navigate!

-ing New Hires’ Onboarding Experience

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Engaging Employees Through Multichanneled Onboarding

navigate!-ing New Hires’ Onboarding Experience
Organization Background DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC is the financial services company in the DaimlerChrysler Group. Its global portfolio exceeds $139 billion and is managed by more than 11,000 employees in more than 100 operating companies in 39 countries. In 2004, DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC, headquartered in Farmington Hills, Michigan, employed 5,800 employees, approximately 90% of whom were customer contact center representatives, and contributed to revenues of $18.8 billion worldwide. Situation In the wake of a 2001 DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC consolidation of various business locations, senior executives at DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC became concerned that new employees joining the company needed to fully understand the integrated mission and vision of the new organization. The company created an online orientation program that, although communicating a unified corporate message, was met with mixed reviews in a 2002 new hire questionnaire. Survey results revealed DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC employees desired more personal interaction with peers and leaders during the onboarding period. Action To address senior executive and new hire concerns, DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC identified new onboarding content and delivery strategies to provide a richer new hire experience. To ensure the six- to nine-month onboarding process resulted in increased engagement and performance, the redesigned onboarding program, named navigate! , focuses on four areas critical to maximizing new hire performance and engagement. Step #1: Foster Connection With the New Organization’s Vision and Strategy Step #2: Facilitate Integration Into Employee Networks Step #3: Explain Performance Expectations Clearly and Early Step #4: Promote a Culture of Innovation and Open Communication Results In January 2003, DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC rolled out its six-month navigate! onboarding program. While the company continues to collect formal metrics to evaluate the success of its program, it has already seen an improvement in new hire performance and retention rates.

Impetus for This Initiative The Corporate Leadership Council’s 2004 quantitative analysis on engagement showed the importance of effective onboarding to engagement—particularly for hourly workers. In order to provide a practical example of how one member organization fosters engagement from the outset, the Council created the following case profile highlighting key areas critical to effective onboarding, as revealed by recent Council findings: Effective Onboarding May Lead to Increased Levels of Discretionary Effort • Fostering a connection with the organization’s vision may lead to a 26% increase in discretionary effort • Facilitating integration into employee networks may lead to a 26% increase in discretionary effort • Explaining performance expectations may increase discretionary effort levels by 27% • Promoting a culture of innovation and open communication may lead to a 30% increase in discretionary effort Maximum Impact on Performance • Effective onboarding may lead to an 11% improvement in employee performance Corporate Leadership Council, Engaging the Hourly Workforce, 2004; Recruiting Roundtable, Maximizing Returns on Recruiting Investments, 2003.

© 2005 Corporate Executive Board

Source: DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC; Corporate Leadership Council research.

” Nicole Hahne Manager. Michigan. Michigan. Back Address: …and disappointing reviews of online orientation… DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC New Hire Survey Results 2002 Forward Stop Refresh ! New Hire Questionnaire How does DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC’s New Hire Orientation compare to your previous employer? • “At my previous employer.” • “Less hands-on and no company info. and our values.navigate!-ing New Hires’ Onboarding Experience 2 Practice Driver In 2001. Chrysler Financial Company LLC and Mercedes-Benz Credit Corporation merged operations to become DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC with its headquarters in Southfield. . but would also utilize a blended learning approach to meet new hire learning preferences. With the relocation of DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC to Farmington Hills. Learning and Career Development DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC © 2005 Corporate Executive Board Source: DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC. for hires. the native language of the global Daimler Chryster Services AG headquarters location. Sprechen Sie Deutsch? The lack of a consistent message about the newly merged company… Although DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC maintained a Web page on the corporate DaimlerChrysler Web site.” What was lacking in your initial experiences when you started at DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC? 22% 22% 14% Career Orientation/ Development Guidance and Planning n = 110. Integration into Department …alert senior executives concerned with re-branding the company to new hires Lack of a Common Vision “We didn’t have a consistent new employee orientation across the board… especially about the ‘big picture’—our mission and vision. senior company leaders noted that new hire orientation programs varied by location and failed to provide consistent messages about the organization. we had one-to-one meetings with HR and all new employees hired within the month.” • “Previous employer had off-site where we learned about company and mission. The [senior executives] felt like we weren’t really merged… and wanted to re-brand. was met with mixed reviews from new hires. new hires interested in learning about the company often encountered German. in 2002. DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC human resources leaders realized the importance of creating an onboarding program that not only would communicate clear and consistent messages about the organization. A new online employee orientation module. Corporate Leadership Council research. introduced to address this challenge.

DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC altered its delivery channel strategy to include more “in-person” elements in the onboarding experience. understanding that its initial online approach to information delivery was preventing new hires from establishing critical networks. Therefore.to Nine-Month navigate! Onboarding Program 1. In addition. welcome to the team! We understand that having the right environment is essential.” Klaus Entenmann. Promote a Culture of Innovation and Open Communication navigate! portal with links to performance review information Back Address: Forward Stop Refresh ! Graduation “work-out” sessions with senior executives Welcome to the Team “On behalf of everyone at DaimlerChrysler Services. The company also ensures that managers fully explain job responsibilities and performance expectations to new hires (Step 3). Corporate Leadership Council research. flexibility. navigate! . Facilitate Integration into Employee Networks DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC hires on welcome-day scavenger hunt. navigate! Success Factors DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC redesigned its new hire orientation program to improve content consistency and introduce blended learning solutions DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC’s Six. Foster Connection with the New Organization’s Vision and Strategy Welcome DVD with employee Manager welcome testimonials and link to on first day DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC Web site Binder and CEO letter outlining company vision 2. DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC revamped its onboarding content to include more consistent messages about the newly formed entity (see Step 1 below). addresses both content and delivery challenges inherent to its prior approach.navigate!-ing New Hires’ Onboarding Experience 3 Practice Overview DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC’s new onboarding program. Explain Performance Expectations Clearly and Early Manager outlining performance expectations in first week on job navigate! 4. examples include a scavenger hunt and an assigned peer mentor (Step 2) and integration of senior executives into the company’s unique innovation-focused onboarding graduation session (Step 4). and a customer focus. we are absolutely committed to maintaining an inclusive culture based on innovation. Recognizing the importance to employee productivity and engagement of fostering a strong connection between employees’ jobs and the organization’s strategy. . President and CEO DaimlerChrysler Services Americas LLC Welcome letter to all new hires © 2005 Corporate Executive Board Source: DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC. openness. “Cruise the Company” Peer mentor assigned to each employee 3. motivation. with emphasis on how those jobs fit into business objectives.

performance standards. Corporate Leadership Council research. customers and service. supervisor/manager and team. peers. The first day supervisor and immediately begins to or week consists of the following: understand his or her role in the company through senior manager-facilitated • Meeting with local navigate! coordinator. excitement performance. speeches and navigate! peer mentor • Through the team onboarding format. and portal maintenance fees) • navigate! coordination team = Recruiting. Before examining the four key components of the program. • Employee hears testimonials from current Included in the package of materials are the following: DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC employees. and trainer employees at major new hire locations (average time spent = 3 to 5 hours/week Source: DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC. Who. Web site. and various departments to reinforce and supplement first-day information • Periodic “lunch and learns” help reinforce key messages and avoid first-day information overload • The opportunity to repeatedly meet with new hires continues the camaraderie built during the first week Phase 1: Before first day Phase 2: First day.navigate!-ing New Hires’ Onboarding Experience 4 navigate! Program Overview DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC’s navigate! onboarding program engages new hires even before their start date and provides opportunities for learning and growth through the first six to nine months of employment. binder. which serves to further • Welcome DVD to share with family brand the job and boost his or her • Link to navigate! external Web site containing company. and contact information • navigate! extranet site provides an • Benefits enrollment and information policy opportunity for the new employee to view his or her work location and preview performance expectations Day One “Welcome Day” is scheduled for each employee’s first day of work • Each employee is welcomed by his/her at each DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC location. © 2005 Corporate Executive Board . benefits. HR consultant. location. Hallmarks of the program include the following: • navigate! guides who act as informal peer mentors to new employees • Participation in facilities tours and information sessions with other new hires • New hire “lunch and learns” offered periodically on the topics of benefits. What. • Benefits overview and Q&A by content expert employees immediately begin to foster a • Lunch with supervisor and team and/or peer mentor connection with other new hires. the page below details features of each phase. • Communication of navigate! portal address and binder and their assigned peer mentors • Cruise the company scavenger hunt (see Step 2 for more detail) • Company overview by senior manager or vice president Various events during the new hires’ first months provide an opportunity for new employees and guides to continue the camaraderie built during the welcome day. week Phase 3: First months Phase 4: Six to nine months Formal graduation event at each of the DaimlerChrysler Services North • Employees learn that anyone can America LLC locations marks transition from new hire to fully integrated contribute to the business and that senior employee through the following activities: company executives embrace innovation • Celebration ceremony with awarding of certificates • Two-phase innovation workshops: navigate! new hires work with their local coordinator before graduation to generate process improvement ideas and present their findings to executives at the graduation ceremony (see Step 4 for details) Additional Logistical Details of the navigate! Program • Average annual number of navigate! participants = approximately 800 • Costs to maintain program: approximately $100 per new hire (DVD. When DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC navigate! Timeline Time Frame Process/Stakeholders Differentiating Features Welcome Mailing is sent out several weeks before the employee’s start date.

”…In short. A senior manager presents the above-mentioned DVD. we don’t have an American or a German culture.” “Our Culture : The question often comes up. Corporate Leadership Council research. © 2005 Corporate Executive Board Source: DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC. Playing the Same Tune DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC communicates to new employees the importance of their job to the company’s organizational success and strategy DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC mails a welcome DVD to each new employee before the first day on the job. In order to create clearer line of sight for employees into how their work contributes to organization’s success. the company created a welcome DVD that highlights the company’s past. present. Openness. and future and a navigate! information binder that contains a history and overview of the recently merged company. . supplementing the visual content with strategic insights and “important now” focus areas to clarify how each employee’s job fits into the overall goals of the company. and core values of the company. DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC also tasked senior leaders in the company with delivering consistent messages during their welcome speeches regarding the company’s strategy and core values. is DaimlerChrysler Services LLC an American company or a German company? Well. the answer is “yes. culture.navigate!-ing New Hires’ Onboarding Experience 5 Step #1: Foster Connection with the New Organization’s Vision And Strategy Solution : Appreciating the link between employee productivity and the fostering of a strong connection between employees’ jobs and the organization’s strategy. DVDs present the following information: • Description of the company’s past. and future to foster greater understanding of how the new hire’s role fits into the broader business context • Testimonials from current employees. allowing new DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC employees to hear what current employees like about their jobs and how they spend their time A navigate! information binder distributed on the new hire’s first day includes a section describing the vision. DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC revamped its onboarding materials to include more consistent messages about the recently formed entity. present. We have a DaimlerChrysler Services culture made up of a diverse group of people. Welcome DVD navigate! Information Binder “Our Vision is to be the first choice provider of financial services for our dealers and customers in partnership with our automotive brands. and Respect • Financial and Social Responsibility • Inspired and Empowered People • Customer Focus • Commitment to Excellence” Manager Welcome on First Day Senior managers and vice presidents play a large role in sharing top-line company insights with new employees on welcome day.” “Our Values include: • Integrity.

and interpersonal skills Roles and Responsibilities Peer mentor roles and responsibilities include the following: Introducing the new employee to company culture Providing feedback and encouragement to the new employee Acting as an informed source and sounding board for the new employee on policies. have the opportunity to work with a peer mentor who will accompany them through the program. 2 Teams seek out designated “cruise club members” (experienced employees from different departments) who can answer questions on the scavenger hunt questionnaire from their workstations.” In response. DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC added new delivery channels for its onboarding content. procedures. the entire group comes together to discuss the correct answers. incorporating a social element into each of the four phases of navigate! .navigate!-ing New Hires’ Onboarding Experience 6 Step #2: Facilitate Integration into Employee Networks Solution: Data collected from a 2002 new hire survey suggested the former online-only employee orientation session lacked the “human touch. work rules. location of the nearest dry cleaner. “Cruise the Company” Scavenger Hunt During the welcome day scavenger hunt. and receive a list of questions that must be answered by travelling around the office. create a team identity. good communication. employees collect answers to company clues and begin to establish employee networks… 1 New DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC employees split into teams. and begin to form relationships with current employees. In particular. 3 At the conclusion of the 90-minute activity. . Corporate Leadership Council research. a welcome day “cruise the company” scavenger hunt in Phase Two ensures that new hires meet and network with each other. norms. …the scavenger hunt serves as an ice breaker for mentors who guide the new employees through the first six months of the navigate! program Selection Peer mentor selection is based on self-nomination and manager referral for employees who meet the following criteria: Six months tenure (or longer) Pride in the organization Patience. or any other formal or informal questions Peer Mentor © 2005 Corporate Executive Board Source: DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC.

initial assignments. performance-assessment. The navigate! information binder distributed on the welcome day and performance standards information on the intranet is therefore designed to clearly explain goal setting and evaluation. In keeping with the commitment. and attendance © 2005 Corporate Executive Board Source: DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC. November–January Assessment November–January Next Level Validation January–March Feedback …including manager-led discussions 3 All managers are tasked with covering the following on the new hire’s first day at the company: Job description. . 360 feedback. Show Me How What I Do Matters DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC strives to make the performance management process transparent by providing information via multiple channels… Performance Standards for DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC Employees To: All DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC Employees From: Corporate Human Resources DaimlerChrysler Services LLC is committed to giving employees every opportunity to excel and grow within our organization. we have established performance goals and objectives for our company and have asked employees to align their individual performance with our overall targets 1 All new DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC employees receive detailed information on performance expectations in the navigate! binder. and performance expectations Departmental organizational chart Time recording. and learning plan with employee • Review goal achievement to date and resolve potential barriers to goal achievement if applicable • Performance assessment • Next-development-step assessment • Bring copies of goal agreement. Corporate Leadership Council research. sick leave protocol. punctuality. and next-development step assessment • Deliver feedback to employees after next level validation March–June • Create learning and Employee Development development plans • Send out 360 feedback (optional) • Review development plan and learning plan • Review goals to date • Schedule midyear tune-up • Submit actual results June–October Midyear Tune-Up The company’s performance assessment and development tools are accessible from a link on the navigate! intranet portal. Managers are also asked to discuss performance objectives with their new employees within the first week at the company. vacation scheduling.navigate!-ing New Hires’ Onboarding Experience 7 Step #3: Explain Performance Expectations Clearly and Early Solution: Additional qualitative feedback from the 2002 DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC new hire survey suggested that employees had a keen interest in better understanding their jobs and how they would be evaluated. Timeline January–March Goal Setting Employee • Submit goal agreement Supervisor • Review and approve goals 2 • Sign learning and development plan • Review development plan. dress code.

From the Ground Up navigate! coordinators work with new employees in each of the company locations to generate ideas on how to improve operations… Graduation Idea “Work-Out” Sessions 1 Local navigate! coordinators meet with impending graduates to brainstorm ideas and create process innovation presentations. the company tasked new employees with drawing upon their six.to nine-month experience at the company and working with local navigate! coordinators to craft process improvement ideas and presentations. Some ideas that have been implemented include the following: • • • • Internet site for DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC sexual harassment training redesign Companywide mentoring program Customer Contact Center “career day” Back Address: Forward Stop Refresh ! © 2005 Corporate Executive Board Source: DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC.navigate!-ing New Hires’ Onboarding Experience 8 Step #4: Promote a Culture of Innovation and Open Communication Solution: DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC senior executives were concerned that new employees (primarily those working in Customer Contact Centers) may have limited exposure to senior executives and therefore limited opportunities for dialogue and idea sharing. . 2 Graduates of the navigate! program present ideas for improvement or innovation to senior executives at each location during the graduation sessions. 3 Ideas are discussed and “next steps” for implementation are determined by senior executive navigate! managers …generating several successful process improvement initiatives to date. As such. Corporate Leadership Council research. graduation “work-out” sessions have generated 73 process improvement ideas. These ideas were then presented to senior executives in attendance at each graduation ceremony in an innovation “work-out” session. as well as heightened executive interest in attending the graduation event Ideas Generated and Implemented as a Result of Innovation Sessions In total.

DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC rolled out its six-month navigate! onboarding program.” • “It helps new hires understand how their work is important to the overall company goals. DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC improves new hires’ early performance and contributes to a reduction in attrition rates… navigate! Metrics navigate! Metrics DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC is collecting the following metrics that measure the effect of the program on new hires. . managers. Corporate Leadership Council research. 6 and 18 months) • Percentage of graduates who become navigate! peer mentors • Percentage of ideas implemented from navigate! graduates New Hire Performance • Percentage of graduates referred to be peer mentors • Time to 100% job performance Percentage of Managers Who Report Faster Time-to-Performance in Their Employees Since the Launching of navigate! 79% 11% Strongly Agree n = 37. and peer mentors: Accountability • Percentage of coordinators with navigate! included in their performance goals (navigate! coordinators or team) • Percentage of supervisors who use the navigate! guide as a development tool for mid-career employees (managers) • Percentage of guides with navigate! included in their performance goals (peer mentors) • Percentage of Vice Presidents participating in navigate! welcome day and graduation activities (senior executives) Business Impact • Management time saved on administrative new hire tasks • Retention rate and turnover (30/60/90 days.navigate!-ing New Hires’ Onboarding Experience 9 Results In January 2003. DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC has already seen an improvement in new hire performance and retention rates.” © 2005 Corporate Executive Board Source: DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC. Agree Attrition Rate Among New Hires Prior to and After navigate!’s Inception 34% 14% 2001 2004 …while fostering a strong connection between employees and the company Empowered and Connected Senior Executive Reactions • “The participant presentations made them feel involved and empowered—I want them to feel like that their entire careers. While the company continues to collect formal metrics to evaluate the success of its program. On the Road to Success In creating a uniform blended learning onboarding program.

or other professional services. . and Human Resources functions across all geographic locations. Recruiting. the CLC is not engaged in rendering legal. © 2005 Corporate Executive Board Source: DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC. however. Professional Services Note: The Corporate Leadership Council (CLC) has worked to ensure the accuracy of the information it provides to its members. Its projects should not be construed as professional advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. and Learning and Development to ensure a seamless handoff of information and coordination of tasks. Furthermore. Implementation Tips • Customize Delivery Channels to Learner Preferences—By creating both online and “inperson” distribution channels. Members requiring such services are advised to consult an appropriate professional. Corporate Leadership Council research. • Provide Incentives for Executive Participation—As with any program that imposes an additional task on senior executives. and the CLC cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information or its analysis in all cases. This project relies upon data obtained from many sources. • Ensure Buy-In Across All Human Resources Constituents—The approach requires commitment from employees in learning and development. accounting. Neither Corporate Executive Board nor its programs are responsible for any claims or losses that may arise from any errors or omissions in their reports. Although many organizations are aware of the importance of successful assimilation into the company. organizations must strive to ensure employee orientation graduate work sessions truly generate ideas that impact the business. whether caused by Corporate Executive Board or its sources. few have developed a program that uses blended learning and local coordination teams to create a consistent onboarding program. Companies seeking to implement this team approach need only to deliver identical onboarding materials and coordinate checkins via conference calls. Caveat DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC realizes that the effective use of the practice is predicated on partnership across owners in Human Resources.navigate!-ing New Hires’ Onboarding Experience 10 Council Assessment: navigate!ing New Hires’ Onboarding Experience Key Differentiating Feature Effective onboarding of new hires is one of the most important factors in driving increased levels of discretionary effort and creating maximum impact on performance. DaimlerChrysler Services North America LLC ensures all employee learning styles are addressed. recruiting.