Rethinking Onboarding


 As LearnVest grew at 100%, it was important that each new employee started with an understanding its purpose, people, products, and partnership with Northwestern Mutual so they could work with a broader, aligned perspective. A secondary goal was making the data-entry work of starting a new job clear, prioritized, and with well-placed assistance so new hires can spend more quality time with their managers, and less time asking 401k questions.  


To support these goals, as well as more team and individual specific goals, we built out the following updates to our employee onboarding experience. 

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New Pre-boarding & Day 1 Experience


Nearing a new employee's first day, a welcome email is sent to new employee's with the following:

  • A welcome video from their founder

  • Day 1 Itinerary

  • An 'About You' questionnaire, which provides material for an email to all employees introducing new colleagues.

Day 1

New employees' first full day is reserved for onboarding, which includes:

  • Two workshops:

    • NM & LV 101 shares the company’s purpose, people, products and path forward.

    • Rock Your Role provides an overview of the various ways different career motivations (work on a passion project, career lattices, leadership, service opportunities, excel at a craft, etc.) are supported.

    • Catered breakfast and lunch brings together new employees with their team leads, teammates, and other employees who are randomly selected to join for lunch. 

    • Social: The day ends with time to hang out with other new employees who are also starting short survey on what you hope to get out of your job (be challenged, work across teams, create influential work, etc.). 


Team Onboarding

A nano learning provided on the second day on the job (after a day 1 general onboarding) provides new employees the essential information sequenced from general to abstract, with successive material building on and reinforcing previous material. 

Content Covered Includes:

  • Purpose & Values: Why do we exist? Where did we come from? What matters?

  • Vision & Roadmap: Where are we going & what's along the way?

  • Core Competencies: What do we excel at and focus on? How do customers experience their end products

  • Teams: What are our team of teams, what's their purpose, and how does this relate to their core competencies?

  • Roles: What are the common roles across teams, what do they do and how do they interact with each other?

  • Culture: What makes us, us?

  • Week 1, Month 1, Quarter 1 Checklists: onboarding takes time, here's what to know at each stage.

  • Manager READMEs: Concise summary written by your manager on her values, work style, view on development and communication.

  • First-Day Advice from members of the team.


Onboarding Concierge

On top of email, follow up questions are supported in a Slack channel (#newkidsontheblock) that welcomes first day questions. The channel builds a base as more employees start, opening up the channel for newer employees to provide advice, lunch suggestions, and answer questions alongside the Employee Experience team.

Also supporting new employees are Bots, in the form of a browser plug-in and SlackBot, who answers frequently asked first day/first month questions as they come up in a channel. 

Ongoing Support

Cultivating a holistic employee experience means not only considering what employees need to be successful in their roles, but asking what qualities of a job they prioritize and anticipating evolving needs throughout their tenure. The job expectations survey new employees complete at the end of their first day is followed up on after 3, 6 and 12 months to see that their hopes become realities, and if not, what opportunities we have to support them.