Jemeela Quraishi: I’m going to kick off this morning’s session. So my name is, so big good morning to everybody, I know people are gradually joining, as Adebisi said, if you can switch your mics and cameras off and then make sure the sound is clear for everybody. So good morning, my name is Jemeela Quraishi and I’m part of the CIPD Trust Team at the CIPD. And I’m just delighted to welcome you to this morning’s webinar session, which is all about trying to make those first 90 days (connection lost) sorry, I think I was temporarily muted there. So, yes, delighted to welcome you to this morning’s webinar session, which is all about making those first 90 days in a new role count. And just to give you a bit more background, so this webinar session forms part of some of the things that we deliver as part of the CIP Trust. And the CIPD Trust was launched last year and really, what we exist to do is really try and leverage the skills and expertise of our people professional network through the CIPD, so HR professionals to really try and help people and tackle barriers to work, but also to try and create the inclusive workplaces of tomorrow. And we do this in three key ways. So one, which is what this session forms part of, is really about trying to support individuals and help people in terms of improving access to work. So helping people both get in and get on and work who perhaps face more barriers, so that might be young people, that might be people with convictions, refugees, older workers who are looking to try and return and parents who might be returning as well. So really looking at supporting people by connecting them with our network, to help them have a better chance of both accessing, but also getting on in work when they’re there. We also look at the profession itself, the HR profession, and think about how can we help this become a more diverse profession, much more representative of the communities that it serves. And the third way we do it, is really about trying to bring people together. So whether that’s our people professionals, whether that’s some of the people that we’re trying to support, some of the organisations and partners that we’re trying to work with, to really create this change, so that we can really amplify what good work is happening out there, but also try and bring other people with us to help create the more inclusive workplaces of tomorrow and really learn from each other and hopefully create a much more inclusive working world for everybody in the future. So that’s our sort of grand, change the world aims. You can find out a lot more about this on our website at cipdtrust.org if you want to take a look after the webinar session today and we’re also running another webinar on 6 July, which will be talking a lot more broadly about the Trust’s work. One thing I did want to mention is, just so that you’re aware, this session is going to be recorded, so just so you’re aware of that. But I’m going to hand over to Adebisi in a moment, because what I’m really excited about is, this morning you’re going to hear from some of our fantastic people professionals, who are going to be sharing their knowledge and expertise to really help you in terms of navigating those first 90 days. As well as a key member of our Trust team, Owen, who joined us in January, so he has some very fresh experience of that too. So I hope you enjoy the session. We’re always looking for feedback and looking for topic ideas, in terms of things that we can do in the future, so do bear that in mind and do let us know afterwards. But I want you to get the most out of hearing from our experts, so I’m going to hand over to Adebisi who will be chairing this morning’s session. Thank you very much and hope you enjoy.
Adebisi Sunmonu: Thanks Jemeela. So thank you everyone and thanks for joining the session and welcome. As Jemeela mentioned, the session is, and as you know probably from the title already, basically targeted at giving you a bit more information and understanding of the things that you need to do, or look out for, how to prepare to succeed in that first 90 days of a new role. As you’ve probably already gathered, this webinar is specifically targeted at a younger audience in terms of people who may be going into their first job out of university for example, or people who maybe even, this might be their second job but who are still kind of trying to find their way. But again, if you are in this session and you feel like that doesn’t apply to you, that’s absolutely fine because the information that we’re going to be going through will still cover different bases and some of the things that you need to look out for. Jemeela has already mentioned this, that the session will be recorded, but can I ask that if you’re, for now if everyone can just turn their mics and cameras off, because again it probably will help with connectivity on Teams. But before we go into the session, I’m going to give a bit of an intro of who our panel will be. But once we go into the Q&A session, they will have a better opportunity as well just to introduce who they are and what they do. But for now, here they are. First of all, we have Claire Humpleby and then we have Fadeke Elegbede and then we have Owen, sorry I’m butchering people’s names, Owen Iheukor and then we have Natasha Rubin. So once we go into the session, as I mentioned, people will be delivering their section in terms of the information we’re going to be going through and then we will have the Q&A session. If you do have any questions, if you didn’t have an opportunity to submit your questions prior, please feel free to send any questions you have through via chat and then we can ask those as well if we have some time. But yes, I’m going to be handing over to our first speaker who is Natasha, over to you.
Natasha Rubin: Hi everyone, I’m Natasha. So just to start, a few things that you should be doing ahead of your first 90 days. Some of them might seem quite basic, but it’s really important not to look at any of these. So the first one is obviously reading everything you’re given, I know during an onboarding process it can be quite overwhelming, it feels like you’re being thrown a lot of information and some of it can feel a little bit repetitive, but you really should read everything, especially your contract and the employee handbook. A lot of the things in there are probably questions you already have, so maybe things about annual pay reviews and how and when they come into play, notice periods, your notice period during probation, which is often different to your notice period, so during probation, you might only be given a week’s notice, or you might only have to give them a week’s notice if you decide the job’s not for you. So it’s just worth reading everything, making sure you’re absolutely clear. And also a lot of your rights are in there as well, so if you do feel you’re being treated unfairly, the employee handbook particularly will contain all of the company policies on how they should be treating you and what you need to do if you feel you need to raise any concerns. So it’s so important to read all of that information. The second thing we have here, is asking about any jargon and acronyms you don’t understand. This is something that happens in every company and every company uses them in slightly different ways, so there’s no shame at all in asking people what things mean. So company jargon for example might be, town hall meetings, which is typically a meeting for the whole company. I remember when I started this job I had never heard of that before and I didn’t ask anyone what it was and the first company town hall I actually didn’t attend because I just didn’t know I was meant to and I actually got kind of called out by the CEO for why I didn’t attend and it’s just, to this day I still really regret not asking what it meant, it just would have saved the embarrassment of that. Acronyms, that can be things like BAU, business as usual. Again just ask people, you can always have a quiet word with someone in your team or your manager and they’ll be more than happy to explain what these are. I think people often forget, so used to using them, people forget that not everyone knows what they mean, so no one would think badly of you for not knowing that, it’s just remembering to ask. We’ve also got here finding your key contacts, so it’s really important to know who you need to know. So HR, typically they’ll be able to help you with any payroll questions you have or any issues with your contract and also IT, people often have IT issues when they’re first getting set up with their new equipment. So just know who you need to know. Obviously your manager you’ll be introduced to immediately, but there might also be other people in the team that will be responsible for onboarding you, so just get to know who they are, so you can go to them easily if you do have any questions. Get a copy of your job description, so hopefully you already have a copy of this from where you’ve applied for the job, so if you applied online, just make sure you’re of saving a copy of that and downloading it, if not, ask HR or your manager and they’ll be able to give you a copy of this. But your job description will obviously contain everything that’s expected of you in that role, so it’s important that you keep the original list of what you applied for, just in case there are any issues later down the line and you can evidence, this is the job that I applied for, these are the responsibilities I was told I would need to do, and it just helps you have that baseline for the conversation if any issues do arise. I would say, usually there’s any other duties that’s reasonably required at the end, that’s a catch all, so there might be some tasks that aren’t listed there, but just be aware of that. And finally, get to know the structure and purpose of the organisation. So it’s really important for you to understand what the company does, you might be asked that, sometimes senior leadership might go around the company and ask your understanding of the company. So just make sure you know what that company does and also how the company works in terms of, who’s your manager? Who’s your manager’s manager? What department are you in? How does that feed into what the company is trying to achieve? And also things like company values is something that every company has, they’re often on posters around the office, so just make sure you know what those values are and that you’re trying to embody them, because that will really help you make a good impression. So it’s often things like, motivation and teamwork, so if you know what the company is looking for and prides them self on, just make sure that you’re replicating that wherever possible. I’ll hand over to the next person.
Owen Iheukor: Thank you Natasha. Hi everyone and welcome to today’s webinar. So really and truly what we’re here for is to get you started off in your first 90 days of work. It’s really important to take initiative regarding what to expect from the role. First things first, you’ll need to have clarity on the dress code and this is really important as some jobs may vary in different dress codes, some may ask for smart casual, some may ask for casual, some may ask for smart. It’s very important to be distinctive regarding what kind of attire you will need to wear. Also, you’ll need to find out the right protocol if you’re too ill, again, the protocols can vary throughout different roles. Some companies might want you to, on the day if you’re ill, they might prefer you to call in sick two hours before you start work, or a day before you start work, so can it be a bit difficult with that one. You need to also make sure you identify the list of people you need to introduce yourself to. This is to familiarise yourself with what different roles people have within the company, who you need to be, who your point of contact will be. Also, as Natasha explained, HR as well, that could help you out with your onboarding on the role. Again, you need to make sure, if you can set up a buddy or mentor with someone within your team, this could alleviate a tendency to be shy during the first couple of months, this can also help build a better team cohesion with you and your colleagues. Finally, try to manage attainable objectives with your manager for the first three months, to create a solid base to work off. This can give you a set objective and a foundation, that can help you propel within your first 90 days and also hit targets and complete tasks that you’ve set out for yourself and also the role as set out for you as well. So I’ll be passing us on to the next person on the panel.
Fedeke Elegbede: Hello, everyone, good morning and welcome. Well, I’m just supposed to go through what your expectations are and that’s like, what will a typical day be like? And I would say, you should check and understand what is expected of you as a daily routine. So do you have to check in with your manager? Do you have to check in with team members, either face to face, or via Teams or Zoom meeting, say every Monday or every morning you get there? What are the priorities, objectives for the day? Are you delivering based on those priorities? I know of situations where a new employee is working very hard to please their manager, but it ends up that they have left some major or time sensitive projects lagging or undone. So make sure that you’re working to the priorities and objectives set for the day, for the week. Communication and correspondence. Check what the standard is in responding to emails, for instance, are you expected to respond within the hour, or at your earliest opportunity, or you leave it till the end of the day? You need to know what your department prefers. You may have various meetings scheduled, this could be team meetings, project discussions. What will be your role at the meeting? You need to find out, you need to know what preparations are needed, you need to know whether you have to read minutes of the last meeting, get updates on action points, so you can contribute effectively at the meeting. Also, where you work in a team, you need to know whether, even something as simple as going to lunch in a team, do you need to rotate it, do you need to just go? You need to know so that you know whether your department is covered when everybody goes to lunch. Probably in rounding off the day, you need to take time to review your day’s progress and plan for the following day, by setting your priorities, updating your to do list, because this will enable you to be more structured and not start the next day firefighting. Also, you can ask questions about processes, about the things you’re unsure about. So say promotion, progression, your probation and you should normally be part of an induction process when you start a job. This could be a day or a number of days, depending on the size of the organization and the scope of information that they want to pass to you. So you do get the opportunity to ask HR about promotion, progression, probation, although the length of your probation, like my colleague said, should have been stated within your contract of employment, which you receive with your offer, which is why it’s important to read everything like she said. But what I find in my experience is that new starters tend to forget, because there seems to be a lot of information thrown at them during the induction, so always refer to your reference materials, your staff handbook, your contract of employment and approach your line manager if your question relates to your job role in particular, or if your question is about your contract of employment, you can approach your HR department. You should feel comfortable approaching your line manager to clarify on your concerns and not wait until your probation review or your appraisal, because that will clear a lot of things. So thank you. I’ll hand over to my colleague. Thank you.
Claire Humpleby: Hi everyone, thanks so much. I’m Claire Humpleby. Yes, so thank you for my colleagues have just explained quite a lot about expectations and the first being obviously, what your expectations might be, and just kind of thinking about this, another point to add to this is that, be realistic in your expectations. It’s often quite challenging when you’re in a new situation and there will be things that you may not understand, be realistic about the fact that it could be a little bit daunting, you might have some mixed feelings as you go into the situation, but it’s really important that you’re asking questions and getting to know people, so that you can get to know the organisation as quickly as possible. In terms of what the organisation might expect for you, we’ve got a couple of points here, but I guess the first point to say is that, all organisations will be different to an extent in terms of what they expect from you. So their expectations might differ depending on your role, the size of the organisation, your level in the organisation, the structure of the organisation, so for example whether they have a lot of HR support, or perhaps it’s something that the manager is organising in terms of the onboarding and bringing you into the organisation. So that goes back to being realistic about those expectations and the importance of this very much being a two way process. Now some of the things that typically an organisation will expect from you, is that somebody that’s coming into the organisation has a very positive attitude, that you demonstrate the values that they’re expecting of the organisation, and again there’s been a little bit of talk about being able to research that and look at that and understand that. That obviously everything that you’re doing you’re acting with honesty, integrity, that you’ve got a good intention, it’s important particularly for the organisation that you’re showing good punctuality, that you’re there on time, that you’re attending. So really just being very professional in everything that you do and ultimately taking responsibility for yourself. And what that might mean, is that you need to go out and ask and find information. So it’s really important we’ve talked about expectations, but really understanding what the expectations of the organisation might be and we went through the 90 day checklist of some of the things that you might need to find out, but I would definitely reiterate that and ultimately it’s about asking questions. So you might want to start with asking the expectations of what your organisation expects from you on the first day, the first week, the first month. It’s really important that you find out who your line manager is and what expectations they have, and that can be even things like from how often they want to meet with you and how they like to communicate, it could be about how often they’ll give you feedback, whether they want you to ask questions of them. It can be really important to ask them how you might improve and how they’ll tell you about improvement, because you’re going to be learning, you’re not going to know everything right from the beginning. And again also asking questions about, how do you do your training, what training is available to you, who do you talk to if you have a problem, who do you go to, who do they expect you to ask when you have questions? So there’s a lot, I guess the key to the understanding about what the organisation expects from you is this two way process of being responsible and making sure that you’re asking the questions that you need to. Thanks, I’m going to hand over.
AS: Brilliant. Thank you everyone for presenting your part of the slides. So as you know, for the people who have just joined the session, I just wanted to mention now, we’re now going to be going into the Q&A session, so I’m going to stop sharing my slides for a sec. And then what we’re going to be doing, as I mentioned earlier, for the people who have just joined the session, we did have a few people who submitted their questions in advance. If you didn’t have an opportunity to submit your questions and you do have some questions that you would like to ask, please do feel free to send them through via chat. And can I ask the presenters to please turn their cameras on? And then I’m going to hand over first to Natasha to introduce herself, and then we can go on from there to introduce all of our panels and then we can start with the questions. You’re just on mute, Natasha.
NR: Thank you, sorry, I’m still, three years later still doing that. So I’m Natasha, I’m head of HR for the AI Corporation. So we’re a small payments provider company based in Surrey. I’ve worked in HR for about seven years now and responsible really for the whole employee life cycle at AI. So everything from recruitment, onboarding, developing people, right through to them ultimately exiting the business. So I feel hopefully I’ve got a good range of experience.
AS: Thank you and then Fadeke.
FE: Hello, I’m Fadeke Elegbede. I’m the HR Manager for Kingsway International Christian Centre. We’re a charity, we’re based in Kent in England and because we’re a small organisation, I head the HR team. Again, like Natasha, right from overseeing, from recruitment, up to meeting with the trustee board and things like that. So a very wide range of experience. I’ve been in HR for over 20 years and yeah, it’s good to be here to be contributing to things happening today. Thank you.
AS: Thank you, Fadeke. Owen?
OI: Hi everyone, my name’s Owen Iheukor and I’m the Project Administrator on the Trust team. So I’ve been a project administrator for the past few years, I’m delighted to join the Trust team, I’ve enjoyed every minute of it and essentially what, just to expand on what Jemeela said earlier in the webinar, the trust really focuses on expanding current programs with proven value and potential to create a ripple effect. So this is to emphasise the work the CIPD does as well in terms of helping champion people to better working lives. So, yeah.
AS: Thank you, Owen. And lastly, Claire.
CH: Hi, everyone, yes, as I said, I’m Claire Humpleby, I’m an HR consultant and career coach. I have a background of about 20 years in HR within senior roles, in the commercial side of things, in the private sector, public sector and also non profit. I have moved around, so I’ve lived in London, I currently live in Jersey, but I’ve also spent some time in Hong Kong and Singapore. So, I’m used to relocating, which is the work that I do mainly with my clients now. I’m extremely passionate about personal and professional development. So, hence the fact that I am a Fellow of the CIPD, but also I’ve been involved with the Steps Ahead mentoring programme for a couple of years now. And I’m also involved with a mentoring programme for the Institute of Directors as well. So, yeah, I’m really happy to be here today, thank you.
AS: Brilliant. Thank you, Claire and yeah, thank you, everyone. So we’re going to go into our first question now. As I said, please, if you do have any questions, please feel free to send them through via chat. So the first question is going to be for you Owen, considering that you are, not as new anymore, but you are still new to your role.
AS: So the first question is, how do you show, prove your impact within a new role, without coming across as over the top?
OI: I think the best way to show your impact is to document your success and share it with your team. It’s important to be humble, but also to make sure your team knows what you’ve accomplished. This can be done by listing a set of goals you’ve achieved or projects you’ve completed, you can show this through regular updates with your team or presenting or contributions at team meetings. I also want to emphasise that it’s important to be confident in your ability, but also to remain humble and recognise contributions of others, you don’t want to be too egocentric with your role as well.
AS: Brilliant, thank you, Owen. So if any of the other panelists want to add to that, please do let me know. But if not, we can move on to the next question. The next question is, what shall I expect from the employer in the first 90 days? And this is to Claire. So we have spoken a lot about you as an employee, what you need to deliver, how you need to put your best foot forward, how you need to succeed, but as an employee, what can you expect from your employer?
CH: Thanks so much. Yeah, this touches doesn’t it, on the expectations of what we can expect from an employer as well. Now, I would hope that your organisation that you’re going into, has planned a really good induction for you. But we have to be realistic that organisations are different and they will have different expectations. So, again, it goes back to what we mentioned before about the importance of asking, being proactive, making sure that this is a two way process. However, it’s probably good to know the basics of what they might cover with you during that initial period, so it should be quite a lot of practical information. So, you would hope that they would cover things like IT, how you use that, providing some training around the basic systems that you’re going to be using or any databases. You would hope that they would give you some information about facilities, so things like a tour of the building, showing you security, making sure you understand things like filing and how to get around, how to use the telephone. So, there’s quite a lot of practical things that they will hopefully show you. But again, it goes back to my point from before, it’s really important that you ask if you haven’t been given that information, I’m sure somebody will be happy to do it, they just may not have thought of doing it. And another area that you may find is covered with you and should be covered, you should expect from your employer, is things around workplace compliance, so things like confidentiality and data protection. You might be given some kind of compulsory training on that, and if you are, I would really recommend that you do that as soon as possible, so that you understand what the requirements are of your organisation. I think Natasha mentioned earlier, really important in terms of culture and values, hopefully they will talk through with you what the organisation is like in terms of structure, the values, the background, that kind of information, but again, it’s useful to find that out. Again, sometimes that’s provided as standard training, sometimes it’s included in employment handbooks, it might be information that’s on the intranet. So, again, if you’re not shown it automatically, you could go and ask about some of that. Another area another that I would really hope that would be included in your induction, might be around employee benefits and policies. So things like looking at your employment handbook and again, sometimes that can be a physical handbook that you’re given as a book and sometimes it can just be policies and procedures that are on an intranet, or shared with you. But that should include information about your pay, when you get paid, how you get paid, things about tax, for example. But also those really important policies that we’ve talked about and procedures, so things like appraisals, how often you’re reviewed, performance, information about wellbeing. So, again, hopefully all of this will be included by someone within your organisation, either HR or your line manager, or perhaps you’ll be invited to an event that will cover that information. But different organisations have different resources, so again, as I said, just be mindful of the fact that you may have to ask for this. Also, another expectation that you might have from your employer, is that they’re making introductions to those key individuals that you need to meet with and they might be internal stakeholders, colleagues, bosses, they might be external, so perhaps you’re dealing with external clients, or you’re dealing with external suppliers, and you might need to be introduced to them as well. And then again, hopefully they’ll explain your job responsibilities and your actual role and how you fit within the organisation, how you fit within the team, what your actual responsibilities are, and again, it’s being proactive, if you’re not given that information, do try and ask and the key to that is finding out what your goals and objectives are, so that you can meet their expectations and that’s what you need to work on, that two way process.
AS: Brilliant. Thank you very much for that, Claire. I can see some questions are coming through via chat, please do bear with us, my colleagues are making a note of them and if we do have some time, we can definitely go through those questions. So the next question that’s going to be for Fadeke is that, what should you do if you’re worried about not passing probation? Again, we are very much talking about how to prepare, how to ensure, so if you have been in a role previously for example and it hasn’t gone as well, it’s best to try to put your best foot forward. So this question is more speaking to that in terms of, how to prepare for that and not place your mind on what may have happened, but how to move forward for success. So how would you, what advice can you give in terms of that, Fadeke?
FE: Yeah, thanks Adebisi. Yeah, I will say the probation period is the time that the employer looks at your suitability for the role, but at the same time, it gives you the opportunity to learn, to improve, and to let them see your capabilities, like Owen says. So if you’re worried, even before the probation review, I would say assess yourself by reflecting on your performance so far. So, are there any areas that you feel that you’re not performing to expectation? What can you do about these areas? Have you sought clarification from your manager, your supervisor, about their expectations, so that you can step up in those areas? I would always say to a new start, there is nothing like a stupid question and do not wait until probation review before you are clarifying matters, you don’t want to get a shock at the review meeting that, oh, these are the things we expected, so always ask your questions. You need to take on board feedback from the clarifications that you’ve sought and the feedback that you’ve been given, you need to take onboard those feedback to improve.You do this by developing an action plan that will focus on those specific areas that have been highlighted to you. Make sure that you ask for the opportunity to update on your progress and also to discuss any challenges you may be facing. These could be resolved probably through training, like Claire said, or some professional development opportunities, so. And also, prioritize your task effectively and meet deadlines and where you have conflicting deadlines, make sure you highlight this in good time to your manager. So say you work in a team, or you work with two managers and you’re wondering how do I juggle this, make sure you speak up and don’t try to just make the best of it yourself. Do not be overwhelmed, have a positive attitude, like Adebisi said, if probably something has happened in the past, just put that behind you and say, this is a new thing, I’m going to make the best of it. Have a positive attitude, even through the challenging period, have a positive attitude. Because this will show you in a positive light and it can be a plus because they can then see that you’re resilient, you’re pushing through, even though there are challenges and working through those will increase your success and your chance at making your probation. So I would say, don’t fret, don’t be anxious, just take those practical steps and it should land you in good stead. Thank you.
AS: Brilliant. Thank you very much, Fadeke. I really like your point about not waiting until probation, or before that period comes up, to ask questions and to be sure, because what that does is, that because if you are proactive, if there are things that your employer is unsure about, or your manager thinks that you could be doing better at, if you’re asking maybe a month or six weeks before your probation, what you’re doing is that you’re giving yourself enough time to make those changes and for them to see that you’re making changes. Even if at probation, they still feel like you’re not where you need to be, at least you’ve been, you’ve given yourself enough time to make those changes where necessary. So that’s a that’s a really, really good point. Thank you. The next question is going to be for Natasha and so the question goes, is it inappropriate to ask for a salary increase after proving yourself in the first 90 days?
NR: Yeah, OK, so yeah, I think this is a difficult one. I think the answer generally is, yes, it would be inappropriate. I think that’s generally because, before the role is even posted, your employer has hopefully bench marked that role within the industry and your area and they’ve posted that salary at the appropriate rate for that role. And also through the interview process, they’ve looked at your skills and experience and where that fits in with what they’re looking for. So I think the thing to ask yourself is, what has changed in those 90 days? I think just because you’re doing a good job, which is great and obviously that’s what we would hope would be happening, has anything materially changed in that 90 days that means that your salary should now be higher? And it might be that the employer actually can’t afford to pay you more than that, that’s what they’ve budgeted, that’s what’s appropriate for the role. As an extreme example, if you wanted an extra £5,000 pounds, that role might have been quite different when they posted it, there would have been extra things in the job description and things like that, so it might just not be possible for them to pay that for you. I think, again, it comes back to reading the employee handbook, because that will give details when, where you can expect to get annual increases. So, usually, the company reviews that at a set time in the year, quite often April, so you’d be picked up in that cycle, but again, sometimes they ask that you’ve been employed for 12 months before you’re put into that review cycle, so again, just know when to expect it. If things have changed during your first 90 days, then it might be appropriate to ask. So if, for example, you’ve joined in a certain role, but then other people have left, you’ve taken on more work, or now you may be finding yourself managing someone else unexpectedly, that would be kind of reasonable to say, actually, the role has changed quite a bit, I’m happy to take on the extra responsibilities and I’ve been enjoying it, however I think a small compensation would be appropriate. So just really kind of assess those 90 days, what has changed, either in your skills or the circumstances of your role and just really think about it. Because the thing you don’t want to happen is your employer to feel, if they have to say no to you, they might be worried that you’re then going to look for another job and then that might affect any training opportunities that might come your way, they’re not going to want to invest more money in your training if they’re worried that you’re about to leave the company. So yeah, do just think carefully about doing that.
AS: Brilliant, thank you for that, Natasha. So I think this one comes to, it speaks to what we said earlier about asking the right questions in those first couple of months, speaking to the right people, finding out what the policy on things are. But I also, I think really like your point in that, your employer may not be able to afford to even increase your salary, even if you feel like, oh, I’m absolutely deserving because I’ve done this X, Y and Z. I think it’s important to be informed from day one, so you’re not in a position where you feel like you’re being like turned down or let down by your employer. The next question is to Owen. So it goes, what are the crucial skills employers are looking for in the first three months? So again, you are, as we’ve spoken about, in your first six ish months of the new role, what kind of things would you advise people to think about, in terms of skills that would look good or stand out to an employer?
OI: Thank you, Adebisi. So employers can be very particular when identifying the crucial skills for a specific role. Again, it can vary depending on the type of job that you’re going for. However, mainly employers are looking at how do employees, can adapt quickly to work environment and how keen they are to learn new skills. This can come back to trying to be innovative within the first couple of months within the role, how you’re able to embed your status within that role as well. They value employees who can work in a team and communicate effectively. Being able to communicate and liaise across team, across company is very important, as you’re able to channel information clearly, concisely, as there’s no confusion between your communication. I think this is really valued as well, as we all know it’s very easy to misinterpret certain information or certain messages across, especially via remote, so that’s really an important crucial score as well. Being able to take initiative and be proactive is also very important, as this asserts your dominance within the role and that you’re going out of your way to help those in need within the company that need extra hand. So all of these combined together are the main crucial skills that employees are looking for as well and also being able to manage tasks accordingly, organise your tasks within each day of the week, depending on which type of role that you’re going for and, yeah.
AS: Excellent. Thank you for that Owen. So we have had a few questions come through via chat. So I think what we’re going to do, I’m going to try to go through some of those questions, if that’s OK. So I’m sorry to the panel, because we’re going off script a little bit, but what I will do, I’ll try as much as possible to try and assign someone the question. But again, as I’ve said previously, if there are questions that you want to add to, please feel free to do so. So the first question is, I’m going to read this word for word here so please bear with me. My line manager has introduced me to my new team, my new teammates during a team meeting, but I didn’t have the chance to tell them about myself. What is the best way to get myself introduced to my new colleagues if all of them are working from home? Is it sending them an introductory email? So I think here it’s basically about hybrid working, for example, if you haven’t met a colleague before, how best do you introduce them and get to know them? So I will, again, I’m sorry Owen, I’ll put this to you, only because I know that you started working hybrid, so you’re still new to this, so if you can give some hints and tips on this, and I can open it up to the other panelists as well.
OI: Yeah. Sure. So when working remotely it’s important to make extra effort to build relationships with your colleagues. It can be scheduling regular meeting or check ins to get to know your colleagues better, or you can participate in virtual team meetings if your company does do that, some companies might have end of week virtual meetups and they might do online activities, this could be a great way. Again, like you mentioned, sending an introduction through email to your company if everyone’s too busy, that could be a really good way to introduce yourself within your first couple of days, first week. Also, to make sure to communicate effectively as well, like I touched upon on the previous question and to be really responsive to your colleagues, as this can go a long way in terms of building rapport with them as well.
AS: Brilliant, thank you, Owen. To the other panelists, please, if you want to add to that, do let me know. But if not, I will kind of move on to the next question. The next one I was going to touch on is more of a request before the next question is, is it OK for the attendees, if they want to connect with you on LinkedIn? Yes, OK, excellent. So yeah, please feel free, if you are an attendee and you want to do that, please feel free to do so. The next question we’re going to be going to is, do you have any advice on how many questions to ask, or maybe which questions to prioritise at an informal meeting prior to applying for a job, versus an interview/once offered? So I’m guessing, because some organisations may, for example, have meetings with you, an informal conversation for example, before you go to interview. So what kind of questions would you suggest asking or prioritising, at these types of conversations? So I will go to Claire for this one.
CH: Thanks so much, oh, I love ones about questions. I guess it really depends on how much you’ve had, how much information you’ve had during your interview process, how much connection you’ve then had with the organisation through the onboarding process. So It might be like, for example, some organisations might send you out a copy of the employment handbook before you even start, others, you won’t get that until you ask for it. So, it depends what you get as to what questions you need to ask and I think there is a balance, because again, you don’t want to bombard it. So, what I would suggest, a couple of tips I would suggest is, if you meet with your line manager, ask them for who else you can ask questions to. So that way I’ve found when I’ve gone in as a consultant, or I’ve gone in as a contractor, it’s really nice to have more than one person who I can ask. So, there might be one person I ask about when we go for lunch breaks, but I ask someone different about how to use the photocopier. And it’s really important to get those key connections, I think we’ve mentioned that before, like who are your IT people, who are your HR people? So, you can ask those questions to different people and balance that out a bit, but it will really depend on how much information you’ve had beforehand. But another tip that I would definitely give is to keep notes. So, the worst thing about being new is if you ask the same question over and over again, that’s when people get more frustrated, so the thing is, if you can ask the question, get the answer and then make a note of it. So, again, I always take a notebook with me right at the beginning of a new role and I make sure I’ve noted down the, how do I get into the filing system, how do I work the photocopier? Those types of things, so I don’t need to keep asking that to the same people over and over again.
AS: Excellent. Thank you very much for that, Claire.
AS: I’m just going to add to that a little bit, because someone mentioned earlier in the chat about a 90 day plan for, that was one of the questions we had submitted previously actually. So just on your point in terms of asking the same things over and over again and making notes, what I tend to do is, as part of that 90 day plan I would have a, like a working document of all the questions and the answers that I’ve received so far, so if there’s something I thought, oh maybe I might have asked this before, I’ll revisit that, look through it, if the answer is not there, then I’ll ask the question. Because one thing with me, I really hate being that person who’s asking someone numerous questions over and over again, so I would say that’s something to consider as well, maybe keeping a note somewhere and that you can revisit. The next question we have is about flexible working. So it goes, at what point do you discuss or negotiate a flexible working pattern, is it an interview? The person has said, this seems more transparent for everyone, but I’m nervous of disadvantaging myself. Or, do you only ask this question at offer? I think this person’s answered their own question a little bit, but I’ll go to the panel, so I’ll go to Fadeke for this one. So would you say that they ask this question or negotiate maybe a flexible working pattern at interview, or would it be after they’ve been offered the role?
FE: OK, thank you. I will backtrack a little bit and say read the job advert properly, because sometimes that gives you a clue as to whether this job, even if they advertise it as you have to report to the office, but when you read it sometimes you can know if the job is going to allow that remote working as the flexible option at a point. I would say once you’ve read it and then at your interview probably just check with them, there is nothing, like you said about being upfront, just check, based on how the interview is going, the conversations you’re having, that is that role likely to be considered as one that would be hybrid at any point, where you can probably do some days at home and some days at work? And they should clearly state to you. We’ve had positions in my organisation where we started out as, it’s going to be five days a week in the office and then we’ve reviewed it, or we really like the candidate and we know they have a challenge and it would be better for them to do a hybrid and we’ve offered them a hybrid and it wasn’t there in the first place. So it will, I think it’s good to ask, but it depends on how you’re asking and at what stage in the conversation that you’re asking.
AS: Thank you for that Fadeke, I’m going to go to Natasha, I think you wanted to add something.
NR: Yeah, I think often with flexibility, that’s all really good points, but I think now we’re so used to seeing flexibility as being about hybrid or remote working, but actually it might be just as simple as that you need to do school pickups and drop offs and things like that. So again, similar points, I think it’s fine to do it at any stage, but you can always just ask in an interview, how do you support working parents for example, if it is around working or doing school pickups, and that will help you to see, do they already just let people do the school pickups and make up the hours later and things like that. So you can gauge from how receptive they are to that question. The other alternative is you do have a statutory right to ask for flexible working, so once you’ve started a job after, at the moment it’s 26 weeks, you’re, it’s a legal requirement, sorry, it’s a statutory entitlement for you to be able to submit a request and that could include things like remote working or amending hours for school care, things like that. And the onus really then becomes on your employer to make that work, or really justify to you why that can’t work, so if there’s a key meeting that happens at 3.30, for example, then it might be that they don’t allow that to happen, but if they can’t really justify why, they should let you amend your work pattern accordingly. And there are things in place at the moment that, that will become a day one right, so hopefully in the near future, that will be something you can ask as soon as you accept the role, so then it becomes less of an issue during that interview process.
AS: Great, thank you for adding to that, Natasha. So we’re going to take two more questions and then we’re going to start wrapping up the session. So the next question is more from an employer’s standpoint. So the question is, what’s the best time to provide a new starter with a mentor? Would it be earlier on, for example, in the first couple of weeks? Or after a couple of months after the person is more settled? So I know earlier we were talking about setting up someone with a buddy and then when they start a new role to ensure that they can go to that person for questions, for clarification. So when would you advise pairing that person with a buddy or a mentor? Would it be the first day or after a couple of weeks or months? I’ll go to Natasha for this one.
NR: Yeah, so I think day one is the perfect time. I think it’s really important for you as soon as you start a job to have someone that you can go to for the sillier questions as well, you know where do you make a cup of tea if you are in the office? And things like that. So I think day one is really important, it’s probably someone that’s going to help you actually do your role as well, so if you don’t get one assigned on your first day and there’s no one in your team that’s obvious that you might be able to ask some questions, then really do ask your line manager to be asked to set up with one and I’m sure they’ll be able to help you. But I think day one is the perfect time for that.
AS: Excellent, thank you. Thank you, Natasha. So what I had, I just saw this via chat, someone said, what does LTFT stand for? I think it’s less than full time, I think that’s what that stands for, basically just reduced hours or like flexible hours, I think. So the last question that we’re going to be going to is, I’m going to ask Fadeke to answer this one please, if that’s OK? So the question is what are the signs that you may have chosen the incorrect job or company? How do you act on this? So for example if you’ve, at interview everything looks great, you’ve started the role and maybe the work culture might not be what you thought it was going to be, or your role is drastically different from maybe the job description, or what you thought you were going to be doing. How do you have that conversation and what kind of signs are you looking out for to see if you are in the wrong job for example?
FE: Thanks Adebisi. First of all, that’s a challenging situation to be in, but yeah, I think some of the signs could be, and again it differs from job to job, but it’s probably there’s a lack of passion or interest. You saw the job role, you applied, you were enthusiastic, but then you came into the job and there’s a lack of passion or interest and you are consistently feeling disengaged or uninterested in the work that you’re doing, it may be a sign that a job or the company is not really a fit for your skills, is not of interest to you or for your values. And also probably if your personal values or work style is clashing with the company culture, that may create a sense of discomfort and it just makes it difficult for you to thrive in that work environment. Or you’re having probably persistent conflicts with superiors, you find it challenging to collaborate or to work with colleagues properly with your superiors. It can create a toxic environment and really, really, you don’t want to be in such a place. So I think some of the ways you can act on it is, do a self evaluation, again, like when we were talking about probation, do a self evaluation, take time to reflect on your interests, your values, your long term career goals. I’ve got an example of somebody who went to a company because it gave them opportunity to develop their HR skills, but the values of the company is really conflicting with them and it’s like they’re having to think, am I, do I want to stay here to develop my HR skills even though I don’t really agree with the value? So those are things you need to evaluate. How well does the job align with your values? Where is there a mismatch? Could you explore other opportunities, for instance, within the company? Say it’s the department you have a challenge with, but you really like the company, are there other departments or roles that align better with your interests, with your skills? Could you talk to your manager, could you talk to HR, to look at potential internal transfers or job rotation, things like that? And if eventually it’s a case that you have to leave, you have to update your resume, reach out to contacts in your field, search for positions that match your interests. So this is a learning point now, so you really have to look beyond the job role, look at the organisation values, their objectives, does it align with where you want to see yourself and where you want to go in your career aspirations? Seek support from mentors, we talked about mentors, career counsellors, and get some guidance on how to make an informed decision about your next steps. Thank you.
AS: Excellent, thank you very much Fadeke. I think, yes, sorry Claire I’ll go over to you, just add to that.
CH: Yeah, I think that’s a really great point. So I think the only point that I would add on here is that, just as a reminder that it’s often really challenging when you start a new role. You’re going through a change and it can be daunting, it can be exciting, but in an equal measure, it can feel horrible at times being the new person there. So it is a two way process and I’d just say, give it time to also assess it. I think what also you sometimes do is, feel like it’s not the right role and then want to leave, but haven’t had those discussions, so make that a two way process. Use that opportunity, as we were saying about, to find out if there’s other opportunities, try and resolve the issues, because it’s important that you overcome that as best you can do, before trying to move on to somewhere else, otherwise you might just face the same issues somewhere else. So accept that it’s a period of change and it might be a bit tricky.
AS: Thank you for adding to that, Claire. Yeah, that’s also a good point. So it’s that thing of, like you said, Fadeke, evaluating the process, seeing the things that you do agree or don’t agree with, and then your point Claire, to see who you can talk to about that, how you can overcome that. Because it’s that thing of, the grass might not be greener somewhere else, you might still face the same issue elsewhere as well, so it’s where you can be trying to overcome that. So, yes, thank you very much for that. So we’re just going to try to wrap up the session here, because I know I’ve seen a few people said they need to go to other meetings. So firstly, I just want to say a massive thank you to the panelists, who have answered the questions really well today, who have presented the information and to you the attendees, thank you so much for attending and I hope that you found the session useful. As you’ve probably seen via chat, some of the people have been saying that they’re on our Steps Ahead mentoring programme. So I just wanted to give you a bit more information about the programme and how we can support you if you are looking for your next role, for example. So the panelists, except Owen, who works for the Trust, are all Steps Ahead mentors. So the Steps Ahead programme basically supports young people, but also parents who are looking to go back into work, to get work essentially. So you are paired with a mentor who is a people professional and a CIPD member, to give you some advice within up to 24 weeks into getting work. So that could be going through your CV, for example, preparing your cover letter, giving you information about how to apply for roles, or even interview prep, for example. So if you are interested in taking part, or if you’d like a bit more information, my colleague Zoe will be sending a link through via chat, where you can access more information about the programme, but also where you can sign up as well and she has at some point, I think sent you our direct email address if you did have further questions as well. And just to clarify, the slide deck and some other resources and the recording for the session will be sent to you via email, so please look out for that in case you did want to rewatch it, or you had any further questions as well. But before we end the session there, what I’m going to be doing is, going to launch a quick poll just with a few questions. As my colleague Jemeela mentioned at the beginning of the session, we do really want to take away some learning from the session, so we’re just going to ask a few questions in terms of how you found the session, just for us to learn and improve the sessions for the future. So I’m going to launch the first one, hopefully everyone, because sometimes we get an issue where some people can see it, some people can’t. So I’m going to launch the first one, please do, if you can see it, answer the question.
AS: Excellent, thank you. And I’m going to launch the last one.
AS: Excellent. Thank you guys for participating in that. I know that you did have a few more questions that came through previously, what I will do is, the mentors, I have the questions already, I can go back and see if we can have those questions answered and then we can send those through with the resources that we send to you after the session. But thank you again for taking part in the session, I really do hope that you found it useful. Sorry I, we have someone’s hand up. Oh, it’s disappeared now, OK, it’s disappeared. So, thank you again, like I said, for taking part in the session, if you do have further questions, as my colleague Zoe has sent the email through via chat, please feel free to send those questions through. If not, again, thank you for taking part in the session and please look out for the comms from us after the session with a bit more information. But yeah, thank you very much, guys.
OI: Thanks everyone.
CH: Thank you.
NR: Thank you, bye.