Aspire is launching a new onboarding program in September to give new employees a welcoming introduction to the agency.

Imagine a seamless blend of information and inspiration, where paperwork takes a backseat to meaningful connections and hands-on learning. Aspire’s new onboarding program, All On Board, isn’t your average orientation – it’s an exciting journey that promises to be informative, interactive, and infused with Aspire’s company culture.

Launching in September 2023 by the Aspire Learning & Development Committee, this seven-day introduction to Aspire will bring all new employees together to connect, learn, and celebrate the next chapter in their careers.

Offered one to two times a month, the program will use live virtual and in-person group sessions, engaging activities, and self-paced training modules to help employees understand and practice the core skills they will need to succeed at Aspire.

“The order of the courses was intentionally selected to fall in a sequence that would make sense to a new learner,” reports Jessica Savage, Training Manager. Some sessions will be led locally, while others will be held virtually with all locations at once.

When necessary, employees will start employment as soon as the hiring process is complete. During the interim between the date of hire and the start of the next All On Board session, DSPs and behavior therapists will be assigned a peer coach to shadow throughout those first days. Reducing the gap between the offer and starting employment is a key priority in the implementation of the program.

“We’ve already learned so much from the trial sessions we’ve done, both as trainers and facilitators,” according to Lisa Lauretano, Chief of Workplace Learning.

Learning how to make this the best possible program will be an ongoing activity. The committee will be following up with surveys of participants at seven days, one month, and six months.

“We stay with that person post-orientation. We ask about their experience to see if they felt supported,” says Rachelle Asante, Quality Enhancement and Training Manager.

The program has its roots in work that began in 2020 with the Training Task Force. The task force laid out the goals and recommendations that formed the basis of the Learning & Development Committee’s work. “We set out standards for what the process should look like. We intentionally moved from teaching to the regulations to teaching people to do good quality work” says Sherry Lynn MacNeil, Senior Director of Service Impact. “This committee has done a great job standardizing the curriculum. The material is really robust,” says Rachelle.

The participation of supervising managers and directors is also key to the program’s impact, especially in those first sessions. “Managers have a huge stake in the welcoming of new employees. They need to be there to demonstrate their commitment to the new employee,” says Lisa. The relationships that begin during All On Board can make a big difference in those critical first six months–when employees either leave or become long-term members of the Aspire Community.

With All On Board, Aspire’s new employees will be ready to support neurodiverse people who are discovering their passions, unlocking potential, and thriving.

“Enhancing people’s learning so they can go into programs and meaningfully change lives. That’s what it’s all about,” says Rachael Baur, Training Manager.

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