Induction – It’s my first time

Induction – It’s my first time

I am serialising and augmenting my 2016 book “Punk Rock People Management”, a book which looks at disruptive thinking on human relations, humanistic business management and humanity, for the ADHD society, where people want fast answers to complex problems.

Punk Rock Business seminars are available on a worldwide basis based on HR strategy and everyday practice, contrasting the good, bad and ugly of HR.  A limited edition of the original Punk Rock HR book is available direct from author’s garage … In this article we look at some punchy advice induction.

Post-punk princesses Madonna and Lady Gaga unwittingly stumbled upon the problem of induction with their songs ‘Like a Virgin’ and ‘Bad Romance’ as did punk group The Boys with their minor hit ‘It’s my first time’.

However good your hiring of people is, failing to induct people properly can cost you in the long run. Classical HR induction sessions emphasise all the statutory stuff, such as health and safety and getting your corporate identity badge (whilst losing your identity).

But they generally fail to establish what is called a ‘psychological contract’ between the new recruit and the company, which leads to long term performance and commitment. The costs of NOT doing this include rapid turnover, poor performance, corporate sabotage and mental sabbaticals (the lights are on but no-one’s at home) etc.

Imagine what would happen if this approach were adopted when you fell in love. You would have an ARRSE (Adviser – Romance Risk Strategy Executive) come along to show you some PowerPoint slides on the risks of falling in love, issuing you with badges to say you are officially in love, and so on. So, why does common sense go out the window when we enter the crazy world of work?

I love it when induction does what it says on the tin and introduces people to the work. That, after all, is what work is all about. Make sure that new starters meet two or three people who will be pivotal in making sure they can do a good job at work on the very first day of work.

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Find out what turns the person on about the work and what switches them off. Share your views on these two things.

Over time, this gives you the chance to design work to include more of the things that switch them on and exclude things that switch them off. You may even care to go as far as thanking the new staff member for joining the company! The words ‘thank you’ are free and can often make a big difference to initial impressions of the company, when they are meant.

The statutory stuff cannot be ignored, but should be contained in a 30 minute slot and made very enjoyable rather than the usual dull diet of induction training. These days it is possible to place a lot of non-essential stuff on websites, to be digested before the new staff member joins or at some point later on.

Punk Rock People Management offers us three chords on induction:

  1. Make induction fresh and personal by connecting the new member of staff with people who can help them do their best. In doing so, help them feel committed to the enterprise and their part in it.
  2. Do the statutory stuff, but do it quickly and make it interesting.
  3. Make sure that new people understand on the first day exactly what they can do to succeed.

I am presently engaged in writing the sequel, entitled “The Great HR Swindle”.  You might like to join me in writing the text for these in a global crowdsourced collaboration for reforming the HR paradigm for good …

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