In part two we started to plan out the content and ideas for our new starter induction. In this blog we move into the world of budgets. Not very exciting for some, but it is essential for your induction project to get off the ground. Now, if you are using our blog series to refresh your existing induction, this can still be a useful process, even though you probably have an induction or training budget in place, you will still need funds and/or resources to do any changes. If this is your first foray into a company induction, then you will have to do this, as there is nothing worse than not having the funds to complete the job and running out part way through, so settle in and get ready to plan that budget.
Everything has a cost whether it’s from resources you need or use, time spent developing the induction or monetary value for materials, resources or specialist support & skills. You will need two budgets, a set-up budget to design, create and launch your new induction, and a budget for the on-going costs of running inductions throughout the year. Normally these are aligned into the training or L&D budget (if you have one), or through HR’s budget, or a sales & marketing budget. Whichever way you allocate budgets within your business, you will need to put together a project plan and costing’s that allow the business to plan for the initial set-up and then on-going costs.
Set up budget
Now we will have to make a little assumption here (forgive us) and assume you are not the person in control of your budget or company purse strings. If you are, this just got a lot easier! So like most things it helps to have a plan in place and a set of costs for your management or finance people to agree and sign off on.
To help calculate the project costs you will need to explore and work out things like; the groups’ sizes per induction and length of inductions (how many days the induction lasts and how many you need to run per year), what resources are available to you (number of people working on the project, use of internal trainers, designers and/or technical specialists) and the skills of said team will dictate what costs can be reduced through internal resources and the possible need to outsource certain skills. Some of these costing’s will be estimated as you may have to work with an average number of attendees per induction as well as a guess to how many inductions based on your growth & back fill recruitment plans.
Outsourcing skills & resources – firstly don’t just outsource it all and secondly don’t dismiss the idea of contractors or consultants to help you achieve your goal.
Here are our thoughts; of course it can make sense outsourcing the skills & experience that no one in your business has to support the induction project, but always look internally first. Please do not assume that because someone does one employed role for you that they do not know or understand how to do other things. An induction project that Brenell Training worked with the client chose an excellent way to identify alternative skills in their work force: they asked through their internal comms if anyone had video making experience, asked them to submit a 60 second video clip showcasing their skills and set it up as a competition for fun. Ten entered the competition, everyone in the company voted on the videos, and all ten received a prize for their work. However two with the highest votes were awarded a three-month secondment to work on a project making video’s for the company induction. The pride and the quality of the work from the two winners were amazing to see as was the positive effect it generated on other employees seeing opportunity and skills being recognised and rewarded. It also saved them money from outsourcing or contracting a specialist video company and it was easier & cheaper to employ temporary cover for their existing roles for the secondment period. However, if the resources are not available internally, then you can always look at external companies to deliver the services required.
When it comes to writing your training material, designing content and slides, creating the relevant activities and delivering purposeful outcomes to your training, it will certainly help if you have trainers with the skills to complete this task. Not all trainers can write training courses; not all trainers can deliver training as some prefer to write training courses for others to deliver, while some love only delivering training. It sounds strange, I know, but it is all about knowing & working with your strengths and doing the things you love doing.
So before you allocate the design and writing responsibility of the project onto your internal training team, do the necessary checks to ensure everyone is comfortable and able to take on the job/s of creating & writing the induction material.
There are many benefits to using external induction specialist trainers/consultants to help you create & write your induction. They normally come with vast training experience from across different industries that will enhance the design of your induction. They will be able to supply evidence of what they have done before to support your needs and give you the confidence they will be right for the role you need them to do. They are flexible and you only need to commit to the time you need them for. They will work alongside your existing team and can help that team by sharing experience, knowledge and skills. Yes, of course I am going to say that, we run a training company and specialise in writing company inductions. However, we have also seen what happens when people/companies seek no help or support for the sake of saving some budget now for it to cost substantially more later down the line.
Useful tip: when asking for expertise within your people it is always good to check and verify their abilities before handing them the responsibility. Employees naturally want to impress their managers, they want to progress, learn new skills and move up the ladder. However we do not want to set someone up to fail – however eager they are to learn – by giving them the lead role. There is always the opportunity to partner an expert within your business or external resource and learn with the proper guidance, achieve positive results and complete the work to a high standard.
I am asked this one question every time, ‘How long will it take to complete?’ It’s not always a simple answer as every project we have worked on has been a different size, had different needs as well as an array of support & resources. So for the purpose of giving readers of this blog a guide, I have simplified these timings to give you a starting point.
Lets say you want to create a simple one-day induction.
- Research time; over a 2 – 4 week period, requesting & collating your internal feedback, review feedback, create a draft course overview with action plan, task allocation and responsibilities, creating project plans, sign off & budget plans The amount of days over this time period should be around 4-7 days of work.
- Training material writing time; for a trainer with experience of writing this type of material – 5-10 days. This will depend on whether you want just trainer notes or slides, activities created with materials, workbook/manual, review time, revisions and final sign off.
- Video production; editing an existing company video to fit an induction is normally less than a day for an average 5-10 minute video.
If you are wanting a new video created, with a script, actors (or employees) sound, background music, effects, professionally completed & edited, whether using internal or external resource you are looking at 2-4 weeks, possibly longer, depending on how long the video is or what other projects they are working on.
- Marketing support; to get marketing to create/print bespoke materials (posters/hand-outs/activities) in line with your company’s brand and image, again, whether internal or external and subject to existing workloads, it could take 2-4 weeks. However there may already be existing materials they can supply in a matter of days, and time allowed for printing if you want posters and other resources professionally finished.
- Practice run; whether you do a dry run with a select audience or a walk through. Consider a day to run through it, gain feedback and one or two days to revise materials.
- TTT (Train the Trainers); If you want to train all of your trainers or select people to be able to deliver the induction, allow a day for it to be delivered to them, a day for them to prepare a section to be delivered back to you and a day for them to practice delivering it to you and the other trainers with plenty of feedback & guidance given.
Of course these are just estimates and, often, certain parts of the project can be achieved in less time, with some elements taking a bit longer.
If you are looking to add further days to your induction for specific knowledge or skills, then you will need to allow additional days/time for the work to be developed and time allowed to check and verify the work as well as additional time for practice runs and TTT’s. If using external resources, all of these costs and time will need to be factored into your project plan and budget.
Every Induction has an on-going cost to be considered into your L&D or Training budget. Here are some elements to consider:
- Resources – How many Inductions will be required within a financial year? One or two a month, or more. Who will deliver these inductions? Will you use internal or external resources? What if additional inductions are required for a ramp up or expansion of teams/departments?
- Venue – Will they be delivered at head office or at various offices nationally? Do you have a training room available to use or a boardroom? Can this be pre-booked? Will you need an outside venue? How many can the room accommodate, catering costs, available parking at the site and links to public transport?
- Attendees – How many minimum / maximum per induction (we usually set this at 16 as a max with 4 tables of 4 people)? Travel arrangements if you’re using a centralised training location and attendees come from any area i.e. home based workers or other sites? Will accommodation be required? Could you obtain a preferential rate with local hotels for your attendees? Consideration for additional expenses incurred with overnight stays.
- Induction updates & changes – over a typical 12-month period there will be elements of your induction that will need to be updated and checked. It is worth this being done every three months. Time & resources will need to be allocated to do updates and amends. If your induction has info that could regularly change like products and services, compliance, Health & Safety, pricing, offers etc. these will in most cases need updating/checking every 4-6 weeks to keep everything in order.
- Printing / support materials – if you give out resources like handbooks, workbooks, corporate branded items i.e. notepads and pens, company branded clothing. These all have to be ordered, costs agreed and factored into every induction and the budget.
- Food & refreshments – whether supplying their lunch and having water, tea & coffee available, these all need to be allowed for in the budget or if it falls into another department’s budget it will need agreeing beforehand.
- Administration of inductions – If you have a training administrator that can manage all of the elements from booking venues, resources and catering to re-ordering stationary, equipment and printing then their time & salary will have been accounted for in your existing budget, if not you will need to consider if you have administrative resources within your business to manage this or additional head count needs to be added to the budget, and time allocated to create and agree the processes to order/reorder equipment, resources and catering throughout the year.
Running a simple one-day corporate induction for all your new starters can require a minimal amount of cost & time over a year. However the more content, information, knowledge and skills training that is required in preparing your new starters for their role, the longer an induction period will be needed. More of your trainer’s time will be spent on inductions. There will be added costs if attendees have to travel or stay over and additional expenses will be charged back for travel costs and evening meals. Additional costs will be incurred for specialist training if required and if an outside company has to deliver this. The costs for more content & skills and a longer induction will increase your budget needs considerably. However the world we live in today ensures that compliance, Health & Safety, customer service and the sales practices that our employees use typically needs to be trained to all new starters and the value your induction delivers will always far outweigh the risk & fines of not doing it.
In Blog 4 we will start helping you with designing your induction material, for now you have a budget to cost out, resource, skills, roles & responsibilities to identify, timescales to align and a presentation to the leadership team to get sign-off on your induction project. That should keep you busy for the next couple of weeks – good luck and see you for the next blog soon.
If you’re thinking about putting a new starter induction together and need support and resources to get it done, why not get in touch today and talk to us about your ideas?