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Virtual Inductions – Part of the New Normal

24 Aug 2021

Embracing the changes that came with the new normal and how we used our previous experience to overcome the challenges faced.

Ruhi and Nicole discuss the challenges faced whilst facilitating a virtual induction; their learnings and how they used their previous experience to overcome the challenges faced.

Earlier this year, we were given the opportunity to co-facilitate the induction for the February 2021 graduates, alongside Holly Brown. It lasted for two weeks where new joiners got a chance to learn more about Capgemini, while developing their core consulting skills and getting to know their new colleagues better through some virtual social events that we had planned.

We were extremely fortunate to receive this opportunity so early in our graduate journey and one that further developed our existing skills, including effective meeting and event management. Undoubtedly, it was a huge responsibility but the excitement of it kept the nerves under control – at least for most of the time!

Inducting our graduates virtually…

Having joined the company during the pandemic, we were familiar with the concept of a virtual induction. Therefore, we ensured that we used our own experiences to run the events as smoothly as we had experienced during our own induction. When we first looked at the schedule, we instantly knew it would require a lot of planning and organisation plus a lot of energy. Based on our induction experience, back in September 2020, we understood that being on video calls can become tiring quite quickly if you don’t take breaks regularly. Even though we were working in the comfort of our own homes, it can be quite an intense experience to be on camera, trying to absorb a lot of new information.  As facilitators, we had to ensure the induction schedule recognised this and focused on how to keep our new graduate joiners energised and engaged.

Although we brought our experience on how to best facilitate induction, it was still quite nerve-wrecking. It was different this time; we were on the other side. This time, we were representing Capgemini and its growing graduate community to 25 new joiners who would remember the start of their Capgemini journey with our faces in their mind so…no pressure.

How could we add value?

As the 2-week induction included a lot of information being delivered at a super-fast pace, we decided to use a web-based collaboration tool – MIRO. This was where we could really add value!

We created a Miro board to capture moments and outputs for the entirety of the induction. Initially, we planned on using the Miro board from day one to help new joiners record their feedback, build their confidence, and get to know one another better. Even though we had the board all set up, a technical issue meant our graduates were unable to access it. This would be a good time to mention, it’s always great to have a back-up plan. As we were ready to jump in and take control for the day while we got the technical difficulties resolved behind the scenes. By ensuring we were all familiar with the content that we were due to present, it meant we were prepared for any hiccups along the way.

Collaboration and Teamwork…

Teamwork was a major factor to our success navigating the issue outlined above, as well as co-facilitating the induction overall. We are sure you have heard the term “teamwork makes the dream work”, this was the approach we took when it came to splitting up the workload. For group sessions, one of us would focus on creating the groups required for the task, while the other would set up the invitations for our guest speaker and set up the breakout rooms ready for the session. This was beneficial to completing multiple tasks.

We also had daily team meetings to discuss how that day’s session went and identify any blockers we needed to resolve over the coming days. This meant that were prepared and ready to embrace the next day’s session. 

Remember poor planning leads to poor performance!

Co-facilitating the induction was a very rewarding experience despite all the challenges we faced. It really gave us the opportunity to stretch ourselves and continue to develop our skills as consultants. It is important to remain open to trying opportunities sent your way, even when it takes you out of your comfort zone. You never know what this may lead to or the wealth of skills you will pick up along the way.

Some top tips

To round things off, here are our top tips on how to run a virtual event: 

  1. Make use of your existing skills.
  2. It’s never too early to start planning for the next day.
  3. Teamwork makes the dream work.
  4. Always be ready with plan B.
  5. Don’t be afraid to stretch yourself.