Sharing and building Solution Focused practice in organisations

In the spirit of using what is there!!
I am interested in sharing/exploring any experience out there in the development/running of corporate induction for large organisations. I have just picked up a project to revamp the corporate induction for a large UK based car Manufacturer who are just into the process of recruiting 800 staff including graduates.

The timescales are tight, there are good things to work on in house, people who want to be involved and a will to get this moving, so there is much to go on.

What I am keen to do is a bit of benchmarking/exploring best practice to put into the pot of possibilities. If you have experience in this area and are willing to share Let me know.

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Short question: What is the difference between Corporate Governance and Corporate Induction?
Hi Hans,

Sorry if my question was not clear. By induction I was refering to the process of introducing a person into the organisation in a positive and effective way. So that they are motivate and can do their job well. The corporate induction being the element of learning about the organisation in every aspect. This would of course include some view of Corporate Governance (which I think means the processes, customs policies etc which affect the way a corporation is directed). I guess the level of detail on corporate govenance to include depends on the level of the person and the organisation.

Thanks for the question it has made me think and explore the idea of how much corporate governance is needed.

Thank you, Ruth! Now it is much clearer for me!

I experienced such "Inductions" in different companies - being "inducted" and contributing to an induction program.

For me this one was very useful:

The inducted persons form a class of about 20 persons. They have a program nearly each day for about half a day. There are presentations from different persons (middle & top management) with discussions about the different units, products, services of the company and the "company philosopy". This program lasted about three weeks.

The rest of that time each person is placed at her / his worplace and is introduced into the future work by doing more and more of it - accompanied by a "mentor".

One big benfit of this kind of induction is, that this 20 new persons (working later in very different parts of the company) form a "core network" which will be a good platform to enlarge it individually in future.
Thank You Hans for your experiences. Your thoughts have been very encouraging in helping us to feel we are working along the right lines. We are looking at putting together groups and providing them with networking opportunities (possibly a social networking site too to keep the networking going). We are also looking at the mix of corporate and local induction and how to make that work well. We hadn't thought of half-day splits so I will explore that a bit more
Thanks Ruth

Thank you
Hi Ruth

I have seen some rather good induction processes over the years where people have been set challenges to go and find out things (about how the company operates etc) rather than simply being given presentations. That might form some part of it?
Hi Mark, I would really like to explore that idea more, we were looking yesterday at a treasure hunt type of activity. It would be good to have a chat in more detail about what made those induction processes good and how they went about setting the challenges. You are due to see Sarah with others on Wednesday. Could we have 20 minutes after your meeting I will come over to the Heritage centre.

Good idea! This was one of the reasons for the "half day split" I mentioned above... in those "before SF times" we called it "time for transfer"...
Hi there Ruth!

I've had this job a few times too and I felt somthing of a familiar judder in reading your message! However as I got into the following list I began to cheer up and see the opportunities in this. I'm going to answer this from the perspective of an induction event which may be part of an on-line or more comms based approach - please tell me if I'm barking up the wrong tree!

Please also excuse the advice giving approach, this is what I've learnt, in no particular order....

1. Maintain the focus that this is an important event. These people are new and therefore (in the main) delighted to have a job, keen to make a good impression, curious and enthusiastic. In providing a good service which meets their needs for information about their new company as well as ensuring their comfort may be the start of a wonderful collaboration!

2. Be mindful of the inductees comfort and safety. If you work for a national or international organisation, people will have had to travel a long way to the induction. Whilst we may be used to arriving in a unfamiliar city late at night and finding our way to a previously un-visited venue in the morning, some people aren't. It would seem important to me to include a wide range of people in such events, which may include part-time staff as well as those with caring responsibilities. Good information, maps, access to help and a programme which is long enough for you to do what you want to do whilst assisting people to get a comfortable journey will be important.

3. People like to meet the CEO - they just do! This has always been a good opportunity for me to forge a better relationship with the CEO. Encouraging them to attend, giving positive feedback (true for all presenters) is a great way to build benefits which you'll feel elswhere. Some people will never get to meet him/her again....

4. Arrange for someone to host the event and be present throughout - even better do it yourself. I've seen the chair/host try to use the individual presentations to nip out and do their emails, have meetings etc. This just isn't as good as being present, helping the process along, spotting opportunities etc. Supporting less confident Heads of Departments is also good for future influence. I have never regretted doing this although it might seem like a considerable time investment. Corporate functions such as HR and Training get a lot done through informal influence and this is built on relationships and reputations. Just being welcoming, interested and friendly can get you a long way

5. People are at least as interested in each other as they are in what any presenters have to say. Allow plenty of time for networking, checking out people who do similar jobs 300 km away and reviewing what they've heard so far. You can guide these discussions with some questions about what they've enjoyed so far etc

5. Following from above keep any presentations short . You know that saying more is not necessarily the same as hearing more and it would be good to convince any presenters to do the same

6. Include everyone - obvious really but try to ensure that the host and all presenters are extremely careful do demonstrate respect to all present. All organisations will employ a diverse set of people and within which there will exist office/professional cultures. I had one manager who presented at an induction event I hosted who was naturally very venure - 95% of those present were rolling in their seats whilst the other 5% were consulting the Harassment and Bullying Policy. This event is a good opportunity to describe and demonstrate company culture.

OK I think that's me for now - hope it's useful

Thank you Phil for your comments. Very useful. I particularly like the idea of a host role and think I could expand on that by using people in the business like last years grads. I will explore that more.

I really appreciate you taking the time to respond. You are obviously have a good sense of the big picture ( company image) and detail ( make sure they know where they are going) which seems to be essential to get this sort of event right.

Hi Phil and Ruth

Having had my share of induction training experiences I think your list is spot on!! Hosting, short and sharp, plenty of chance for movement etc and yes lots of HR time but who else gets to meet every new employee!!! and as you point out how useful that can be in the months to come!!

Another tip Ruth, try something interactive, a short quiz with answers in the annual report or similar do in pairs or trios so no one experiences being left out or foolish, something light fun but informative works!

And yes the CEO must turn up!! or duo with deputy!

Let us know how you get on Ruth
Thanks Lorraine, I like that idea too. Could have teams setting questions for each other from the annual report or something similar. Will explore that.

It is really great to hear from you I hope you are well and business is going well too. Are you coming to the EDGe in October?

Hi Ruth and all,
In our NHS Trust we do a four-day rolling induction - 1 day a week. Each half-day is hosted by one of us from the Learning & Development dept. and as you suggest, speakers normally have short sessions, from 15mins to 90mins. Of course much of what we do is mandatory and protects the Trust - eg moving and handling.
However I've found that it's possible to get some SF thinking into it, especially in 2 ways:
one thing I always like to do is to get people into pairs or 3s, and after they've introduced each other I suggest they exchange ideas about what they bring to the job, or what was it about their interview that went well, or a piece of successful work in the past or some such.
The other (similar) thing is to explicitly acknowledge that everyone there has brought some new knowledge or treasures from their past (otherwise they wouldn't have been employed) and if there's a chance, get them to discuss that. I like to intimate that induction is a 2-way experience in which we tell them about the Trust and they have much to bring to us too.
I love the idea of sending them off to discover things about the organisation - wonder if we could do that?!

Best wishes,





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