Onboarding is Broken. Here’s a Fix.

CEO Dan Manian and Human Side of Tech founder Vanessa Shaw teamed up for a fireside chat on December 6th, 2018. 

From the day we founded Donut, we’ve been using Design Thinking methodology, a human-centered approach to building innovative products that emphasizes empathy. Design Thinking isn’t just for building products, though. It’s also the perfect framework for building new hire onboarding.

What makes Design Thinking and onboarding so compatible? Empathy, of course! Both building products and onboarding new hires works best when you take the time to foster a deep understanding of the user or recipient, and use those learnings to guide your development of the experience. Creating moments of delight for new hires, knowing when to send them that bit of much-needed encouragement, and setting them up with the right info and introductions for their role are all outcomes of empathy development.

Understanding the user or recipient isn’t the only ingredient for success in both product development and new hire onboarding: both processes require you to continuously solicit feedback, and make real-time adjustments based on your findings to arrive at the best solution. Do onboarding surveys and 30/60/90-day check-ins sound familiar? You might already be practicing some of the principles of Design Thinking methodology without even thinking about it.

No matter how many elements of the Design Thinking methodology feel instinctive, it’s still worth digging in and applying it consciously to your onboarding process. New hire onboarding is, after all, the foundation for a long and successful relationship with your employee. Just ask Vanessa Shaw, the sticky-note obsessed founder of Human Side of Tech , who firmly believes that “commitment to a company happens during onboarding, not before,” because “employees start to plan how long they’ll stay with the company in the first weeks of onboarding.” There’s a lot of data-backed evidence to support this: Forbes.com found that employees who go through a structured onboarding process are 58% more likely to remain with the organization after three years.

Vanessa has made it her life’s work to teach human-centered design and its potential for organizations that want to build workplace cultures that foster productivity and retention, and above all are fun places for employees to innovate and problem-solve. If you’re ready to up your onboarding game, join our CEO/cofounder Dan Manian and Vanessa for a fireside chat on Design Thinking and how to apply the methodology to building a great new hire experience.

Onboarding for Humans: Using Design Thinking to Build Your Onboarding Playbook
Thursday, December 6th at 10am PST/1pm EST

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Vanessa Shaw
“Onboarding happens over time and encompasses many things beyond paperwork, balloons and free cookies.”
Vanessa Shaw
Human Side of Tech, Founder

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