Onboarding is Unboxing

Onboarding is Unboxing

It seems that lately the chatter about how important people are to tech companies has been rising (this is surprisingly not surprising to me). However, this post isn’t about that… this time, we’re going to talk about unboxing. That’s right, unboxing like the kind some 15 year old kid makes videos for on YouTube. Specifically, I’m going to show you that onboarding is the same as unboxing.

So why care about onboarding? Onboarding new hires — whether or not you have an onboarding program — is an expensive investment. What’s even more expensive? Losing those new hires within 6–12 months. I calculated for a client once that it cost them about $350,000 to replace a junior engineer if she left at 12 months. We’ll go into that math another time, but suffice it to say, I’m not the one who’s going to explain to investors why a given company is spending millions of dollars on people not even on the payroll anymore.

Take it from the Aberdeen Group: A 2009 study of senior executives and people operations discovered that 86 percent of them felt that new employees make the choice to stay within their first six months. BambooHR also found that 16–17% of new hires in their 2014 survey of 1,000 people left between their first week and third month. PAUSE. This is ridiculous. This is expensive. This is painful for not just the new hire, but your company!

We can’t let that happen.

What to do… what to do? Let’s turn to product unboxing for some answers. Stick with me here, I promise it’ll make sense. First, what is unboxing? Harrison Dromgoole explains on the Ordoro blog that “it’s a social occasion that partially replaces shopping in bricks and mortar stores. When you can’t touch or feel the product unboxing videos provide transparent, human validation and a glimpse at the product in a way that’s unmediated by the brand.” He goes on to describe unboxing as both the actual product and marketing for your product. The customer’s experience begins the moment the package is delivered. The same is true for software and e-commerce — we don’t have to look far to see that initial user experience makes or breaks an app (see Samuel Hulick’s tear-downs for a primer!)

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Posted by Kristen Gallagher

Kristen Gallagher

Photograph by Hailey King

Kristen Gallagher is the founder and CEO of Edify, a learning strategy partner that develops learning strategies and employee onboarding programs for high-growth technical organizations. Kristen has architected and delivered onboarding programs for companies bringing on just one person a quarter to 100+ people a quarter, in just one office and 13+ global offices. Her range of expertise in the science of adult learning, business strategy, knowledge management, and organizational development means that Kristen architects programs that are designed to evolve and scale with rapid changes.

At Edify, we believe that high growth doesn't have to mean high pain. We partner with you to build programs customized to your team to get your new hires up to speed faster and better - and help get them past those critical 6, 12, and 18 month marks. We do what few consultants dare to offer: we actually integrate your IT, HR, and Facilities teams to create a unified onboarding experience for both employees, managers, and administrators. We create onboarding experiences led by the new hire themselves - creating value for their development and their manager. We deliver value across the business by helping you create a business objective-focused and actionable learning & development strategy. We help you pinpoint the challenges your junior and seasoned, but unsupported, managers face in juggling people management and technical management, then we solve for exactly those challenges.

If you're tired of scrambling to onboard your new hires, struggling with the same-old, same-old management challenges, and looking to galvanize your team so they can meet the vision, it's time you looked for a partner like Edify!