When we started the development of our employee onboarding programme, like most, we hadn’t considered what a turbulent year we have had to deal with!
The Dataplan Bootcamp is our 3-month on-boarding process that takes recruits, of all skill levels, through a programme of familiarisation with our people, our systems and our processes.
Launched in September 2020, our first cohort managed to start the process whilst back in the office, but with ambitious recruitment targets, our second group of new starters have experienced the whole programme, from interview through to Bootcamp graduation, whilst in lockdown.
Celebrating a successful graduation
On 19th April, we celebrated (virtually) their graduation from Bootcamp and move into the next phase of our development programme, Dataplan Academy, which will take them to 24 months of employment.
As Elaine Gibson, Dataplan’s Director of Quality and People explained “Although we were not able to hold this event in person we did want to mark the occasion and acknowledge the brilliant job they have all done.
It was a chance for our Bootcamp graduates to meet all the Directors and hear first-hand about their vision for the business and the career development opportunities available to them. Our Directors are extremely ’hands-on’ in the business, so it is a chance for new members of our team to find out a bit more about what they are involved in.”
Richard Rowell, Dataplan’s CEO, congratulated the graduates on what they have achieved in such trying times. “I can’t imagine how difficult and weird it must have been to be starting a new role without ever meeting people and colleagues face to face. Despite these challenges, we have had fantastic feedback from everyone on your progress.”
Richard went on to outline the ambitious growth targets for the business and how important it was that Dataplan invest in the right people, “As we grow, being able to continue to deliver a ‘best in breed’ service will only be possible through the quality of our people and their ability to build strong relationships with our clients.”
Dataplan Academy Programme
Graduates from Bootcamp immediately move into our Dataplan Academy, which covers month 4 to 24 of their Dataplan Journey. In his time they will gain a payroll qualification, develop their technical skills and deliver on the requirements for the various quality frameworks and accreditations we hold.
Alongside the development of technical skills and expertise, the Academy programme also addresses soft skills such as communications and customer service and provides training on aspects such as resilience and self-awareness.
As Elaine explained, “Qualifications are only one aspect of our development programme. One of our core values is to ‘invest in the best’ and this investment needs to go further than just technical knowledge. We need to build an engaged and resilient workforce where we can identify people’s strengths and aspirations and provide career opportunities that play to these.
One of our latest Bootcamp graduates, Reece Whitfield, commented on his experience of the process, “Bootcamp was a success for me. I didn’t know anything about payroll before joining Dataplan or have any previous experience, but with the training and patience of my team and Bootcamp Buddy, my knowledge has greatly improved in just three months. I am now at the point where I feel comfortable in my role and confident enough to work on my own client portfolio (supported by my team). This is a big step from when I first started.”