Transcript

What makes a great onboarding experience?

David Hayden and Danny Seals join Ross Garner and Owen Ferguson to explore what makes a great onboarding experience. 

Prologue

Transcript

Ross Garner

Hello, and welcome to The GoodPractice Podcast, a weekly show about work performance and learning. I'm Ross Garner, and this week, we're chatting onboarding. What is it, what difference does it make, and how do we make it great?

I'm joined, as usual, by regular contributor Owen Ferguson. Hello, Owen.

Owen Ferguson

Hello, Ross.

Ross Garner

And we have two special guests this week, return visitor David Hayden from the CIPD. Hello, David.

David Hayden

Hello, everyone. How you doing?

Ross Garner

And from GP Strategies, Danny Seals, who also hosts the Mindchimp Podcast. Hello, Danny.

Danny Seals

Hello. How we doing?

Ross Garner

Very well, thank you.

And now, of all the L&D terms I've encountered in my travels, onboarding must surely be the least human. Is this the worst term in L&D?

Danny Seals:

Powerful question.

Owen Ferguson

So my question back to you, Ross, would be...

Ross Garner

I knew you'd have a question back to this.

Owen Ferguson

What word would you prefer? Because sometimes, words are just a short hand for something a bit more complex. And, I'm okay with that. I don't care whether its onboarding or something else. But rather than just sneeringly criticize the term, come up with a suitable alternative.

Ross Garner

Ah, welcoming people to their new job.

Owen Ferguson

That's a bit of a mouthful.

Ross Garner

Yes. I know, I know. But just onboarding just seems like something that no normal person would use.

Danny Seals

So, I guess I don't mind the term onboarding. It's, for me... I mean, obviously having something kind of, "Welcome to the family", feels a bit more, not fluffier, but a little bit more welcoming than onboarding. And I guess, you know, internally we use the term onboarding. But I guess that people who are coming through that experience probably wouldn't associate it to that.

But yeah. I mean, for me it's in the context so, you've got onboarding experience versus the onboarding process. And I guess it depends on how... How, kind of like, how you use that term. Cause for me, when I think about onboarding I think, kind of, you know, the very first time you went on a, you know, on holiday. The first time you ever had a fight. Kind of that onboarding experience and kind of, the emotions, the excitement and the anticipation.

So, yeah. I associate, kind of, an onboarding to kind of be onboarding to go on holiday. Or to, kind of, you know, that first experience.

David Hayden

And I think that the word's okay for us to use as practitioners, as part... This is our process. But it's not necessarily the word we would throw out to the people and say, "Oh, welcome to our onboarding process.".

You know, it would be whatever would fit in with the brand of that organization, I guess. But yeah. I think it's alright for us to use, but don't let's shout it at the people.

Ross Garner

Yeah, you couldn't use it in the pub with your mates, cause they wouldn't have a clue what you're talking about.

Danny Seals

That's true. I think, as it... I always murder this name. Is it Zappos? Is that the right one?. I love that approach to onboarding and, kind of... I don't necessarily think they call it onboarding. And it is very family orientated. So, you know, I think... It all depends, I guess, on your company.

You know, if you're working with a large bank, maybe? Maybe they would use that term, onboarding. But, maybe if you're working with someone, you know, like a start up. You know, someone very, kind of, family focused. Maybe they would do something that was adaptable to them as a company.

Ross Garner

What do Zappos do?


Danny Seals

So, kind of, I think... I think it's something to do with footwear.

Ross Garner

Shoes, yeah.

Danny Seals

Yeah, yeah. But it's kind of known for being like, the one-stop shop for culture and, you know, onboarding. And stuff like that, I guess. Yeah. They're kind of well known for that.

Ross Garner

Oh, okay. What do we mean by onboarding? Now that we've, you know, suitably dissuaded anyone from tweeting in and saying, "Stop using the word onboarding.". Now we have like... We've justified that particular usage. What do we mean by it?

David Hayden

I guess it’s that whole, kind of, "Right, okay. You've got through the recruitment process. Now what do you need to know about this organization to be able to get you performing really, really well?". In like, a really simple, really simple nutshell.

Danny Seals

Yeah, I guess so. I think... Someone told me something years ago and it was kind of... I think, I can't remember what it... the context was. But it was kind of, "Follow your heart but take your mind with you.".

And I guess that's how I see onboarding. Kind of, follow your heart when you're designing and design this experience, what it needs to be. But, obviously, take your mind with you, be in the business and understand their take and what they need the onboarding to be as well.

So it's kind of having... Going into two onboardings and taking, probably two points of view on it. And, kind of... Yeah. Bringing people in for success is basically onboarding.

Ross Garner

So we're gonna go from... It's the... So once someone's been offered a job, the first day, that's when the onboarding starts. And then there'll be a period of various things that, you know... Health and safety. HR related things. Where are the fire exits, all that kind of stuff.

If you need to, you know, lodge a formal grievance, this is the form that you need. Does this sound like the top onboarding experience that we're all looking forward to starting?

David Hayden

No. No, no, no, no, no, no, no... No.

Yeah, yeah. Just no. Yeah. But one of the things that really... So, during the notice I had about four or five different jobs. And, what was interesting with the whole kind of, first experience with, either someone from HR or lower manager. The first they said was, "And this is the number you phone when you go sick.".

And it's like, oh it's alright to go sick in this organization is it? You know, cause it's... No, you're just kind of screaming, "No.". Yeah.

Owen Ferguson

I would consider it to be the journey that an employee goes on, all the way from job offer through too fully productive. So it's not just induction. It starts before they enjoy... before they join the organization. It's how they're welcomed into the fold and how they are helped to get up to speed in the most productive way possible. So it's not all about, how quickly do I get you, you know, doing stuff. It's, you know, how do we help you join and become a productive member of the team.

Danny Seals

Yeah. I think, I think you touched on a really good point as well. I guess, people kind of see onboard, and we'll probably touch up on this later, I guess. But, people see onboarding as being that one-hit wonder. For me, your onboarding starts from the minute your potential newbie has a touch-point with the business. So we talk about, kind of, recruitment, but actually it's that first engagement.

You know, that's kind of in... you know if you go to, kind of, these universities where we, kind about grad... You know, grad pop-up shops. That's your onboarding there, kind of, it starts way, way, way before that person steps inside the business.

Ross Garner

Yeah. And I think what David was talking about was, you know, you interpreted the, it's okay to go sick, cause you were given a number to be sick. Yeah, as the employee coming in all nervous you're looking for... Yes, you can hear what the manager's saying but you're also looking for the coded signals and everything else that they're saying. How you'd interpret that.

And the manager who's just hired you, is, you know... They're shitting themselves that they've made a mistake. So they're also looking for all these coded signals around. You know, how's this person gonna fit in? Are they actually like they appeared in the interview, or were they just like, kidding on in order to get the job?

Ross Garner

So it's like a... I feel like I bring up dating all the time on this podcast. It's like a... as a metaphor for absolutely everything at work. But it's like dating. From the very first date. Might be your Grad Fair. And then all the way through to a delightful union once you're finally, you know, a vibrant part of the organization.

Danny Seals

Yeah. And I guess nobody wants to be catfished either. And, I guess you see that a lot of the time. When you do this. So, yeah.

Ross Garner

Moving on. Do we know what impacts onboarding has, both on the individual and on the organization?

David Hayden

So, Parsoneault stated some.... did some stuff, September, 2018. They did an article where Talmundo, I think the organization was. That tech company, Talmundo. They talked to both HR and to employees. What was interesting, they said they talked to 258 professionals. But they didn't say how many employees they talked to.

But they said that, you know, something like 34% of the employees had not witnessed any onboarding. So they'd just been told to get on and do the job, which kind of links to... They quoted lack of clarity around what was expected from them and also in terms of the number of people who kind of left quite soon after.

So that whole wastage in terms of turnover. The wastage figure. Reportedly quite high within poor onboarding.

Danny Seals

I guess it doesn't really come as a shock. I mean, obviously we've had none of the ins and outs of that. It doesn't come as a shock. I guess what we see a lot of the time is, you know, some of these big companies really have a bad onboarding because they just don't have... they don't add value to what it needs to be.

Me personally, I've been on a couple of bad onboarding experiences. But I remember when I was designing one for a previous client, and kind of... I'm probably gonna murder his stats here, but it was a real shocking stat. Basically what it said was, within the first five months of joining in a business, 68% of their people start looking for a new role.

Danny Seals

But yeah. It takes the average person kind of six to seven months to understand what their role is. So you kinda go, well that's where your problem is. You're bringing these people in and it's taking them six months for them to understand what their role is. So no wonder they're looking for a new job. It's kinda like walking through a minefield for the next five months. No wonder you want to get out.

And I guess that comes back to kind of, when you design and kind of designing for a purpose.

Ross Garner

Could you go back to... You said you had some bad onboarding experiences. Are you able to share what they were? You don't need to mention the company name.

Danny Seals

Yeah. No, no worries. So a couple of bad experiences. They weren't all bad. Let's say I've had some good experiences and I've had a good mentor to kind of, help me build and learn how to build good experiences.

One of them was kind of... One of my worst experiences was kind of, I joined on day one. They kind of wasn't expecting me. When I got there, kind of, my equipment wasn't ready. I've had stuff where I didn't have a desk, table ready for me to work on. So they plonked me on a printer table. So, you know, the printers, which are a little bit lower, cause they've got big printers. So probably for the first two weeks I had a bad pain in my neck.

And it wasn't down to, you know, the manager's fault. I think he had been away and stuff like that. But I guess it kind of comes to a point of where it's bigger than just your manager and onboarding.

Yeah, I've had an onboarding where I, kind of within a week, week and a half of, I've kind of, left the company. I've gone, "This isn't for me.", based solely on how they did their onboarding and kind of just dropping you in it. And not giving you any... There was one where I kind of... I was asked to go... be deployed to kind of a client. And yeah.

So I had pre-meeting before hand and they wanted me to go to the client on a Wednesday. And they hadn't even told me how the business works and how it, you know, it's kind of consulting approach.

So it was kind of, it was this whole minefield of, just kind of winging it. And I guess, you know, when you're new, that's kind of the last thing you want. You want a little bit of structure first. And then wing through the rest of your life.

Ross Garner

I guess it depends on how you... It depends on how the organization views the purpose of recruitment. You know, is it just like you're... you've lost one part and so you're going to bring in another part. And then they'll slot in. And if you've hired the right person, then that's it. The part is replaced and that's grand.

It's just not realistic. You have to expect that the people that come in are not going to immediately start performing at the same level as whoever just left. It's always going to take a while to, for them to find their feet.

Danny Seals

Yeah. I completely agree.

David Hayden

And also, for me, it kind of ties in with how an organization views other... How an organization links in its other policies as well. So if those sort of figures are termed in averages. So it takes the average employee six months to learn the job. How does that link in with an organization's policy, say on, neuro diversity?

David Hayden

So how tolerant is the organization to someone who might take ten months to learn the job and get up to speed? Or kind of, maybe even two years. But after that two years they'll be a really good employee.

So, for me, it's around, do we understand... Do we understand what the role is? And do we understand what the individual contributes? And what do we need to do to help that individual to perform really well, given everything that's happening within the organization. Because it might take someone three months, it might take someone ten months.

Owen Ferguson

Yeah. I think, getting down to that level of detail on a thing is important. Wherever process you've got in place needs to take account of that. Because I've seen a number of studies looking at onboarding and I'm not convinced of the depth or detail of the analysis that's gone into any of them.
Owen Ferguson: And so, it takes the average employee. What is an average employee? That's just like, ridiculous. And so I'd strongly share any organization...

Ross Garner

I've always been an average employee. Not great.

Owen Ferguson

I think any organization should be looking at it's own recruit... how they go from that recruitment piece to someone becoming fully productive and figure out whether it's any good or not. And look to improve it, and I think, you know, the process for bringing on, and bringing someone working in finance, up to speed. It probably looks different to bringing someone into a marketing role, or a products role. Whatever it might be.

And so, you know, this is something that needs to be... Provide people with enough opportunity and structure so that they can make it easy for individual team managers and departments to make that happen. But it needs to be flexible enough to take into account that these are different rules. There is no average template employee.

Ross Garner

Who has ownership for that process though? Yeah, cause you're kind of... You work your way through the, particularly in large organizations, you'd probably be a recruiter. And then, you know, they disappear and you go the hiring manager. And then, you know.

Are they responsible for sorting out your IT equipment and all that kind of stuff before you start? You know, where does the ownership lie in this?

Danny Seals

I think, you know, kind of... Good ownership I've had in the past is, kind of... Your manager liaises with... I guess it depends on kind of what role you're coming into. If I'm going joining a team, you know, you can see these great... You see these pictures on LinkedIn all the time of, wow, day one. And I've got my laptop, my iPad, a cup, a water bottle.

And it's you know, it's not all about that. But there is something to the fact of day one. You get your laptop, you know. It's already set up for you. But I think it really comes down to your manager and the network they have internally. Whether they can speed things through with the IT team. Or, you know...

And we'll probably talk about, kind of, I mean if we want to go into what bad really looks like. But I guess, if we're talking about, kind of, you know. A manager should have kind of a check list to what he can go through to make sure they're set up for success from day one. Something so simple like that.

Owen Ferguson

Yeah. I agree entirely. I think that it's a joint ownership piece, you know, across a range of different functions. I think the primary accountable parties are the individual manager and HR. Because HR owns that, certainly the recruitment piece. And I would suggest that they should... Part of their role is to make... How do you make it easy for the manager to bring someone into the fold of the company? And help them to become productive, you know? They should be looking at friction points and reducing those form managers wherever possible.

You know, I checked this is up. A perfect example of a simple resource that will make that job easy. But it should be easy for a manager to get a desk. It should be easy for them to order the equipment that the person needs and the software that they require to get that.

You know, that's a responsibility of, whether it's IT or HR involvement. It doesn't particularly matter. But the organization should be looking and saying, "How do we make it easy for people to welcome a new team member in?".

But the team manager does need to be interested enough to make that happen. You know, they've got a new team member, you know. To not involve them is to, and for them not to want to be involved, suggests that they probably shouldn't be a manager.

Danny Seals

Yeah, I guess. Going back to kind of when they didn't have a desk for me. You know, that was only one aspect of, kind of that whole onboarding. Therewas many aspects of that onboarding which were great.

The constant engagement of the manager before I joined was brilliant. You know, he was a good manager. So I guess there was a lot of change going on within the business and that, you know, based on the elements and aspects what, I guess, a manager can't control. But it's kind of a, you know, it goes back to that conversation of, "This is something that I can't control, I'm sorry. You know, 90% of it is perfect, this 10% isn't. But, I'm working on it.". And it comes back to, kind of, you know, conversations.

Ross Garner

Yeah. It's the emotional bank account again, isn't it? When someone starts a new job they're generally glad to have that job. They normally come in quite enthusiastic about getting started. And I think so often the bad experiences is that it's just the crushing disappointment of that first day.

David Hayden

Yeah. Yeah, because it's... I think a lot of times a mistake's made is we forget everything they've said in recruitment and just go straight into, "tell, tell, tell" mode, rather than, what do you know already? And also, kind of the whole, kind of few days where you're just being introduced to everybody with no context.

You know, just doing a whirlwind of all the people you... introduced to people, and how on earth can you remember all those people's names and the contexts of why they're important. To be told, "Meet this person" on day one, day two.

Danny Seals

Yeah, and then when you do see them you don't want to use their name because you're like, is that the right name, or the wrong name?

David Hayden

Yeah, no. Absolutely. Yeah, yeah.

Danny Seals

So you just nod and say, "Hi.".

David Hayden  

Hi Yeah, yeah, yeah.

David Hayden

Yeah, and then you get to a scenario where it's four years too late to say, "Actually, I can't remember your name. But I know I was introduced to you.

Owen Ferguson

I don't think that's anything to do with the onboarding process David, I think that you're just not particularly good with names, if you can't remember someones name after four years.

David Hayden

Well said Michael, yeah.

Danny Seals

Are we kind of talking about what bad looks like? Are we talking about what a bad experience looks like? Because I guess, you know, there is that kind of, top layer of you know, a bad experience of the manager bringing you on. But then there's an actual general bad experien... of what a bad experience looks like in general. You know, you can kind of go into just real simple things. Like, a human center, you know, design approach.

You know, I think, we're hearing this lots and lots more, and it's like, design thinking is a new buzz term. And human-centered design which was using it years and years ago when it sank off.

But I guess, kind of, you know over years, certain... let's call them programs if you like. These certain programs will truly, truly benefit from kind of, going through that human-centered design approach. Onboarding is 100% one of them.

You know, you can kind of... If you ask me what kind of a bundle looks like right now I could tell you. It's load of content dumping. Sitting you in a room, throwing you in front of someone, maybe a few SMEs with, you know, a two thousand slide debt. It can kind of go and you're through it.

And yeah. Not having your equipment ready. Not having a place to sit. Kind of not knowing who's who, and the context in which they're important to you. You know, in general, that's, that's what I said what's bad on [inaudible 00:20:17]. That is 100% the stuff you hear straight away.

David Hayden

Yeah.

Ross Garner

Signing lots of documents to protect the organization from risk.

Danny Seals

Yes, exactly that.

David Hayden

And it's especially, if those documents aren't explained to you. So if you're pretty vulnerable, new, young. You know, maybe that you don't know what those documents are. And if there's no explanation, kind of calls on the ethical practice, as well of the person leading that session.

Owen Ferguson

It's the iTunes agreement of the employment world.

Danny Seals

This is it. I could have easily sold my house about three times over. 90% of the stuff that I've... read and kind of, you stand on board on it. And I don't read anyway, I just quickly scan it.

But I guess, something like work day is really good for this now. You know, you've got a couple of companies which are kind of still in your email back and forth. At a previous employer we use work day to kind of onboard. So all the documents were done through, like this little portal. You can kind of take your time, you not got someone that's stood over you, waiting for you to sign them.

So that's quite a good thing for work day. I think it's bit more of a softer approach in. Which is good.

Owen Ferguson

Yeah. Cause it would... We were talking about the experience of it having any contacts from job offer to your start dates, would be one of the primary ones. And not necessarily, I think people do want to connect, but at the very least, giving them opportunity to connect before they start. On their own terms. You're not insisting that they, you know, go and grab a coffee.

But at least the offer is there. Which the vast majority of the time someone will take up because, as Ross mentions, like people are excited to start a new job, often.

Ross Garner

Also, you don't want to start by snubbing your manager's coffee invite.

Owen Ferguson

I think it's how it's pitched Ross.

Ross Garner

Yeah, no you're right.

Danny Seals

I guess, kind of, when it goes from kind of a recruitment over to your manager, there needs to be that handshake. I had a great experience with a lady called Gem Aidla, from Talk Talk. Kind of, every step of the way she kind of kept me on the bar with, I mean... our conversations. Again, constant updates, you know. There is great experiences there, but I guess, you know, it is that. It's just kind of, understand it from a, you know, understanding that person. What their worries are and not being left in the dark.

Ross Garner

Let's move on to great onboarding experiences. Danny, am I right in saying that you won an award for this?

Danny Seals

Yes, so it was back in two thousand and sixteen, seventeen. It was onboarding for, about that time. Yeah, and it was just kind of... it was, I think it was like a car, or something award. It kind of just passed. Yay, we won, the end. It was not really kind of shaking the trophy in the air, kind of World Cup style.

But yeah, it was...

Ross Garner

What did the experience look like?

Danny Seals

I mean, our experiences what we designed was slightly different so, yeah. I don't think they're doing that no more. I think they've moved over to Captain now so it's completely changed. But it wasn't a kind of, me just doing it on me own. We had a great team who built this.

And my mentor, I had a great mentor who kind of taught me how to design experiences before it was a thing. Sackib shout out to you. But their first one they won experience for, they were becoming into kind of, you know, recruitment, into the main reception. And this predominantly kind of a call centre environment. And me and Sackib would sit there as if we're new recruits.

So we'd do this whole undercover boss thing to kind of, you know. And then we'd tell some stories, kind of, you know, maybe we got sacked from our last job and how we're nervous about coming here because, you know, the cheques might not come through and we might not pass. And whatever else.

And then at about 9:00ish, two minutes past nine, we'd get this debate going and kind of, "Oh my god they can't really care about us, can they, if you can't even turn up to collect us at 9:00.".

And then we'd jump up and kind of say, "Hey, we're your trainers, blah blah blah blah blah.". And it was kind about setting that thing of, you know, when in the environment, a lot of the big managers dress the same as you.

So you know, kind of having that about awareness of, you may be stood next to someone in the lift who is your manager's manager. And kind of, actually just, you know... It's kind of just simple little things like that. I mean, don't get me wrong, one of kind of the expenses was in there was kind of around, like processes and kind of systems.

So we found, you know, we had around about six to eight systems. And then each system had, you know, its process on how to use it. And what we found was people were just getting kind of content dropped in the old way. So we converted the top... We looked at each system, had a look at the 8020, What's the top ten drivers for that system. And then we took all that data out of it. And then we created, we turned the whole room into, like a break out room.

So rather than just throwing all the content at them, they had to crack these riddles, and solve these puzzles, and kind of back to the processor and the system. And they had to work with the other teams and they couldn't move around. They had to still engage with each other.

So kind of it's, you're addressing your standard, you know. It's team building for when they go live. But it's actually kind of doing it in a fun way, and kind of, rather than saying, "Here's our processes, here's all the systems.". Actually having to break out within a certain time and stuff like that.

It was kind of, you know... Some of it wasn't, you know it wasn't all like that, you know. There was performance poor tools and job aids when they went out live. But it was kind of having that truly, you know, blended approach. And kind of... and not just building it from a kind of very stale standard onboarding process.

Ross Garner

You mentioned job aids there as if that was like a, you know, we'll just chuck that in as an extra. But actually what I was going to ask you was, how joined up was, so the recruitment process into the first couple weeks training that you were doing and then into the work place.

And actually that job aid sounds like that's part of the glue that connected the training bit to the work part.

Danny Seals

100%. I guess we... when it was kind of the old two of onboarding kind of thing, the recruitment team was literally downstairs. So, you know, it wasn't kind of... We were talking to someone the other Saturday. Couldn't hear wherever. It was literally, here's my frustration. Me personally, I could go to them and actually, the job aids were perfect.

They came in and it was kind of like, this is what's expected of you. Tick, tick, tick. You know, you tick lists. You kind of... And then it was a job aid when they went live as well. Kind of, you know, the chances are you... Well we know for a fact you're not going to remember a thing what you go through in onboarding, inductions, and stuff.

But, it's being able to kind of create a job aid of the back of it and kind of just prompt them. And actually just the flow chart, the tick lists, the standard stuff kind of, you know, what makes people in that time of need. Having us relying on them remember something from two weeks ago.

Ross Garner

David and Owen, do you want to wrap up with any suggestions you have for making a great onboarding experience?

David Hayden

I think one of the things I'm working on right now is how we... Working with a couple of peers on welcoming new associates into an existing group. And for me, one of the things we're doing is how we can encourage some stuff around self-determined learning. So I'm doing quite a bit of research at the minute on the whole concept of self-determined learning.

And how we can embed that in to help people become a little more self-sufficient and sign post resources, rather than being reliant on some of the stuff we're doing. So without saying, "Hey, we're gonna make you self-determined learners.", just how we can encourage that and bring some... have some start resources for people to tap into. But then encourage them to explore further for themselves.

Owen Ferguson

So I would suggest... People working in L&D and HR do three things. One is, figure out whether you've got a problem with your onboarding. So look at your petition stats for the first x number of days, or first x number of months. Get some sense from the manager and population around how long it takes for someone to become fully productive. So that would be one thing that you could do.

Second thing that I think is to map out what that whole experience looks like for an individual. Or, as Danny mentioned right at the start, the touch points. What are all the touch points with the organization, all along the way. And are those excellent experiences? You know, does every experience that you have along the way welcome someone into the organization?

And then the third thing would be, go out and speak to a bunch of people who have recently joined the company and ask them, "How was it for you? What would have been useful for you, you know, knowing what you know now, what would have been useful for you as you went through that process?". You'd be amazed by how many great ideas you get from people.

Ross Garner

Great, thank you very much. Listeners at home may also have noticed that we've upgraded our microphone kit recently. And Owen, your voice was so bassy there, I could feel it in my chest. On that note, let's move on to our regular feature, What I learned This Week, where we share something we've picked up over the past seven days. Owen, do you want to go first?

Owen Ferguson

Sure. So, this is a very special one. It occurred to me the other day, I thought to myself, "I don't remember Ross speaking about the Freakonomics podcast for ages.".

Ross Garner

That's true.

Owen Ferguson

And then, I took a look, and I was like... And I double checked with Ross Dickie, who's the, as people would know, the other host. And the last time either of us can either recall or find you speaking about the Freakonomics podcast, is August, last year. So I learned that this week. But also, I'm really curious. I want to continue my learning. Why is that? Is it that you have deliberately stopped mentioning the Freakonomics podcast, because it was becoming your thing? Or is it because the Freakonomics podcast has stopped being as good?

Ross Garner

So, Freakonomics, around middle of summer last year, moved from WNYC to Stitcher, which is a different podcasting network. And as part of this, the form of the show's remained much the same, but they've started dumping additional material. Like, they would have, like instead of having just the edited interviews, they would have like, "And here are the ten full length interviews of everyone that we had on this week.".

And then the next day there was a re-broadcast of episodes I'd listened to before. And then the day after that they'd be like, "Here's an episode from 2014, this might be of interest.". And I got such into the habit of deleting them as they popped up into my feed that I don't have any on my phone anymore. I was saturated by Freakonomics. Strange as that may sound for me. But yeah, I haven't listened in months. That is why.

Owen Ferguson

Outstanding.

Ross Garner

I'd be interested if they're dumping of content has resulted in more downloads or fewer. Presumably more downloads because subscribers would get them automatically. I don't know that that equates to listens.

Danny Seals

So are they trying to do that as, kind of like a value add? Is it kind of like a way you can kind of pay... give them a couple of, you know, pounds, and make them get extra doing that approach? Or is it just free?

Ross Garner

It's just free. They've just dumped it.

Danny Seals

Sounds likes a bad onboarding.

Ross Garner

Yeah, yeah. No. From my point of view, it's too much. David, what have you learned this week?

David Hayden

Okay, so after you annihilated my last What Have I Learned, cause I shared a story I liked, and you really killed that. But, hey ho.

Ross Garner

If we have to start off from memory it was some nonsense about... It was like the way right-handed and left-handed people were. Or something with spoons, was it? What was it?

David Hayden

No, no, no. Saying cheers, saying cheers. But you know, it's a nice story.

Ross Garner

Saying cheers, that was it.

David Hayden

So a couple of weeks ago a former colleague and good friend, Dorothy, took me to a place called Building Center in Shore Street, in London. And Wednesday this week I paid another visit to her. And its an amazing building, and it set up for innovation in the build environment. And it's been around since 1931.

And it's at a few different homes, and at the minute, one of the exhibitions they've got there is an amazing model of London. And so you can walk around this model and see all different places of interest. And what got me thinking when I went back again on Wednesday was, are Wayne and others I've talked on this podcast about, learning development, looking towards the functions such as marketing. To help craft and learn from them.

But it really kind of, looking at some of the exhibitions based around the building center, really got me thinking, not just looking at the functions but looking at other sectors. And what other sectors are doing, and what we can learn from their lessons and their approaches.
David Hayden: So yeah, kind of pretty impressive building to have a look around too, so if anyone's got any spare time in London, head to Building Centre, Shore Street. And it's got a good Café with it as well.

Ross Garner

Top recommendation, that was very good, David.

David Hayden

Thank you.

Ross Garner

Danny, what have you learned this week?

Danny Seals

So I've got two, if I can?

Ross Garner

Go for it.

Danny Seals

So first one is, kind of, cause I'm also about kind of, you know... Reading about how to create experiences and stuff like that. And I guess, a couple of books what I've been reading recently that kind of, The Experienced Economy by Joe Pine. And which then led me to kind of this book called Disney You. So I guess reading that book, I guess one of the things which I've learned is, kind of, no matter how much you try to make things simple, some people just still are not what... will get it.

And the example they used was, the most common asked question at Disney is, "What time is the free parade at?". So, like, you can make things super simple, and you can sign posters as much as you want. But just some people will not be aware to kind of de-signed posts.

And I guess the other thing is, I've learned a new joke. So I think...

Ross Garner

Oh dear.

Danny Seals

Can I share it with ya?

Ross Garner

Yeah, okay.

Danny Seals

Okay. So, first one. What's the fastest cake in the world?

Owen Ferguson

Scone.

Danny Seals

Scone. What's faster than a scone? Mirangue.

Owen Ferguson

Oh dear.

Ross Garner

Well, suddenly, suddenly, David's story about cheers seems much better.

David Hayden

Thank you Danny, thank you.

Ross Garner

And would have finished up with a space fact, it's been a little while since we've talked about space on this podcast. So I wanted to bring that back as well.

So in March of 1965, Soviet Cosmonaut, Alexie Leonov, became the first human to perform a space walk. He left his space capsule, floated around a bit, then came back inside. That sounds like quite a terrifying ordeal, but what happened next was even more exciting.

His capsule crash landed in Siberia, miles from where he was meant to land and he spent the night firing his hand gun at circling wolves. What's great about this story is not just that he brought a hand gun into space with him, but that prior to the flight, the team had asked him what other food stuffs he would like to bring for the trip. And he said, "Can I get rid of the food stuff and use the weight difference to bring more hand gun ammunition?".

So it is the Wild West up there. I thought that was fantastic.

David Hayden

That's brilliant.

Ross Garner

And that's it. That's all from us. If you'd like to get in touch with about anything we've said on the show you can tweet me @rossgarnergp. You can tweet Owen...

Owen Ferguson

@owenferguson

Ross Garner

You can tweet David...

David Hayden

@haydendavidhrd.

Ross Garner

And you can tweet Danny...

David Hayden

@dannyboy83.

Ross Garner

You can also tweet @goodpractice or @goodpracticeeus. Or visit goodpractice.com to find out more about who we are and what we do. Next week, if all goes to plan, Ross Dickie will be here chatting story telling with Stephanie Hubka. Regular listeners may have noticed some shuffling of the schedule lately, but that is definitely the plan.

And if you've listened this far into the podcast, you might be interested in what else Good Practice do. Visit goodpractice.com to find out more about our e-learning, LMS, and performance support tool kit. All of these services are designed to help your managers make smarter decisions at work.

Ross Garner

David, do you want to plug anything?

David Hayden

CIPD podcast on Trust at the Minute?

Ross Garner

Yeah, we'll put a link to that in the short notes. And Danny?

Danny Seals

So two things. One, I'm at Learning Tech, so I can talk about onboarding all day long. So come find us. I'll be on the GP strategist thing. And two, Mindchimp podcast. Why not? You're advertising right?

Ross Garner

Yeah, links to all of that in the show notes. And finally, if you've enjoyed thisshow, please do leave us a review. It's like tipping your waiter. Until next time, bye for now.