Secret ingredients to quality software


Rules to Better Induction

4 Rules

  1. Do you have an induction program?

    The problem is companies have a lot of information – some of it is public, some of it is private. 

    You need an Induction or a Continuous Learning tool. We recommend It's a great tool and it can test employees' knowledge; e.g. whether they can find relevant information on the intranet.

    SSW SugarLearning

    The goal of SugarLearning is to help you learn. 

    SSW induction covers a combination of public and private information. This information is available on the SSW website (public information) and the intranet (private information). We want to maintain these sites as the sources of truth for that information, so we don't want to duplicate this information on SugarLearning.

    What SugarLearning does is aggregate your learning items into the one space to make it easy for you to complete your induction. Once you've done your reading, the follow-up quizzes help you confirm what you have learned.

  2. Starting - Do you know how to make newcomers feel welcome?

    The first day of a new job can be daunting. For the new starter, the workplace is unfamiliar, their colleagues are strangers, and there’s so much to learn they think their head might explode. All up, it’s a stressful time.

    There are few simple ways to help new hires feel more comfortable as they adjust to their new workspace:

    Before they start

    Prior to the newcomer’s arrival, make sure their desk and work area are clean by giving the desktop, monitor, mouse and keyboard a wipe with a damp cloth. Then test that the equipment on their desk, such as the computer, phone and any other electronics, is in good working condition.

    Welcome Shot
    Figure: Nice and clean work area

    The day before they start

    Give them a call and make sure they're ready and know what to bring with them, what to wear, etc.

    At SSW we give the newcomers the option to bring their own equipment, so make sure to ask them before they start.

    On their first day

    On the newcomer’s first day, have the manager leave a short “welcome to the company” handwritten note and a cup of good coffee at the newcomer’s workstation to greet them first thing (The welcome message could even be written ON the cup if possible). Make sure they have someone looking after them.

    Other nice days could include:

    • A mug
    • A map of the area with some cool things pointed out (good coffee spots, restaurants, etc.)
    • Use a blank notebook to write a welcome note and put handy hints inside, then they can continue to use the notepad during induction!

    Penny Welcome Pic
    Good example: Personal, fun welcome to SSW Sydney with all of the good food and coffee tips!

    It’s also a nice idea to take the newbie out to lunch on their first day so they can get to know their co-workers outside of the office. NB: check if they have any special dietary requirements.

    These are some thoughtful ways to show the new hire that the company is pleased to have them on board, and leaves them with a good first impression of their new workplace.

    Find the longer version of this post on Facebook and LinkedIn.

  3. Starting - Do you track your induction work in a Scrum team?

    Having a clear, concise method of tracking tasks and priorities is important.

    If you have a very lightweight induction system (a day or less to complete) it makes sense to get it done first and then join a Scrum team to start doing your normal work.

    If you have a more comprehensive induction system (that takes more than a day, and some take weeks or even months) then it can be isolating to be doing your induction alone and separated from the rest of the team you will be working with. In this scenario, it's recommended that you create an "Induction" PBI in the backlog to track your induction work. Then the new employees' induction activities will feel like part of the job.

    For more information, read the 8 Steps to Scrum.

    To achieve that you should:

    1. Talk to your Manager to work out which Scrum team you'll be joining
    2. Either create OR if you don't have permissions, have someone on that team create a new PBI (e.g. "Induction") where you will add and track your induction work as tasks

    Induction PBI
    Figure: Good Example - Including a new employee's induction PBI should be done early

  4. Leaving - Do you know to prepare a special goodbye to a co-worker leaving the company?

    It can be sad when a co-worker is leaving the job, but you should always find a good reason to celebrate the day and make it special – especially if they worked for the company for a long time.

    You should always provide as good of an experience for when your staff they leave, as when they joined the organization.

    Here are some ideas:

    • Have a special lunch with the whole team
    • Prepare a card signed by all team members to say goodbye
    • Get the team together for drinks after work (if you are working remotely, this can be done via Microsoft Teams or Zoom)
    • Get the boss to write a speech about the soon to be ex-employee and make sure everyone can participate in the farewell

    Of course, you can personalize it according to each employee’s personality.

    As a goodbye could be due to redundancy, or a resignation, it’s always a good idea to ask the employee how they might feel about the situation. This is an important step to ensure they are comfortable. 

We open source. This page is on GitHub