The new employee experience

The employee experience was explored through a human-centred design process to ultimately design an onboarding guide for new UX employees.

An energy provider were rapidly growing their UX team from 6 people to over 40. To support this rapid growth, there was a need for an onboarding guide to help new hires get started with the basics, build familiarity with the organisational landscape and feel empowered to hit the ground running in their new role.

Team reviewing concept ideas on the wall.

What we did to explore the employee experience…

Research was crucial to understanding the needs of new UX team members and creating an onboarding guide that contained relevant information.

Team workshop

A workshop was held to align the team around the purpose and objective of the onboarding guide. It was also used as an opportunity to gather their input into the content, structure and tone of the guide. As custodians of the guide after completion, it was vital to foster a sense of ownership.

Staff interviews

Interviews were used to understand the new employee experience, find out what kinds of information would be helpful in an onboarding guide, and identify any gaps or pain points with the existing experience.

In person interviews with 1-2 people at a time were held with both recently hired UX team members as well as longer serving team members. In addition, stakeholders in the broader department who were connected to the team were also interviewed. This allowed us to understand not only the perspective of new team members, but also ensured that information was gathered from relevant stakeholders.

Building Lego models

Nomat researchers were also able to gather information by participating in the new employee induction process as a new contractor.

At the heart of the project was answering the question, “What do I need to know to start working in this team?”.

Analysis and synthesis 

The interview findings were synthesised using affinity mapping to uncover themes.

A key theme identified through the interviews was that the needs of new employees tended to follow a similar progression over the first few months. This process revealed that there was some information that was crucial to  getting started in the first week, with information needs evolving over the following month and 3 months. Another theme that emerged was that there were a range of different information sources and processes related to the centralised HR function of the organisation which initially took some time to navigate. These insights informed the structure of the guide ensuring information was prioritised in an order relevant to new employees.

Iterative design process 

Multiple design iterations ensured that all the information was brought together in a structure that was intuitive and digestible.

After collating the information that would be relevant to new hires, the draft structure and direction was shared with the team in a workshop to gather feedback. Once the direction, structure and contents were agreed on by the team, we commenced copy writing and consolidating information as well as utilising the client’s existing brand guidelines to design the MVP of the onboarding guide to be given to new hires. Some key design challenges included striking a balance between being clear and succinct as well as comprehensive. Setting expectations around what was and wasn’t included in the team onboarding guide was crucial so staff would be clear about when to seek information from the centralised human resources department. The overlap with the standard employee induction as well as other existing generic company resources needed to be considered throughout.

The outcome…

The onboarding guide was created to answer key questions upfront with progressive disclosure of more complex and detailed information. Short and digestible copy connected to further resources, while copy writing utilised a tone of voice sought to both convey the team’s personality as well as maintain reader engagement with the information. A supporting checklist tool for managers was also created in tandem with the onboarding guide, to help the existing team to on-board new staff efficiently and effectively. The MVP of the onboarding guide was provided to new hires and their feedback was gathered to understand the effectiveness of the information and identify any gaps or sections that required further iteration.

“Comprehensive overview on all the things you need to know right away”.

New starter

UX Designer