In part six we completed the process for developing the trainer/facilitation notes to help the trainer/s in delivering your new induction. In part seven we are bringing everything together, checking it works and preparing to launch.
Lets just check where we are with our induction project:
- Project plan in place, check
- Budget in place, check
- Team/resources identified and everyone allocated their responsibilities with timescales, check
- Training templates created & signed off, check
- Leadership team and department heads briefed on what is happening and what you need from them to help & support the project, check
- External resources identified and briefed ready to deliver their elements, check
- Training material designed, created, written and produced, check
- Project on schedule for the first induction for new starters, check
- Material signed off….next
- Train the trainers / practice run…next
- Launch induction… next
Your training materials
All of the training material has been written, the detail and content created and clear outcomes set. Activities and exercises printed/laminated and hand-outs and/or workbooks created.
It’s easy to assume all is okay and ready to use, but it is important that the stakeholders have a run through of the materials and that key contributors from the business are able to see and hear what is being said about them or what they do. Within your project plan, times/dates should have been planned & booked in with the relevant people to go through the sign-off process. For example:
- Marketing Department sign off – Anything to do with the company brand i.e. look & feel of materials, Language used, tone, spelling, imagery used, advertising examples.
- Human resources sign off – If HR is not delivering their own section of material in the inductions, then the material will need their sign off. They might want to sign-off that they are happy with the induction materials and content being covered.
- Products & Service Departments sign off – any of the products & services content, detail about how things work, what they do and what they offer customers, any specifications etc should all be signed off by the relevant department.
- Compliance Department or Legal team sign off – all elements that are covered by law, regulation, governing bodies and best practice agreements. There will probably need to be quarterly meetings with compliance once the induction is running to update any changes to laws & regulation, as well as feedback they have from what is happening with the customer-facing teams.
- Senior Management/Leadership team – There is often a senior manager who is the stakeholder and will take ownership on signing off the final release. However they/you will also normally take the rest of the senior team through an overview to ensure everyone is happy with the material and what is being covered.
- External resources – If you have used external resources i.e. specialist contractors/companies for things like marketing, video creation & editing, training consultants, copywriters then ensure you put stage checks along the development plan to check their work. They should also have their work signed off by the relevant person within the business who managed the relationship and any other department i.e. video creation & editing would probably need marketing, HR and the stakeholder to sign off and do the stage checks through production to ensure it matches your brand, culture and tone of voice.
After all departments have signed off on the material, check it flows, delivers the outcomes and knowledge expected. You are now ready to deliver your train the trainer or practice run.
Train the Trainer
The purpose of a train the trainer is pretty much covered in the name. However TTT’s (as we call them) can come in different forms depending on the skills & experience of the people that are attending it.
What are the different ways to run a TTT?
Whenever we design a new course, the trainer who led the design and creation will ultimately lead the TTT. How it is delivered will depend on time available. However more time spent getting it right ensures success for launch. You can run TTT’s in several ways; I’ve also added our thoughts on the benefits of each one and possible negatives to consider:
- Full run through; this is where the trainers who need to learn the course participate as if they are delegates and the lead trainer runs the session/workshop from start to finish. Everyone is able to experience how it runs, whether the timings work, how the slides and media support the content and check the flow of the day.
- Benefits – trainers get a real feel for how the day runs and how to run each section. Great for 1 or 2 day inductions. Trainers can give feedback on the experience and any final amendments and changes can be added before going live. Great for any new trainers to the role. It is a good way of setting the standards and expectations on delivery style, tone of voice and ensuring the training material works. This is good if using external trainers to deliver as they will be able to get an understanding of the culture, brand and tone of voice.
- Possible negatives – if running a 1, 2 or 3 week induction, the timescale for a full TTT becomes harder to factor into your project. If you cannot allow the necessary time to run a full TTT, you may need to look at alternative solutions. If you are short on time before going live then doing a full TTT may not be possible. Availability of your training team to attend a TTT because of other training commitments within the business may be an issue.
- Part run through; between the lead trainer and the trainers, they decide before on what needs to be delivered (i.e. new content). However content they all know or understand is just talked through briefly to give context.
- Benefits – saves some time as content is covered quickly and focus is only on the new content that is relevant to the team.
- Possible negatives – If all content is new to the team or some or all of the team is new, they may miss certain elements of the delivery style or understanding behind content. Therefore a full run through would be more beneficial.
- Talk it through; lead trainer talks through the content with the trainers all following with their own copy of the trainers notes.
- Benefits – more time-efficient especially with experienced trainers. Saves time as content is covered quickly and focus is only needed on the new content that is more relevant. Questions can be asked through the session.
- Possible negatives – not the best method for material that is new to everyone. If all content is new to the team or some or all of the team is new, they may miss key messages, elements of the delivery style or understanding behind content. If the session is not set up right, too many questions come up and it takes longer to cover all the content.
It’s important to know the capabilities of the trainers before you run your TTT. It’s also important to make clear the expectations from your audience regarding your TTT for example:
- Make clear the objective of the TTT – i.e. to listen, participate like delegates, or to learn and digest the content ready to deliver it.
- Questions as you go through the day, at the end of each section or at the end of the day
- Whether they all have copies of the trainer/facilitation notes for reference throughout the day and are able to take their own notes.
- If you want feedback & ideas on different ways to deliver the content while you deliver the TTT or if the structure is already agreed, if there is a planned review meeting after the first two inductions have been delivered for feedback, ideas and amendments.
Remember the primary aim is to prepare the trainers to deliver the induction ensuring that all outcomes, key messages, knowledge, culture, brand and tone of voice are experienced by every attendee.
Whichever way out of the three methods you decide to run your TTT, once the trainers have seen/been through the content, read through the trainers notes and seen the slides and activities, they now need to practice for themselves. Here we allocate each trainer a section of the induction, this might be a 30 min section or a 1 or 2 hour section (depends on time and how many trainers are in the TTT). They now are given time to prepare. This may be 1-2 hours or ½ a day depending on the experience of the trainers. On Day 2 of your TTT each trainer will be given a time and they then deliver that section to the rest of the group. The group then give feedback led by the lead trainer. This way everyone is able to see/hear and experience sections of the key material twice.
A practice run is like it says. You as the trainer/facilitator are able to run a practice induction with a set of selected attendees playing the new starters (this might be heads of business or selected people from different departments and your training team), so that you can test the content, materials, activities and timings and get specific feedback from everyone.
This also works really well if you are the only person who will deliver the induction as it allows you to practice and prepare the material ready for the first batch of new starters.
Useful tip: we appreciate that not everyone wants to stand at the front and deliver training to people – presenting is often the biggest fear people have. Some companies will obviously not have the resources for a team of trainers or any trainers, so there needs to be a solution that works for your business. Consider asking for two or three managers or heads of departments to put themselves forward to deliver your induction. Look at finding a good one or two day presentation skills course that would improve their overall presentation skills, how to prepare and deliver the induction and ultimately give them more confidence to stand up in front of others. These managers could then share delivery or co-deliver together to take some of the pressure off. There are also companies like ourselves who will work with your trainers/managers, run presentation skills, TTT’s and coaching sessions that will help them to prepare for delivering your induction.
Once your TTT/practice run has been delivered, there may be some final tweaks and amendments, however now you need to prepare for launch. Your new induction course should be ready to go. As part of your project plan, HR have been recruiting people to all start on a specific day, the day you run the first new starter induction. All new starters should receive in advance an acceptance letter explaining their first day i.e:
- Timescale of the induction
- What time & date it starts
- Full address, parking/travel and access instructions
- Who to report to on the day
- What to bring (if anything specific like photo ID or P60, pen, notebook lunch etc)
- What to wear; smart, smart casual, formal, company uniform, safety clothes/shoes, outdoor wear if tour involves going outside or into cold areas.
- What you will supply i.e. lunch, refreshments, welcome pack etc
Image – Check list TBC
Of course there will be some nerves leading up to and on the day – that’s normal. Make sure time has been planned in so you can prepare everything you need, for example:
- Setting up the training room/meeting room the way you need it for the number of attendees
- Checking all the media works – slides, videos and music
- Everything is printed & ready – posters, hand-outs, workbooks, knowledge tests, activities etc.
- All guest speakers have confirmed the time they need to be ready for their slot.
- Refreshments (Water/cups) for the room and lunch has been arranged for the new starters.
- Everyone in the company knows that the new induction starts on XX date and at XX time.
- Reception has a list of names, as do you of all new starters expected.
- You have enough flip chart paper, flip chart marker pens, post-it notes, pens, pencils, paper etc for everyone
- Marketing have sorted out any branded goody bags for all new starters (if this is something you do and has been budgeted for), branded clothing and/or uniforms ordered.
- All department heads know their new starters will be with you on their first day, and can come and introduce themselves at lunchtime.
- A sign is on the training room door that ensures nobody disturbs the induction or you while you are delivering.
We believe you are ready to deliver your new starter induction. We wish you all the success you deserve. An induction is (in our opinion) a great way for all new employees to experience a first day at a new job. They get to meet and work with people who are in exactly the same situation, i.e. their first day in a new company. They meet new colleagues, they experience the culture first hand, learn the values, beliefs, behaviours of their new employer and all there is to know about the company they have joined. It helps people to feel part of something very quickly; it enables them to integrate into your business, the department and their team. It helps them to become successful and an advocate for your company from day one. Yes it’s an investment but a worthwhile investment that pays you back in so many ways. It is never a cost, as the only cost is the cost of not having an induction and the impact that has on every new starter and ultimately your customers.
We hope this series of seven blogs on how to create your new starter induction has been useful and helped you to plan out your new starter induction. If you have any questions or you would like to discuss Brenell supporting and helping you get your new starter induction ready and launched then get in touch.
Telephone: 0808 120 1141
Thank you for reading