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Onboarding: from 9 months to 2

Challenge

New MarCom specialists were taking 9-10 months to get fully up to speed on the complex, disparate, company-specific processes needed for global print and online campaigns and publications. Rapid organizational changes constantly introduced new specialists, creating ongoing stress across the heavily matrixed global company. Goal: reduce onboarding time by creating a comprehensive and sustainable training resource for campaigns and collateral.

SOLUTION

An inclusive, collaborative approach was used to gain current, correct content and visibility across the organization. Each segment expert was contacted, shown the framework, and invited to make additions and changes to encourage pride of ownership.

The newly created MarCom Reference section on the company Intranet was a logical home for the new process, ensuring easy future updates by the team. All process pieces were assembled into a single training document.

The training referenced existing training segments and noted roles and responsibilities – along with the name of each piece’s current owner. Dependencies and timeframes were outlined. Links were provided and labeled in case of breakage. This prevented excessive duplication and made updates easier.

A key to the project’s success was shared ownership. Templates for commonly used items were contributed or created. In addition to the segment contributors, incoming MarCom specialists were invited to participate in testing and editing the process for completeness. Final steps: training across all three company divisions, and capturing metrics over the next several months.

Results

The value of a comprehensive framework was seen in the decreased onboarding time: reduced from nine to two months. This was especially critical during a $1.5B acquisition with numerous limited-term contractors, incoming new MarCom specialists, and high demand for marketing campaigns and collateral. Benefits included:

  • Continuity amidst constant organizational flux
  • Immediate usefulness, as trainees used the framework to assist with their first campaigns
  • Applauded by senior management for time and cost savings
  • In use and valued more than five years later