Combining business with pleasure

Newly recruited staff members and fellows are welcomed to CERN via the Induction Programme. Run by the Human Resources Department since 1996, it has recently been redesigned to adapt to the needs of the new arrivals. The new version will be officially launched in the Globe on 1st June. 

A few of the groups of new arrivals who followed the old Induction Programme

Every month the Laboratory welcomes between 20 and 30 new staff members and fellows. About half of them have already been to CERN in another capacity but even if they are already familiar with the buildings and the people who work there, there's still a lot to learn about the administration of the Laboratory. And those arriving from a distance need advice on settling into the local area. "The new version of the Programme places emphasis on a friendly welcome and on targeted support to meet the needs of all participants", explains Cécile Granier, who was the project leader for the Programme's review.

As in the past, the Programme consists of two sessions. The first, which takes place once per month, lasts one morning. "As well as striving to provide a friendly welcome, we give new arrivals all the practical information they will need during their first few days at CERN, such as how to obtain a computer account and open a bank account, how the Health Insurance Scheme works, tips on integration in the local area, etc.", continues Nathalie Dumeaux, who coordinates the monthly sessions. With the aim of condensing the information and presenting it as efficiently as possible, the series of talks by specialists from the different services concerned has been replaced by an overview presented by a single person. Following this general presentation, the participants can move freely between stands run by the different services, selecting the information that concerns them personally. Another important innovation is the involvement of direct supervisors. "They are now invited to meet their new members of the personnel in the Globe and get to know them over lunch before taking them back to their Department to get them settled in", says Virginie Blondeau, a fellow working in the HR Department who was involved in the revision exercise.

The second session, which is held every three months and lasts a whole day, is designed to help new arrivals to integrate within their professional environment. The subjects covered include how CERN is organised, training opportunities, computer security, merit recognition, the Staff Association, equal opportunities, and possibilities for involvement in education and communication. It's also another opportunity to meet other members of the personnel in a friendly, interactive atmosphere.
One important new feature of the second session is a presentation of CERN's scientific programme by Philippe Bloch, head of the Physics Department. "The department heads are becoming more involved in the Programme and tell us how important they consider it. They come and join the participants and speakers for the drink which follows the Director-General's talk at the end of the session, for example. It's a nice opportunity to meet and talk to people", says Virginie.

The new version of the half-day session of the Induction Programme for new arrivals will be inaugurated in the Globe on 1st June, while the first of the full-day sessions will be held in Building 40 on 10 June.

Find out more:
First session
Second session

by Alizée Dauvergne