Game-based Orientation (or: Why I strive to get published in a magazine even though I have my own blog)

Recently, I was fortunate enough to work alongside Miranda Greenberg and Marci Morford on one of the most creative and fun projects I’ve ever worked on in my career.

I wrote about this in a two part case study : An New Employee Orientation Overhaul and The Exciting Conclusion: What Happens When A New Hire Orientation Becomes a Game.

After speaking with Alex Moore at the Association for Talent Development, we were also given an opportunity to share a brief write-up of the project, which was published in this month’s TD magazine.

Game-based Orientation

Why should L&D professionals (or any professionals in any profession) seek to have their thoughts and perspectives and experiences and case studies published in industry publications when they could simply share these things on their own blog or website? Here are 5 reasons Continue reading

Finding Instructional Design Inspiration and Creativity from Unlikely Places

Inspiration

Walking through a lava field in Hawaii a few years ago, I turned to my wife and told her that this was such an inspirational experience… I was getting all sorts of ideas of how to connect this amazing hike with my learning and development projects. She shook her head and told me I had a one track mind.

Are some people naturally more creative than others? Perhaps. But I think like most other things, creativity is a skill set that can be developed over time for anyone who is interested in making their training programs more interesting, engaging, fun, unique and memorable.

If you’re truly interested in building your creative muscle, here are five exercises that might help.

1. Stop and look around.

Seriously, stop whatever it is that you’re doing right now Continue reading

The Exciting Conclusion: What happens when new employee orientation becomes a game?

A week ago, I wrote about a new and improved orientation program for incoming employees at my organization. The response to that post was unexpected, and amazing. Thank you to everyone who commented on the post or sent me an email or a LinkedIn message to wish me luck with the program and to hear more about how it turned out.

I’m happy to share our experience from our first session in two parts.   Continue reading

A New Employee Orientation Overhaul

“This is going to be very cool. I know I’m not a new employee, but I want to attend!”

I’ve heard a sentence very similar to this, many times, over the past month or so as my team and I have spoken with key leaders across our organization to gather information and completely overhaul our existing new employee orientation.

Following is a brief case study on what we did, why we went in this direction and how we put it all together.   Continue reading

What do feedback and underwear have in common?

underwear

“I feel you’re getting defensive right now.”

Our team has spent the past two months living, breathing and eating this new employee orientation re-design and now you’re telling us that you don’t like it. Darn right I’m defensive!! And I’m not just defensive. I want to take my ball and go home and you all can keep your old, crappy new employee orientation!!

I didn’t say those words, but I certainly thought them.   Continue reading

Two Things Every New Hire Orientation Must Have

Do you remember the night before starting a new job?  What was going through your mind? Do any of these comments (ripped straight from actual Tweets) resonate with you?

Excited1

Excited2

Excited3

Then do you remember how you felt sitting through new hire orientation, listening to someone talk (or perhaps watching videos or even completing a series of elearning segments) about all the mandatory HR requirements (employee handbook, sexual harassment, OSHA, etc.)?  Do any of these comments (again, from actual Tweets) resonate with you?

New Hire Orientation 1

New Hire Orientation 2

New Hire Orientation 3

New Hire Orientation 4

New Hire Orientation 5

The importance of bringing new employees up to speed as quickly as possible on things such as organizational culture, company policies and their actual role cannot be understated. In The Lean Startup – a book about operating an organization as efficiently as possible – entrepreneur Eric Ries writes: “Without a [training] program, new employees will make mistakes while in their learning curve that will require assistance and intervention from other team members, slowing everyone down.”

You should also check out the two part case study about revitalizing a new hire orientations: An New Employee Orientation Overhaul and The Exciting Conclusion: What Happens When A New Hire Orientation Becomes a Game.

What kind of content should go into new hire orientation? That will depend on your organization’s goals and objectives when it comes to new hire orientation. If you’re looking for suggestions, the MindTickle blog has phenomenal new hire orientation tips and strategies.

New hire orientation that doesn’t snuff out the excitement and enthusiasm that new hires feel on the night before they start their new jobs really boils down to two questions:

  1. Two months from now, will the new hire remember most of what was presented (and know where to go to find other information they may have forgotten)?
  2. Did the person designing the orientation respect the new hires enough to ensure they will be engaged throughout every topic that will be covered (ie: they will not be sitting as people or videos or computers bestow tons of forgettable information upon them)?

When your new hires begin tweeting something two hours into their first day, what do you think their 140 characters will say about your orientation program?