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Maija Perfiljeva's Design Narrative: New Hire Induction Rejuvenation

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Maija Perfiljeva
24 March 2013

Narrator

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. 

Situation

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. 

Task

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. 

Actions

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.

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.

Reflections

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. 

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Alice La Rooy
9:47pm 24 March 2013


Interesting to read about how you changed content within the programme based on feedback and then re-evaluated future instances of the programme to see if your changes had resulted in any effect. I took me back to my days as a new recruit trainer within a large utility company.

Tom Hopper
10:20am 25 March 2013


Hi Maija,

I am currently trying to improve feedback I get and give so this is right up my alley. I hope to do a cloud about getting feedback from my students about the feedback I give them on their performance. 

How well designed do you think your survey was ? How strongly framed were the possible answers in terms of what you think you needed to hear to improve ? 

I wonder how much satisfaction increases simply because we ask people - are you satisfied ? And how much of this is based on feedback that might produce results.. i.e. my opinion is valuable.

And then the opposite is sometimes true - they don't want to give feedback to the institution in a survey.

Anyway, good cloud - thanks !

Tom

Maija Perfiljeva
5:01pm 7 April 2013


Tom, 

It is hard to answer these questions as quite a lot of time has passed since the event I described. 

The survey was not bad, but it was pretty closed before I re-did it, it only asked to evaluate certain aspects based on numerical scale and had one field for "general comments", where participants would usuall write "Thank you" :), so I added comment fields wherever possible, to solicit explanation of low marks. As it was hard for me to imagine possibilities of what the audience might like/dislike or want, I invited free-form comments, instead of providing multiple-choice questions. 

It might be that we got more positive marks because people didn't want to explain low rankings though, but I did get some strong suggestions in there, so I hope that most of the results were valid. 

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