Putting your Inductee at the Heart of your Induction



First Day of Employment

How did you feel on your first day as a new employee? You may have been nervous, excited or even unsure about your decision. Can you remember what questions you had? They were most likely: 

  • Where do I park?
  • When do I take my lunch break?
  • Where is my desk?
  • Where is the toilet?
  • How do I get paid?
  • How can I get a coffee around here?! 
These questions focused on meeting your needs as an individual.

One Week into Employment

Now jump forward in time. You have just completed your first week. Questions like where to park and where the toilets are would hopefully be resolved by now (if not, that is rough!). From our experience, at this point your questions and interests would revolve around your role. You would have questions like:

  • What is expected of me in my role?
  • What do I need to do to perform well in my role?
  • How is my performance measured?
  • What are my goals? 
One Month into Employment

Once you have a good handle on what is expected of you in your role, you will have the mental capacity to begin to think about the wider organisation. You may be asking:

  • How does my role impact other teams and individuals in the organisation?
  • What is the organisational structure?
  • How do I make a difference in the grand scheme of things?
The Flaw in Induction Program Designs

From our experience of working with induction programs, we found that inductees were not considered in the design process. The information that they needed (as described in this blog so far) was in turn not delivered at the time when they needed it. 

On their first day of employment, inductees were presented with information such as health and safety policies, the organisational structure, values, vision and mission statements and insights into the organisational culture. Whilst this information is important and should be shared with employees, we discovered that it was not the information that they needed on their first day. Being overwhelmed with policies and organisational structures, when inductees did not even know where the toilets were or how to get paid, was not meeting their needs.

Insight into Inductee Needs

The best way to understand your users (in this case, your inductees) is to speak to them.

To discover what information inductees need and when they need it, we recommend asking previous inductees the following questions:

  • How did you feel on your first day?
  • How did you feel in your first week?
  • How did you feel in your first month?
  • What support did you get that was useful?
  • What support did you need that you did not get.
Every organisation is different and asking these questions can provide you with valuable insights to design an effective induction that meets the needs of your inductees.

We See a Pattern

From our work with inductions, we are coming to realise the needs of inductees are very similar, regardless of the organisation or industry. Whilst it is also useful to speak to your specific inductees for context relevant to your organisation, the needs listed for the first day of employment, one week into employment and one month into employment in this blog, will be valuable to consider for the design of your induction. We are all humans and regardless of our job, on our first day we will want to know where we need to go when we arrive, what time to have lunch and of course where to get a coffee (mandatory right?). As our essential needs are met, we will want to know more about our role and once we know about our role, our focus can widen to the larger organisation.

Considering inductees and providing them with the information that they need and when they need it has worked for our induction projects at Belvista Studios. We hope that this blog has inspired you for your own induction project/s. Inductions are ‘for’ inductees and therefore they need to be ‘designed for’ inductees.

If you would like to discuss inductions in further detail please do not hesitate to contact our passionate founder Kim via kim@belvistastudios.com or by connecting with her on LinkedIn. You can also download our free case study on a ‘User-focused, Impactful Corporate Induction’ here

If you like this blog, you will like our Human-centred Design Playbook for instructional designers and learning and development practitioners. This will be the toolkit for the rest of your career. It enables you to use the principles of Human-centred Design to create effective learning experiences and solve business problems. Learn more here.



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