Countless articles testify to the importance of good onboarding for retaining top-tier talent, but few organizations are doing it right. Gallup reports that only 12% of employees strongly agree that their organization does a great job with onboarding.
An effective onboarding program depends on the people and resources an organization uses to provide the best experience possible. Enter Workflow Builder by Slack.
This feature can automate routine tasks and communication, creating an efficient onboarding process. Here’s how DocuSign and Noom—two companies quickly growing their workforces—are using Workflow Builder to get new talent up to speed from the start.
“By using Workflow Builder, you can enable everybody in a team channel to meet and greet their new teammate on day one. I think it fosters an instant team connection for the new employee.”
Making new-hire documentation instantly accessible in Slack
As the leading electronic-signature software company, DocuSign is growing rapidly, with roughly 4,000 employees using Slack globally. In the past year alone, its global operations and technology services (GOTS) team doubled in size, with more than 280 employees in offices around the world, from the U.S. to Brazil to Japan.
That’s a lot of new people, all of whom need to quickly access resources and processes for their jobs, including roadmaps, charts, employee policies and team-specific technical documents.
“Before Slack, usually a new hire would ask around to find documentation during their onboarding phase, and you would spend around two weeks trying to figure it all out,” says Adonay Mello, a senior IT manager for DocuSign in São Paulo. “Some of it would be in one online storage solution, other files in another one, a few things on emails.”
First, the IT team consolidated all of the documentation into a single location. Then, with Workflow Builder, they set up a two-step onboarding workflow.
When new hires’ Slack accounts are created, they are invited to join a set of main Slack channels, digital spaces for multiple people to share messages and files. When employees join the channels where the workflow is enabled, a Slack bot welcomes them in the channel and gives them the locations of the documentation they’ll need to understand the team working there, what typically goes on in that channel, projects that are active, and more.
When new hires join their own team’s main channel, they’re prompted to complete another workflow that includes a form. They’re asked to share information such as role, manager and a fun fact. Once the form is completed, their responses are sent to the channel in a standardized introduction message, allowing everyone to welcome their new colleagues.
“By using Workflow Builder, you can enable everybody in a team channel to meet and greet their new teammate on day one,” says Mello. “I think it fosters an instant team connection for the new employee.”
Creating instant empowerment and clarity for new hires
With Slack and Workflow Builder, onboarding new hires for DocuSign’s GOTS team has gone from a winding two-week experience to a near-instantaneous download. On their first day, people are provided the documentation they need to hit the ground running in their new roles.
And it doesn’t stop there. After GOTS employees are onboarded, those located in São Paulo use a number of other workflows in Slack, including:
- Submitting an HR communication request. HR team members in São Paulo can draft a message to a specific office or locale, have it passed on to an HR manager for approval, and then have it sent out from an official DocuSign HR account.
- Booking travel. Using a streamlined process, the finance team in São Paulo saves at least five hours a week, Mello estimates.
- Recognizing teammates. Employees can submit a compliment or recognition of a colleague’s hard work and have it shared automatically in a channel.
“Using Slack and Workflow Builder to onboard our coaches has been a game changer. They are able to get up to speed faster and ultimately dive into their new role feeling prepared and excited.”
Ramping up remote coaches before day one
Onboarding is among the most critical business processes at behavior change and mobile health technology company Noom. Although around 120 employees are based in New York, the majority of the 2,000-person team are coaches working remotely across the U.S.
Coaches help Noom’s 2.5 million members achieve healthier eating and fitness habits. And as the company scales—Noom quadrupled its earnings in 2019 alone—this globally distributed team is growing just as quickly.
Noom was already using Slack for day-to-day communications, but the onboarding process was manual and time-consuming, with up to 100 newly hired coaches getting started simultaneously. That many people requiring so much information at the same time resulted in hours of weekly orientation meetings. The company wanted to make coaches feel welcome, while equipping them with the resources they need to get up and running fast.
Saving time with an automated, continuous onboarding workflow
To speed up and simplify the process, the coaching operations team at Noom used Workflow Builder to design a clear, comprehensive path for new hires that begins before their start date.
One week before their start date, new hires are added as single-channel guests to the
#pre-start-noombies channel in Noom’s Slack workspace. They go through a few housekeeping items, including a tour of the Slack workspace, and setting up their calendar.
Upon joining the channel, a new member triggers into motion a workflow created with Workflow Builder. The workflow automatically provides onboarding content for new hires. Each one clicks a button to advance to each step, where they can watch tutorial videos, submit a photo and bio about themselves, and take a tour of Noom’s resources on Guru.
It takes around two hours to go through the whole workflow, and at the end each new hire completes a survey so Noom can continue to improve on their workflow.
On their start date, new hires are converted from single-channel guests to full members, and they’re added to a new-hire channel unique to their cohort, similar to a graduating class. They also get documentation and training on how to use key Slack integrations for successful remote work, such as Guru, Zoom and Google Calendar.
“Using Slack and Workflow Builder to onboard our coaches has been a game changer in creating a better overall experience for our new hires,” says Nancy Sidnam, director of coach experience at Noom. “They are able to get up to speed faster and ultimately dive into their new role feeling prepared and excited.”
Faster onboarding with 100% new-hire engagement
By providing access to materials prior to onboarding, Noom decreased new-hire orientation by 30 minutes. This saves its coaching operations team about two hours every month, while new hires are:
- Experiencing 100% engagement, by completing the pre-hire content workflow and surveys
- Becoming familiar with onboarding resources, which are metered out step by step instead of info-dumped in the first message
- Growing their connection to the Noom organization, thanks to new-hire channels and a cohort support network easing their transition into the company
“The collaboration and connection we have on the coaching team wouldn’t be possible without Slack,” says Sidnam. “It is the glue that holds us together.”