Case Study: Onboarding Done Right

Guest post from Scott Razek, CMO and Brand Champion of Pillar Technology

Ok, first off, a little about myself.  I had spent the last 14 years of my life in various roles of a multi-national Fortune 500 Retailer.  I’d spent time in several of the divisions at various roles of increasing responsibility and scope.  At each step, it seems that the company assumed I had all the tools to be successful at my new role.  There was no new significant onboarding or elevated training.  There was no obvious methodology behind the scenes and, in fact, in certain roles I was told to manage my own onboarding.

This is a world-class company admired near and far for their brands, their reach, their power and their success.  It was what I knew, and I didn’t know what I was missing because I hadn’t been shown a different way.

Flash forward to the last 6 weeks, during which I’ve joined a mid-size organization, incredibly progressive software consulting firm.  Seven days before I joined, I was sent a link to their onboarding platform, called StepItUp. I signed in and was assigned 12 micro-degrees that I was to complete over a period of my first 6-8 weeks with the firm, several of which I needed to complete before my first day!

It was an unbelievably good way to get my head around not only the culture of the company I was joining, but also the language they used, their methodologies, their “why’s” and the people who I would be interacting with.


What an opportunity for larger companies with a ton of historical knowledge, or a terrific brand story essential to the success of their new hire.  Equally, the tool could be used for practical on the job learning about specifics, culture, security, ethics, anything that falls within the scope of bringing someone successfully into the team.

And the reason StepItUp was so powerful? It was curated.  Specific. Detailed. From the company to me. To each of the new employees that join.  It was specific to lessons that laddered up to an overall understanding of the company that would have taken me months to learn in my previous paradigm.  On day one, I already had a basic comfort level, and sure enough I heard the terms I’d learned, felt the culture I’d been trained on, and even met the people who created the micro-degrees that I was completing.

Why?  Because it is crowdsourced social learning.  The experts in the company created these degrees in the areas of their expertise.  It was direct.  It was thorough, and it didn’t take their eyes off the balls they were juggling to do “onboarding” for the new guy.  Once the micro-degree was completed it was a usable tool across the spectrum of on-boarding.  And it could be customized and curated for each employee based on what their career paths looked like and what they needed to know when.

I commented to my new CEO, 4 days before I joined, that while my previous company dwarfed them in size and scope, their onboarding was light years ahead of where I was used to.  Amazing tool. Helped this new guy get up to speed in a completely new and intriguing way.

To learn more about our onboarding solution please contact us.



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