Induction programmes can often feel very similar - on Day One you know what you're going to get as a new employee. On one hand, you're walking into a known quantity (great!) whereas on the other, the 'status quo induction' fails to create the excitement and connection you want to feel to the organisation you've just joined. There are times when you can even finish your Induction feeling disconnected from the brand because the experience you just had is nothing like the way they represent themselves to the world.
Enter The Mandrake Hotel.
Renowned (and award winning) for its luxury interior and exterior spaces, they encourage every guest to "Stay Beyond Yourself" and get lost in the beauty contained in every facet of the hotel. Knowing each guest experienced a truly unique time at The Mandrake, they wanted to ensure their team connected to the very core of the brand from start of their journey and experienced the same uniqueness for themselves.
Project Lead: Chris
Although not the largest hotel in London, it is one of the most sought after due to the unique stay it offered its guests. Every glance around the hotel brought a new piece of art, sculpture or beautiful outlook to your eye and every single one had a story surrounding it.
Our first (and biggest challenge) was listening to and collating all these stories, not wanting to miss any aspect of them. It was vital that each new team member had the opportunity to listen to and resonate with each story to enhance their knowledge of the brand and the stay of their guests.
We were tasked with curating an induction experience which created multiple 'wow' moments, delighting the participants with every new aspect and hidden gem they uncovered whilst also including everything you would expect as part of a hotel induction. All of this in a way that mirrored the visual beauty of the space and in a format that would be out-of-the-ordinary for an induction.
Our Immersion phase, as experience has shown, proved to be one of the most important parts of this project. Complex, as any brand as unique as The Mandrake is, we took time to gain a deep working knowledge of its roots and worked in close partnership with both the General Manager and Brand Director.
The responses we received from sharing our High Level Design with the client team immediately told us we were hitting the nail on the head with this project. We proposed taking participants on a journey around the hotel (literally at one point!), visiting every part and function of the hotel from the artisanal concrete floor in the reception area to the heights of Jurema, their award-winning outdoor dining space, while never losing sight of the Tree of Life situated at the core of the hotel in the form of a jaw-dropping mural seen from the glass lift.
The creative learning tools that accompanied the Detailed Final Design were crafted to contain and mirror the different visuals, textures and finishes from around the hotel. From the gameboard which formed the core of the session, to the environment graphics sharing key messaging. Each element of learning was explored via different activities - a floor puzzle illustrating the wellness treatments available to guests and a customer experience map among them.
As with all our projects, it is vital for us to get the language correct to create a truly immersive experience for the participants (even more so with an induction, as it is often the first real experience of the brand an employee will have). For The Mandragora Method, this even went down to ensuring that team members were referred to as 'tribespeople' in all our writing and delivery, embedding their feeling of joining and belonging to The Mandrake 'Tribe'.
The pilot session highlighted to us all, Acceler8 and The Mandrake project teams alike, just what a unique experience this induction was shaping up to be. Feedback was universally excellent, with particular reference to the use of their language which ensured it felt like a true on-brand experience and that every design was on theme and captured the eye and mind. Minor amendments to the project were made before formally handing it over for rollout.
Due for rollout in late 2019/early 2020, this was understandably halted, with the pandemic experienced by the world throughout 2020. As such, we have been unable to measure the full outcomes of this project yet, however plan on reviewing these as soon as the hotel is able to open for business as usual again.
The feedback following the pilot delivery and rollout to the first new cohort before the pandemic, has confirmed that we met every part of our brief. Showing that it has also had a hugely beneficial impact to the experience of new team members both from the perspective of brand immersion and engagement in a new job.