September 3, 2021

Why Moments Matter in Your Induction

4 min read
By Eileen Seissen

We are, after a year of uncertainty and with vaccine programmes rolling out, beginning to see certain sectors of the economy bounce back. Job listings are surging, along with hiring. However, finding and recruiting the right talent is just the first step. A staggering 1 in 3 people leave a company in their first 90 days.

What is the one thing you can do to retain your new talent once they join?

Invest in your induction and onboarding.

A strong induction can improve retention by 82% and even increase productivity by 70%. A poor induction, however, can cost an organization £30,000—the average cost of replacing someone. Yet 88% of organisations, according to Gallup, don’t do their onboardings well.

Why do inductions make such a difference? If you think about it, an induction is a key moment of transition for new joiners. It is the period in which they are moving from the familiar world of their old organisation, colleagues, ways of working and organisational culture, to a new role with new norms, expectations, and people.

Anthropologists call this a liminal period—a period of uncertainty, between two knowns. A liminal period we can all relate to is being a teenager. It’s that difficult transition where you don’t quite know where you fit in—do you sit at the kids’ table or the adults’ table? The key to navigating liminal periods is having a guide through the uncertainty. The cool uncle or aunt, or elder sibling who helped us navigate this transition, and figure out how we fit in.

Each of us who design and deliver inductions can be these same guides for new joiners. And the inductions we design and deliver should fundamentally be all about helping ease this transition, so new joiners can land into their roles more quickly, accelerate their contributions to the business, and grow their careers. And as a result, stay.

So how can you help a new hire cross through that liminal period, and really feel they fit in their new role, new organisation, new world? Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing with you five articles to help you build a high-impact induction.

Inductions Tip One: Create moments in your Induction

Moments matter. Moments make the difference between ‘that thing I did once’ and the experiences we never forget. Moments are what change us. Think of the lightbulb moment, the a-ha moment, the eureka moment, that flipped how you see the world. They upend how you feel about what you do or transform how you think about your role.

Inductions are the perfect place to start building moments like these for your new joiner. Think back to your first day or week: what moments stood out for you? What made you feel you had made the right choice? Was it a note or token from your line manager, waiting on your desk on your first day? Was it the time a colleague took to sit down with you and really dig into your role? Was it even simply being given a safe place to practice a task, fail at it, and try again?

Whatever your moment is, there is a reason it stands out and has stayed with you. There is a science to making stand-out moments. These are the moments you want to give to your new joiner.

When crafted with intention, you can build your induction to include a series of moments that lead your new hire to feel welcomed, have ‘ah-ha’ moments, and ground them in their role and your company culture.

Here are three things we’ve found, based on over a decade of experience and backed by science, that will help you start creating moments:

1. Consider what you want people to think, feel, and do.

According to some philosophers and social scientists, all human behaviours boil down into one of these three categories: we either think, feel, or do. Use these three buckets to inspire transformative moments during your induction.

  • When and where do you want your new hire to think a certain way? For example, if you want your new hire to think about how innovative your business is, what moments can you create to allow them to see this?
  • When and where do you want people to feel welcomed, supported or challenged? How can you build an environment that allows them to have these feelings?
  • When and where do you want people to do certain things, be it practice a skill or demonstrate a behaviour? How will you ensure they have those opportunities?
2. Include community throughout your induction.

Learning with a group of people creates a shared experience, and can make the learning more memorable and impactful. Research shows that employees that learn together are 91% more successful. It also shows that they have a stronger sense of belonging to the organisation and are five times more engaged. Ensure you are creating spaces for people to learn together.

3. Spend time on the details.

Evidence suggests that people evaluate events based on the effort you make. It’s called the Effort Paradox. We value something more if we see more effort has been put into it because we know effort is tiring and time consuming. So, spend time sweating the small stuff – your new hires will notice. When it comes to induction design:

  • Carefully craft your communication. Make every word count.
  • Pay attention to the time between trainings, events, or meetings. That’s where people drift off.
  • Have a plan A, B, and C …just in case.

Not all moments are created equal. Make yours matter.


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