Making a strong first impression is all-important when starting a new role. For candidates, this can come at the interview stage, but for employers, once you’ve made the hire and candidates become employees, that first impression can be of even greater importance.
Great employers want to create a confident, enthusiastic work force. They also want their employees to remain with them for as long as possible, and in order to do so, creating a solid on-boarding programme is essential.
“We all know the challenges in the candidate and labour markets mean we have to work harder to find the right people,” said Charlotte Turton, Head of Talent at De Vere. “That’s why we’ve transformed our on-boarding to make sure our colleagues have the best possible start in their roles, quickly becoming part of the De Vere team and story.”
Watch the winning moment
Facing the challenge
Change is always a major factor in employee engagement and retention. Reviewing colleague retention ﬁgures, De Vere identiﬁed a problem they already suspected: poor retention rates in the ﬁrst 90 days of employment. “We were losing over 1/3 of new recruits in this induction training period,” said Charlotte. “It’s not rocket science. Poor retention during on-boarding pushes up your cost per hire, wastes training budgets, and erodes morale of other colleagues. And guess what? It also tells us we need to improve.” Charlotte said that De Vere are passionate about creating a positive experience for on-boarding colleagues, so going back to the drawing board, they totally overhauled the 90-day induction training onboarding process for colleagues. “One of our key values is creating Memorable Moments, which is an obvious value against the context of our guests,” she said. “And yes, it can be a key value when we apply it to our colleagues too. That is the key theme behind the redesign work that went into creating a brand new on-boarding process.”
De Vere completely re-evaluated their on-boarding programme to make sure they have every fighting chance to retain the best possible talent, talent that is fiercely contested for by our competitors. “It’s also really important to us that our people see and feel our values from the moment they step into our business,” Charlotte said.
Building an On-Boarding programme
De Vere didn’t look at any one part of their on-boarding in isolation; they viewed it as a colleague journey into the business. “Our colleagues now enjoy a De Vere ‘Group Induction’ where they learn about De Vere as a whole,” Charlotte explained. “After this, colleagues move to a Hotel Induction, hosted by their General Manager, they spend time absorbing and getting to know the hotel in which they’ll be working. We then take our colleagues through a departmental induction, led by our specialist Talent Trainers on site, colleagues are welcomed into their new teams and departments, begin their colleague workbooks and familiarise themselves with every detail of their role and department.”
Charlotte added that taking a blended but comprehensive approach to on-boarding makes sure colleagues strike up a strong sense of identity with De Vere, their hotel and teams.
The team have been overjoyed with the results of the On-Boarding programme “we’ve had an 8% improvement in 90 day retention across the De Vere group,” Charlotte said. “Some individual hotels have seen an improvement of up to 23%, we’ve had improved feedback from new starter surveys not to mention improved training completion, both at the hotel and online.”
Charlotte and the team at De Vere were delighted with their win at the 2018 Caterer.com People Awards. “This award really celebrates our people and in particular, celebrates our new colleagues joining De Vere by providing an unforgettable introduction to the business,” she said. “It means a lot to be acknowledged for the work that’s gone into transforming our on-boarding process, as we constantly work towards making our hotels amazing places to work and build a career.”