New hire engagement: Sapient's 'Pitstop' success story
There is enough research today that says today’s millennial seeks experiences over transactional processes. And when 84% of your company population consists of millennials, you need to put experiences on top of your employee engagement agenda.
With this is mind, the Sapient onboarding team wanted to create a new hire experience that continued beyond the initial induction week. To achieve this, we needed everyone to feel a part of welcoming the new hires and helping them feel settled in their new work home.
What was the approach?
Instead of a particular team taking sole responsibility for new hire engagement, we created an ecosystem where all Sapient people could easily identify a new hire by a brightly colored red lanyard with #SapientStart written on it. This would enable existing Sapient people to have conversations with new hires, share experiences, and offer support. The red lanyard would be worn during the new hire’s first 45-60 days, helping to ease them into their role, workplace, and team. Excitement and awareness was created around #SapientStart lanyards through cutouts, mass mailers, pictures and videos shared on social media.
The #SapientStart lanyards were an instant hit. We’ve already had multiple stories from new hires on how other employees proactively offered extra help, just from looking at the lanyards.
To close off the “new hire” period, PitStop was created. PitStop is an hour long event during which we ask the new hires to reflect on their first few weeks in the company, to understand how far they have come. We also invite the new hires to share feedback on various aspects of their integration. The next element in PitStop is a senior leader interaction where they share their candid feedback and experiences and get additional perspectives. This is followed up by rewards and recognitions for new hires who demonstrated Sapient’s core values and shared their experiences on social media using #SapientStart. The session concludes with gifting a small souvenir for attending PitStop, distribution of black lanyard in return of the red one and a pizza party!
How did it go?
The #SapientStart lanyards were an instant hit! We’ve already had multiple stories from new hires on how other Sapient people proactively offered extra help by just looking at the lanyards. While one new hire got recommendations on what to eat while waiting in the cafeteria queue, another new hire had leaders introducing themselves and enquiring about whether the recruit was settling in.
We also created a video featuring leaders from various business teams sharing their thoughts on how red lanyards were helping new people. The video was viewed more than 2.9k times on Sapient India’s Facebook page.
The launch of PitStop was also a huge success. The new hires were extremely engaged throughout the event and shared detailed feedback for various departments in the organization, which has been collated and shared with the respective teams.
The program was well received by the senior management as well. Capt. Rajesh Sharma, VP – Office Services said “The PitStop program is unique and I have never come across any company that has such plans and programs in place. I could actually see how enthusiastic the new hires were about it and more crucially, we as an organization, were able to gather valuable feedback from someone who is new to the team. This would indeed go a long way in creating even a greater work environment at Sapient.”
What was the impact?
The initial impact of #SapientStart lanyards can be experienced by reading the new hire testimonials and watching our leaders speak on Facebook. We also asked new hires if they felt ‘The #SapientStart lanyard helped them in feeling more welcomed at Sapient.’ More than 91% new hires agreed it did! For PitStop, we asked the participants to take a short survey to understand what percentage agreed with these statements:
- 97.75% of the new hires believed that PitStop gave them a platform to share their feedback on what's working well and what could be done better for new hires
- 98.5% of the new hires believed PitStop reinforced that Sapient values a great new hire experience
- 98.5% believed that the feedback collected in PitStop will help in making new hire experience even better
- 90.23% of the new hires said that after attending PitStop they feel more positive and engaged at Sapient
The program’s success has lead to its continued implementation and improvement based on the feedback. Sanjay Menon, VP – Program Management said “I think the forum and format makes a lot of sense and I found the interaction valuable. We should continue with this.”