The objective of an effective induction process is to provide a new Director with the information he or she will need to become as effective as possible in their role within the shortest practicable time.
During the year, we appointed three new independent Non-Executive Directors with each following their own induction programme. As part of his induction programme, Mike McKeon, Chairman of the Audit Committee, visited our North American School Bus Customer Service Centres in Memphis and Aurora.
Mike’s visit to a Durham School bus site in Aurora coincided with the mid-morning return of all the yellow buses simultaneously which, in his eyes, created the impression of something important happening. “In both Memphis and Aurora hundreds of our staff had safely delivered that day some thousands of children to their school and would do the reverse later in the day. No doubt this was replicated several thousand times over the US and Canada that day and it was only later on my trip home it really sunk in to me the importance of what our staff and ourselves are doing here.
“Our staff are taking the next generation of Americans and Canadians to their schooling in safety every day of their school lives. That is a significant responsibility and great privilege that we, as Board members, must not forget.
“This realisation alone merits the trip in my eyes and adds greatly to my induction as a new Director. It is not something I could easily comprehend just by reading a document back home,” he said.
Mike was impressed by the caring qualities demonstrated by our people: “It was very clear to me that what they do really matters to them. Staff were enthusiastic and engaged with me as a visitor – they wanted to tell me what they were doing – a clear sign of enthusiasm for the job.”
The benefits of Mike’s direct engagement with local management and frontline staff within our operations has allowed him to understand what we do and, more importantly, why we do it. Mike concluded by saying: “The bedrock of what I saw in our people suggested, above all, that they wanted to get the kids to school and back safely. Safety is in their DNA.”