followed by a chat to reinforce the job role and an opportunity for the new starter to make any comments. Buddy with a person in a similar job role to help the new starter integrate into routines and find where everything is and how things are done.

Don't assume that everyone is o.k with e-learning. Offer alternatives according to the training that needs to be achieved and the learning style and ability of the trainee.

-- Terry George MCIPD Training Consultant

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By JanetGreen24
17th Aug 2011 10:45

Hi,

Thanks for your posts everyone, it was interesting to read what you do and what you are considering for the future.

In my business we too send out a Welcome pack, and in there we include all the usual things you'd expect, contract, terms and conditions etc but we also give them an overview of us as a company, our values, beliefs, rewards for working with us and what exciting things we've been doing or are planning to do in the future.

Throughout the Welcome experience (from 'please join us' to 'off you go in your role') it is my intention to make every individual feelproud that they have chosen to be a part of our organisaion, proud that we have chosen to work with them too!!! I really want them to feel like they are part of something great and instill a sense of excitement for their forthcoming time with us....might sound corny butthat's pretty much the whole point for me - oh and giving them some timely, bite-sized information to help them be successful in their roles.

I'm really interested to find out what those bite-sized pieces of information are that your people really need on day one and how you ensure you don't overload them but give them enough to make the day feel worthwhile - that balance is a real struggle for me. I think it's more about how you give them that information too....

 

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