Maija Perfiljeva's Design Narrative: New Hire Induction Rejuvenation
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24 March 2013
At the time I worked as HR Learning and Development specialist in a financial company (Company X), responsible for full life cycle of New Hire induction program.
New Hire Induction aimed at introducing new recruits into company, familiarise everyone with essential departments, products and procedures applicable to every employee. It did not aim to teach specific job skills.
Target audience (new hires) was quite diverse, as program was offered to everyone, regardless of their position with the company, so it could include executive managers, as well as specialists.
The program was scheduled to run for three days, in the Company X Training Centre office. During those days new hires were meeting with representatives and/or managers of various key departments (e.g. Marketing, HR, Legal, etc) and would learn about purpose, structure and operations of each departments, as well as their role in support of products offered by a company. Essentially, 3 days of meetings and greetings, with some information on company's history, core values and general policies in between.
My main objective was to make the induction program be more structured, less chaotic and less boring for the audience. My measure of success was the satisfaction survey which we asked every participant to fill in.
First of all, I reviewed the satisfaction survey form. Original form asked participants to evaluate every presentation on the scale of 1 to 5 (5 being awesome). I expanded satisfaction form with fields for comments and added instructions to provide comments for any marks below 4. I did this to gather specific information about low satisfaction with some of the presentations.
Secondly, I reviewed the presentations included in the agenda and arranged them in more logical order, covering company's history and values first and going towards products and related procedures and departments.
Then we ran a couple of induction sessions to gather feedback through satisfaction surveys, as well as measure any changes in evaluation.
Once specific comments from the audience were gathered, I reviewed them and worked together with the authors of least successful presentations to introduce constructive changes based on audience's feedback, e.g. restructuring the narrative, removing some of the topics, expanding some of the points participants found most useful, adding activities which would involve audience members. It was interesting to see that all of the presenters were extremely interested in getting to know their "survey results", however, not everyone was cooperative and forthcoming as far as changes were concerned. While majority of presenters were willing to make changes, it was very challenging to inspire change in those who needed to present compliance-related information.
In addition, I introduced some ice-breakers and energizers between lectures.
Once these changes were in place, we ran three more induction sessions with new content and compared the ratings received from satisfaction surveys with our previous results.
As a result, we achieved the increase in satisfaction rating from 3.5 to 4.7 (average score given to the question "How satisfied were you with induction training?"). Overall, audience satisfaction survey reflected increasingly positive reaction from the audience and we could also observe that in-class behaviours were not indicative of boredom. In addition, through informal conversation I could hear that new hire induction was great for introducing other departments, getting to know each other and building relationships.
In this particular case, as obvious as it may sound, I learned that opinion/satisfaction surveys should always have comment fields, as numbers alone look fancy in the reports, but don't give practical information for experience design. Secondly, I was happy to see how interesting but tiresome program can be turned into an engaging and informative session.