2 Onboarding Programs Whose Impact Stretches Far Beyond the First 90 Days

At Greenlight Guru and Upside, the onboarding process is an opportunity to connect with others, build new knowledge and begin carving out a successful future.

Written by Olivia McClure
Published on May. 15, 2024
2 Onboarding Programs Whose Impact Stretches Far Beyond the First 90 Days
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At Greenlight Guru, new hires may find themselves engaged in a gripping book club discussion, refining their meditation routine or building their knowledge of how psychology impacts work performance.

Sound different than traditional onboarding? That’s because, according to HR Director Holly Coleman, the company believes culture is critical to its success, ensuring its team members get to dive into traditions and values from day one. And in doing so, Greenlight Guru galvanizes and motivates its people. 

“The company is mission-driven and focused on encouraging employees to maintain a positive mindset and go the distance,” Coleman said. She explained that, by giving new hires access to relationship-building and growth-focused opportunities, the company gives its team members a greater chance to succeed in their roles. 

While Greenlight Guru relies heavily on virtual connection to welcome new hires within its remote-first workplace, other organizations prefer to take a hybrid approach to the onboarding process. 

At Upside, new hires engage in a blend of in-person and virtual activities and events to get acclimated to the work environment. 

“We want our new team members to immediately feel like they’re a part of our community and culture,” said Employee Experience Manager Melissa Jamison. 

From a three-day onsite in Washington, DC, to a meet-and-greet with the CEO, Upside’s new team members have plenty of chances to get to know their peers and understand the inner workings of the company. Jamison believes that these opportunities don’t just make employees feel more comfortable in their new role; they cultivate a sense of inclusion that lasts long beyond the first 90 days. 

Below, Coleman and Jamison share more about how their companies approach the onboarding process and how these experiences set employees up for success and foster a sense of belonging. 
 

 

Holly Coleman
HR Director • Greenlight Guru

Greenlight Guru’s quality management software is designed to help medical device companies build products more efficiently, quickly and safely. 

 

How does Greenlight Guru welcome new hires? 

Greenlight Guru was founded on the premise that culture is central to its success. These cultural elements shine through during the interview and onboarding process, starting with the arrival of a welcome package, which features company swag and symbols that represent what the company embraces, including our core values. Also included in this package is a book entitled The Five Dysfunctions of a Team for employees to read.

An employee’s first few weeks include introductory meetings with each functional area, product orientations and, most memorably, a meeting with our CEO. During this meeting, our CEO shares their thoughts on culture, stories of the life-changing work our clients perform and anecdotes from The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. A few other key aspects of Greenlight Guru’s onboarding program include the completion of a DISC personality assessment, sessions led by Dreamfuel Coaching that explain how neuroscience impacts mental performance and a generous stipend for home office setup. 
 

How do these efforts build a firm foundation for new hires to succeed during the initial onboarding period and beyond?

An employee’s pre-onboarding and post-onboarding period help them connect with their peers in a meaningful way. For example, my new hire class formed a book club, through which we held weekly discussions. These sessions not only helped to crystallize the book’s key themes in relation to our jobs, but also provided us with a space to share information to get to know each other better. With these efforts, employees make connections more quickly, which helps them excel in their jobs, as most of our functional areas require collaboration and ongoing communication. 

Additionally, as an employee continues further on their career path at Greenlight Guru, key concepts and culture-related elements introduced during onboarding are reinforced through manager one-on-one sessions, ongoing Dreamfuel Coaching webinars, all-hands meetings, the performance review process and more. Professional development budgets are also provided to support each employee’s continuous growth and learning, as emphasized during onboarding. Investing in professional development opportunities for employees helps set them up for success.

 

“With these efforts, employees make connections more quickly, which helps them excel in their jobs.”

 

After the initial onboarding and new hire period, how does Greenlight Guru continue fostering a sense of belonging for team members?

Greenlight Guru invests heavily in employee experience initiatives, planning activities throughout the year to foster employee connection and belonging. The company hosts various activities, such as “water cooler chats,” during which employees answer questions like, “What was your first job?” and “What animal do you fear the most?” 

Other engagement activities include diversity and inclusion informative sessions, meditation webinars, management coffee chats, trivia games, wellness challenges and a quarterly “Incredibles event,” through which employees can push themselves beyond their comfort zone to continue to develop and expand their capabilities. 

Our all-hands meeting structure ensures that we’re hearing from different individuals on the call. Additionally, the talent team sends ongoing pulse surveys to allow employees to anonymously share input on various topics, such as recognition, management, wellness, culture and other work-related areas. Overall, an innovative focus extends not only to our products and services, but to our culture. We’re always experimenting with what works best to create a sense of belonging, especially in our remote-work environment.

 

 

 

Melissa Jamison
Employee Experience Manager • Upside

Upside’s mobile app enables consumers to claim cash-back offers at participating retailers, enabling businesses to increase their profits without altering their operations. 

 

How does Upside welcome new hires? 

When someone joins Upside, we send them a swag kit filled with goodies so they can get started in style. During their first few months, new hires go through our onboarding program, which includes both team- and company-centric training and information sessions, a meet-and-greet with our CEO and an education on our affinity groups and how to get involved with these groups. 

To top it off, we bring our new joiners from across the country to our headquarters in Washington, DC, for our new hire onsite, which is a three-day event that enables them to form friendships and connections through fun events, service projects and interactive sessions with department leaders.

 

How do these efforts build a firm foundation for new hires to succeed during the initial onboarding period and beyond?

Because of our flexible working policy — which has yielded a blend of hybrid, in-office and remote employees — we find that bringing everyone together both virtually and physically for our onsite helps new hires forge connections and sets them up for success in their role. 

Our onboarding program provides opportunities to learn more about our company and also offers valuable information about the people on our teams, where to plug into different groups and activities and how to navigate processes within our company, so that they feel comfortable about expectations and connected to both their team and the company culture.

 

“We find that bringing everyone together both virtually and physically for our onsite helps new hires forge connections and sets them up for success in their role.”

 

After the initial onboarding and new hire period, how does Upside continue fostering a sense of belonging for team members?

We have a stellar human resources business partner team that partners with each team member from day one. These HRBPs are here for our team to help with any concerns or questions we may have. Each team member also has weekly syncs with their direct manager to stay connected, and teams meet regularly within their department and as a company to stay up-to-date and involved. Other companywide initiatives, such as our affinity groups and employee spotlights, strengthen our sense of belonging and identity, while events like game nights, talent shows and service projects offer even more ways to plug into our culture and foster connection.

 

 

Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Images provided by Shutterstock and listed companies.

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