Why You Shouldn't Be Thinking About Induction on Day One

Often companies want to run inductions that are intense and short to get their new hires ramped up and productive. The issue is this approach leads to 'death by PowerPoint'

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Employee experience is a popular topic at the moment and it is causing businesses and HR professionals to examine every process through an experience lens. When you put this lens over the topic of induction, a lot of traditional practices don't make sense anymore.

A traditional induction has two key pieces:

  • You learn about the company (who they are, what they do, what their values are)
  • You learn about the job ("how do I become a salesperson")

Often companies want to run inductions that are intense and short in order to get their new hires ramped up and productive as soon as possible. The issue is, this approach leads to "death by PowerPoint". It's overwhelming and information just doesn't stick, thus defeating the purpose.

Experience Counts

Using an experience lens gives a totally different perspective to induction (and onboarding more broadly).

Day one is often an anxious day for a new hire. It turns out that humans are hardwired that way; it's a natural response when people are in new situations. It's not the time to turn the information fire hose on full strength. On day one, forget what you want. If you invest in making new hires feel welcome, comfortable and part of the company, they will learn far more, and faster, than if you don't.

Get Out of the Classroom

With the experience lens on, you'll think of Day one as an opportunity to make it an amazing experience for that person.

For instance, instead of asking them to set foot in the office on Day one, meet the team at a coffee shop, go out and explore the city, and perhaps, have dinner together. The goal is to give them an amazing story to tell when someone asks them, "How was your first day". You can empower people by giving them choices and thinking more deeply about the experience you offer on Day one.

Letting people pick their tech before they start, assigning them buddies who can give them a personal tour, taking them to lunch, and organizing more informal meetings with senior leadership team members are all good options. Even small things like considering having people start on a Tuesday rather than a Monday can have a big impact on someone's experience.

Even though it takes five or six months for the average employee to become fully productive, inductions are traditionally limited to a certain period of time. If you switch your focus and make it last longer you can trickle out info in bite-sized pieces to make it more digestible and more engaging. Your employees will also retain information better.

By 2020, millennials are expected to constitute half of the global workforce and these workers expect technology to work instantly and integrate seamlessly into their lives. They are used to being offered self-service options want to feel appreciated and valued.

When the onboarding process isn't executed well, you are at risk of disengaging with your new hires before they even start. Then when they show up on Day one for eight hours of text-heavy slides, it can be the beginning of the end.