Here at Jive, we have our own Jive-n Instance called Brewspace, where all Jivers collaborate daily. On the HR Team, on our main use cases of Brewspace is to ramp up new employees globally. In the first 3 quarters of 2015 alone, we onboarded 251 new employees in 5 countries and 14 states. Not bad for a small but mighty HR team. Over the year, it became increasingly apparent that we had a great opportunity to streamline our company onboarding process and provide a clear source of official content. Through the process I learned four key things (along with lots of other nuggets of wisdom) that kept us on track and marching toward our goals.
1. List out goals before the process -
Our goal was to create an environment within Jive to help new employees find the resources, information and assistance they need to become engaged, connected and productive. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter how beautiful or well thought out the new hire space is if it doesn't meet the goals of the organization. We partnered with our Professional Services Practice Manager, Dorothy Toppercer, and our Community Manager, Kosheno Moore, who guided our HR implementation team through the process and identified the following goals:
- Onboarding employees more quickly, so that they can be productive and provide value as quickly as possible;
- Increase ease of access to information and increase HR efficiency by reducing the amount of time spent responding to queries or FAQs;
- Increase Employees efficiency by sharing important documents, procedures and links with new employees;
- Ensure new employees are well versed in the company strategy, goals and structure;
- Integration and awareness into company culture; and
- Simplifying the new employee experience (cleaning up the existing content and processes).
2. Break it down -
We have employees onboarding in several countries, each with their own unique requirements. Historically, we used a single new hire checklist for all employees and denoted which locations each task was applicable for. Through the process of preparing a detailed activity inventory (identifying each activity a new hire would be involved in) and breaking it down by location (country, in office vs. remote, etc.), we found that it made more sense to have separate checklists for the Americas, EMEA/APJ, and Israel. Beyond that, we were able to detail applicable information unique to the employee using that particular checklist. No longer were Israeli employees trying to decide if they need to provide an I-9 form, instead that item only showed up in the checklist for employees in the United States. Below is a sample of our Americas checklist. You'll see the large pink buttons at the top of the page allow the employee to make a copy of the checklist, customize it and save it for frequent use.
3. Keep it simple -
Once we built out our checklist, we developed "wrapper content" explaining each item on the list and provided a talk track to go with it. While we meet with new hires on their first day to talk through all the items, there are many details they can't just absorb all at once. These wrappers allow us to provide the correct information in our Jive-style: conversational, helpful and friendly. By marking the content as official, new hires can be positive they found the HR-sanctioned information that is up to date and accurate. This helps to help cut down on the amount of questions our HR representatives were answering on a weekly basis. You'll also notice that we formated the content to provide a consistent visual that these are all a part of the same onboarding. Jive pictures up the fun factor and break up the large blocks of text.
4. - It's not just what we do, but how we do it -
Culture is critical to Jive's continued success. We talk about it openly and often. We knew when building out the new onboarding that it would be crucial for us to impart that on new Jivers and give them a way to practice this early on. One of the key pieces of being a Jiver is working in Brewspace (our version of Jive-n). We used the new checklist as an opportunity to get our Brewspace Onboarding program front and center, complete with all the reasons getting ramped on Brewspace is so important. By linking all our resources, including Brewspace Onboarding, into the checklist we ensure we are keeping employees in the product to do the training, learning and exploring. We also give them the opportunity to start DOING. They are encouraged to join a group, post a status, follow the executive team, write a "first week" blog introducing themselves to Jive, and more. All these activities let them put into action the things they are learning and practice working out loud.
Two months post-launch, I am happy to report that we have accomplished our goal. We have a beautiful new group that, more importantly, has allowed us to create an environment within Jive to help new employees find the resources, information and assistance they need to become engaged, connected and productive. Check out the final product: