The brief – A more Interactive Onboarding Day
The Family Services delivery unit within the London Borough authority, Barnet council, were making great changes to their induction procedure. And, with a comprehensive corporate plan established for 2019-2024, they knew it was essential to polish up their onboarding methods. Family Services, a department within the council, strongly values active listening, sharing and responding to ideas as a team. It was crucial that these ideals were incorporated into their quarterly onboarding days.
Green Hat People were asked to find ways to deliver interactive, engaging, but also informative training methods for the new recruits. The aim was to educate new employees on topics such as their organisation’s journey and values. However, the onboarding day also had to be entertaining for participants. We offered Family Services a bespoke, interactive solution using gamification.
Green Hat People knew that teamwork was important to the council. To reflect this value, it was agreed that the best format for the game was a group discussion. Each session had 15-20 participants from the council, and the game was an hour long. To encourage competitiveness from participants, the game also featured some fun trivia in a quiz about the London Borough.
The game covered a variety of topics that are crucial to the organisation. It covered:
2 The improvement journey
6 Models and plans
The gamification approach took these topics and offered them to the participants in new and interesting ways. The feedback was that one activity in particular led to some very interesting discussions. The question was: “Imagine our organisation as an animal, what would it be?” Participants then had to draw the animal, take a picture and share it.
Introducing an element of creativity sparked lively conversations about the organisation, its culture and the recent changes the council had undergone. Getting this feedback from their candidates provided the department with a better understanding of the way their organisation is perceived. The mangers who were present during the onboarding game enjoyed the fresh perspective, and the new employees got to know more about the team they were joining.
The day was a huge success. The activities drove lots of engagement, sparked discussions and helped the new staff to bond. To add to this, the participants really enjoyed the game, rating it an amazing 4.3/5.
Family Services were delighted with the game too! After seeing the positive effect on the participants, Grace Elias, Learning and Development Officer, stated: “The game made for the most engaging, and ‘edutaining’ session we have delivered in Family Services. It was a great success.” She said that the service that Green Hat People supplied was: “above and beyond what was agreed.” Elias continued: “GHP delivered the brief beyond our expectations by not just providing the game, but also offering ongoing support after the product had been handed over. We are delighted with the overall service from start to finish.”
Other service areas have requested to attend Family Services’ next session in December, with many of these areas assessing the possibility of introducing their own programmes. GHP are now in the development phase of Barnet Council’s new onboarding app, which they are ‘all looking forward to.