Do you remember how it felt the last time you started a new job in a new organisation? 
 
When I think of my “first days” working for new employers, my overriding memories are of how odd everything seemed. 
 
Of being bombarded with policies, paperwork and people. Overwhelmed with information, but little idea how it joined together or why it was relevant. Meetings. Way too many meetings, but often no idea why they were relevant or whether these people would ever be seen again. 
How slow and unproductive the working day can feel when you have no real understanding of operating procedures, don’t know what has gone before, or how an organisation works, or who to ask for input and guidance, or where to find anything. 
 
How peculiar the language of a new organisation sounds, and how often you have that nagging feeling that some words and phrases might not mean the same thing to you as they clearly do to others. 
 
How you are never quite sure you are doing quite the right thing in quite the right way, because you were asked to do such a simple task and it’s embarrassing to ask anyone for help. 
 
How long it takes to get used to the rhythm of a new job in a new organisation, and to get to a point where you finally feel you have “got it” (or at least, a bit of it!) The endless worrying about whether you are getting there quickly enough. 
 
How much there is to learn. 
 
But here’s the thing – when you plan the induction or onboarding of a new recruit, how much thought do you give to what you are trying to achieve during the first few weeks of their employment? 
 
Does your induction really add value? Is it tailored to the individual and the role they will be doing, or a standard “sheep dip” induction that everyone goes through? 
 
Does it give a real sense of what matters to the organisation, and real insight into how the organisation functions? Do the organisation’s values come to life during induction, or are they handed out on a sheet of paper? 
 
Does it give an opportunity to engage with your new employee and find out what makes them tick and what attitudes, ideas, knowledge, skills, experience and enthusiasm they have brought to the organisation? Or does it enforce compliance with the company way? 
 
Does it speed up the learning process so that an employee is able to do useful work or is it a way of keeping a new recruit occupied for a couple of weeks while you get on with more important work? 
 
Is induction done for your new recruit, or is it done to them? 
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