We all know that you can make a first impression only once. During the first encounter. This is true not only for individuals but for groups and for organizations as well. The first understanding, the first pictures, stories gained during the first encounter have a very strong imprint in the new staff member. They strongly influence how the employee understands the mission, the values, rules and expectations of the organization and his/her potential role in it. They work like glasses that determin how the person wearing them sees the environment and what sense he/she can make of situations.
All companies give some introductory information to new employees individually or in groups. They always explain administrative and technical processes and basic rules pertinent for the work process. The rest happens in a random manner depending on whom the new entrant happens to meet during the first days. An Inception Training implies more. It is an instrument to consciously shape the new entrants’ image and sense-making of the organization. A one or two-day long process that goes beyond the practicalities. Shares mission, values and success stories, introduces new entrants to the culture of the organization, makes them familiar with the specific behaviours and most important daily practices. This first encounter is the best opportunity to transmit positive models for communication, behaviour, problem solving and expectations. During the Inception Training, participants can discuss reactions to situations and challeneges, and they can also solve problems in a planned and protected context under the guidance of experienced peers. These exercises will work as models for later activities. If we can transmit during these hours what we expect in the future, we strongly impact the chance that the new entrant will contribute to the fulfillment of our vision.
Although Inception trainings are not costly, and can bring huge benefits, interestingly they are not widely applied instruments.