Onboarding new hires: Doing induction the Brightwave way

Months seem to have passed since you accepted the job offer, you've waved goodbye to old colleagues, equipped yourself with a crisp new notebook and spent hours agonising over the contents of your wardrobe and now the first day of your new job is finally here. Ten minutes after stepping into the office and you already have a hundred questions: what does that acronym stand for, what's the name of the person siting opposite me, oh, and, where's the kettle?

Georgie Wallington shows you how we do next gen onboarding...

Starting a new job can be daunting. Going from being the newbie to making a difference, showing what you can do and being recognised for it can seem impossible at the beginning. But how your new company approaches the onboarding process can make a real difference to both the new starter and their contribution to the company's mission and goals.

I recently joined Brightwave as a Project Coordinator and wanted to take this opportunity to share my experience of my first few weeks. Read on to hear more about goal-setting, buddies and Smelly Cheese Wednesday!

Prior to starting at Brightwave I was sent an itinerary, giving me an overview of what I'd be doing on my first day and who I'd be meeting . Arriving armed with this knowledge meant that I was less anxious about the dreaded first day and assured that not too much would be expected of me too soon. On arrival I sat down with my manager and was given a brief introduction to the company. Having previously held the same position he also offered me some sound advice about how to approach my first days. Remembering that others have been in the same position and made a success of it goes a long way in banishing any nerves you might be experiencing about being the new one on the team.

During this first meeting we also agreed that long-term goals wouldn't be set until I had been with Brightwave for a month. This struck me as a clever idea and something I hadn't previously come across as a new starter. That's not to say that setting tasks relating to day-to-day processes isn't a good idea - I am gradually getting up to speed with the different responsibilities my role entails and am being set tasks relating to these along the way. The benefit comes from not having the added pressure of trying to meet long-term targets that were set on the first day, when even remembering your teammates' names is a challenge.

Next, I was introduced to my team and a few other people who I'd be working with regularly. The importance of starting to build relationships was emphasised in the itinerary, as I was encouraged to book in 10 minute slots with each member of my team to find out more about what they do and when we're likely to collaborate. Having the opportunity to sit down with people one-to-one made it easier to start piecing together the team structure and everyone's roles and responsibilities.

I was also assigned a buddy. The role of the buddy is to be my first port of call for any questions I may have, meaning I have an extra support network for the important first few weeks and months.

Access to relevant technology, specifically your company’s LMS/learning portal (if one exists) can make a big difference to the onboarding process. I was given access to Brightwave’s next gen LMS, tessello, on my first day. Social collaboration using tessello is encouraged as you can share things that you have found particularly interesting/useful for the rest of your community to see. I was also intrigued to hear that there are plans afoot to give new-starters their tessello access prior to their first day, as I was naturally curious about the new company I was about to join and would have been keen to jump in to Brightwave's learning community. Being able to access company-wide information and to start putting names to faces would have made the transition into office life even smoother.

The social aspect of starting a new job has been shown to be key to job satisfaction, and Brightwave have created many opportunities for me to get to know my new team. Within my first week there was a welcome lunch which is always a great way to get to know everyone better, and monthly events such as Pizza Tuesday and Smelly Cheese Wednesday create opportunities for socialising outside of your own team.

Two weeks in and I feel like I'm settling in well and starting to learn the ropes. Brightwave's onboarding programme has made it easy to focus on what is important and how to build strong foundations to be successful in my new role.