Designing an Employee On-Boarding Experience with MailChimp

On-boarding sets the tone for your org and the experience of your employees moving forward. Dedicating time to develop this process can admittedly be tough especially when balancing between management and moving projects forward. One thing is certain, it is an extremely crucial period of time because it is not only a reflection of you but it sets the tone of your organization.

First impressions are everything.

One common piece of feedback in most organizations is that there is either no on-boarding or it is too overwhelming. Most orgs don’t work out of a single set of tools, and when you add product and process documentation the big question for most new employees is where do you start.

Before diving in, consider the following:

  1. Outline tasks and must have documents
  2. Talk to your team about any pains they may have had with previous on-boarding experiences (these aren’t limited to your company; these can include past experiences at other companies)
  3. Include any ways to address those pains as solutions into your on-boarding workflow

1. Create a mailing list

A crucial part of this automation is that your new employee has an email account set up before they get to the office. If you have multiple employees, starting this mailing lists allows you to scale on-boarding without having to create any additional work for yourself.

2. Create a custom workflow

Automation in MailChimp is a gift that keeps on giving. There is a plethora of pre-built automation templates. For this example, I created a custom workflow.

Remember that email list we built earlier? This is where you can add it to your custom workflow.

3. Build workflow

Our on-boarding period lasts about two weeks before designers start getting immersed in their project work. In MailChimp, you can set up your automation so emails are only going out on weekdays vs. weekends.

Extra Credit

MailChimp has a number of email templates you can take advantage of, but we took the liberty of designing our own custom template. This allowed us to convey our brand and add some playful iconography and color to delight new employees.

It takes a little background on designing for email but to make things work a bit faster for you, we took advantage of Foundation for Emails 2.

Rachel Mitrano, a Product Designer at Base did an awesome job working on these; hopefully they an provide you with some inspiration as well.

Always Learning

At the end of our on-boarding process a link to a survey is sent out to ask for feedback and provide an opportunity to identify areas to improve. This requires super low effort while at the same time can provide a ton of value. Google Forms, Wufoo, and Survey Monkey are great places to start.

Why MailChimp?

Shooting out an email in the morning allows employees to not only plan their day, but we frame their on-boarding process to focus on specific tasks per day.

On-boarding emails also link new employees to where they can find documentation or perform these tasks in context. For example if there are mandatory meetings we’ll link them to their calendar, or if there is any mandatory meeting we’ll link them to documentation in Dropbox.

This direction really complements the planning addressed in the suggestions above. There should still always be a central point of reference for all items (we use Confluence for example) but this really breaks things down and gives you an opportunity to really deliver an impactful, first impression.

What are some ways that you are on-boarding new employees? Comment below or send me a tweet.