How to run inductions with a difference: Forget icebreakers and focus on imparting your firm’s vision

A good way to encourage new recruits is to bring senior staff in to meet with them during their induction
The interview process is, for any successful business, a protracted journey. It takes a lot of time and effort to find the correct candidates, particularly for firms who rely on highly skilled employees.
But it’s rare to hear businesses talk about what happens next. Too many think that the first day is the end of the recruitment process – people just need to settle in and get on. But really, your staff induction is your opportunity to establish the company’s personality.
A lot of focus is put on getting key cards ready, carefully selecting suitable icebreaker games, counting chairs and ensuring that everyone knows where the loos are, but this is also the chance for new staff to really start to mentally combine the company values, strategy and their role within the organisation. After you’ve invested so much in the recruitment process, following through is common sense.

THE RIGHT EFFORT

Initially, inductions can seem like a lot of work. But ensuring that employees have the right knowledge, skills and attitude for the workplace has so many benefits; it can avoid issues arising in the long-run, increase retention and generate a happy and productive team.

SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE

People often think that introducing employees to the business is the preserve of junior staff, but consider running inductions for senior people too.
It will ensure that everyone is buying into the same vision – whether they’re a director or member of an operations team. This is your opportunity to ensure consistent standards, expectations and values.

DO LUNCH

Whether you’ve got 10 employees or 1,000, for a new starter, lunchtime can be a daunting time when going through induction. When you’re going to so much effort to create an inclusive, welcoming experience, it makes sense for this vibe to continue into the lunch break, and through to the afternoon session. We just arrange a buffet for our new staff so everyone can have lunch together – it’s extremely simple, but effective.

DIFFICULT CONVERSATIONS

Many companies shy away from discussing subjects such as race, gender or sexuality, or issues around integrity and conduct, but your induction is a great time to address the company’s expectations. For example, we initiate conversations with our staff that challenge the causes of stereotypes. It is important to discuss equality and diversity, so you can combat any issues and establish an agreed standard across the business.

MEET THE MANAGERS

A lot of companies forget that the recruitment process is a partnership: your new starters are helping you to grow your business. Getting senior members of staff to take the time to introduce themselves is an effective way to show new starters that you are grateful to have them on board, along with establishing a transparent and friendly culture.

TELL YOUR STORY

Most companies will cover the basics during their inductions. However, many forget there is an interesting story behind their success – and again, this comes back to instilling your firm’s vision.
Our fresh approach to the freight industry, for instance, has come from the knowledge of our founder Ian Baxter, who has an intrinsic understanding of the sector, as the former managing director and co-owner of RH Freight. This story is an important part of our corporate identity and influences a lot of how we operate as a business – from our employee expectations to the strategies we use.

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