Feb 25, 2020

What to Expect During Onboarding Days

Becky Glockner
Employee Onboarding Specialist

Whether you're curious about onboarding at GetYourGuide, or just nostalgic for the early days of getting lost on the way to the bathroom, Becky Glockner, talent onboarding specialist, gives us a play-by-play of how we get new joiners ready for their journey with us.

The meaning of onboarding

1. the action or process of integrating a new employee into an organization or familiarizing a new customer or client with one's products or services.


Onboarding days

One month ago, I stood in the courtyard beneath the towering Ampere substation with 14 other fresh faces on our first day. As a newly appointed talent onboarding specialist, I was in an unusual position as both participant and observer of a project I would own by the end of the week.

I made a mental note of the state of mind of a new employee in their first moments, curious to see for myself how we would go about curing the chaos for bewildered new joiners like me and set us up for success.

Though it is not uncommon for employee onboarding to be a key focus for a tech unicorn at the height of its growth phase, we go above and beyond. Previously known as Welcome Days, the Talent Development team compiled feedback from the executive team, focus groups with team leads, and employee surveys to conceptualize the three stages of onboarding that exist today.

Working closely with the Brand team to synchronize tone of voice, company values, and the story behind GetYourGuide, an onboarding focused on customer obsession was born — an ethos we embody every day at GetYourGuide, continually listening to our customers to regularly enhance and personalize their experience.

Since October 2019, the process split into three separate segments: Launch Days, aka an employee's first days at the company, the Customer Bootcamp, and the Executive Bootcamp. New hires are walked through the employee, customer, and company journey, in a dynamic and enlightening adventure.

Launch Days

The goal of Launch Days is to inspire, inform, and prepare. In true GetYourGuide style, new hires are taken on a voyage through the labyrinth that is Ampere, discovering such delights as an Amazon Jungle-themed meeting room and our Kyoto tea room. They deep-dive into the story behind our company and pick up a laptop equipped with the software they need to excel in their roles, not to mention a goodie bag full of company-branded merchandise.

They meet their team, their own hand-picked buddy — a carefully designated employee picked from a different department but with similar seniority, to act as friendly face and confidante — and build a community of fellow new hires along the way.

Customer Bootcamp

Our Customer Bootcamp is an interactive deep-dive into the concept of customer obsession: after all, our customers are at the root of everything we do, the inspiration behind every idea, the reasoning behind every project. New hires step into the shoes of the customer, each taking on a different demographic group, and walk through the customer journey from start to finish, discovering the part that each department plays and even testing the product themselves on a GetYourGuide Originals Tour of Berlin.

Based on the pain points of their customer demographic, the Bootcamp culminates in the new hires creating their very own customer innovation. Amongst the new hires' creations this year, are a 'GetYourDrone', delivering anything the customer might need during their trip, and a GetYourGuide community chat app for customers to meet like-minded travelers.

Executive Bootcamp

Along with the Talent Development Team, I am currently conceptualizing the final stage of the onboarding process: The Executive Bootcamp. This workshop will give new hires an opportunity to engage informally with the executive team, including founders Johannes and Tao.

Though employees are encouraged to grill the executive team as much as they like – between them, there is a plethora of experience and tales to be told – it's also a chance for the execs to view things from the fresh perspective of their new colleagues.

As a new employee, I walked away from my onboarding with a grin on my face and a head full of learnings, among which were a detailed understanding of how the business is run, our shared mission and values, the mindset of our target market, and why our product is so successful.

One month later, I vicariously relive the thrill of my first days by hosting the onboarding days on a bi-weekly basis. As the company continues to grow, welcoming groups of top talent through its doors twice per month for the foreseeable future, we must continue to acknowledge the significance of these first moments in an employee's journey.

So what else is in the pipeline? As well as planning an onboarding training for new managers, we're also in the process of conceptualizing an onboarding process for our local offices across the globe that will enable every GetYourGuide employee worldwide to feel aligned and prepared for success. I am hugely proud to be driving this project, and I can't wait to see the results.

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