Riipen Life - New employee onboarding, the Riipen way

“We are here to enable every Riipeneer to do their best work.” If we had to sum up what Riipen’s People & Culture team is all about in one phrase, this would be it. It’s the thing we keep this top of mind when shaping the moments that matter in the Riipeneer journey. We strive to craft employee experiences where our team members feel a sense of belonging, support, and appreciation. Onboarding is no exception.
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July 12, 2022
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“We are here to enable every Riipeneer to do their best work.” If we had to sum up what Riipen’s People & Culture team is all about in one phrase, this would be it. It’s the thing we keep this top of mind when shaping the moments that matter in the Riipeneer journey. We strive to craft employee experiences where our team members feel a sense of belonging, support, and appreciation. Onboarding is no exception. 

While we have continuously developed and tweaked our new employee onboarding program over the years, our transition to a remote-first organization in March of 2020 presented a unique opportunity to reevaluate the overall experience and outcomes, and how to successfully transition to a remote environment. 

Our overarching goals with onboarding are to help new team members understand Riipen’s culture and how we show up day to day, lay the foundation for strong relationships across the organization, and align new team members’ roles to the broader organizational mission, vision, and goals. 

Riipeneer onboarding basics

In addition to the first-day orientation, new team members take part in the following sessions to build a comprehensive understanding of the organization and how we collaborate cross-functionally.  

  • Culture at Riipen is a crash course on all things culture at Riipen! It covers how we communicate, collaborate, show up for one another, and more so that our new team members can successfully and confidently start navigating work-life at Riipen.
  • Department introduction sessions are opportunities to meet with each department leader to learn about how their teams are structured, their key objectives, and their current projects.
  • Call shadowing sessions to shadow and debrief client calls with our account managers and sales teams to better understand how Riipen is communicated to educators and companies.
  • Platform walkthroughs with Customer Success to experience how the platform is utilized by educators, students, and companies.
  • Introduction to Riipen OKRs. An introduction to our Objectives and Key Results methodology: how they work, how they are set, their importance, and what we are currently working towards.

Connecting with the team

Community is a significant value at Riipen. Having a connected culture is crucial for our collective success and joining a company remotely can make initiating these connections challenging. It can be difficult to reach out to people and know who to reach out to so we are intentional in supporting these opportunities. 

  • Managers book daily 1:1s to check in on progress and support as needed during the first week.
  • New hires join our Avocado Pear program where they are matched with a buddy who helps them get to know all things Riipen during their first three months through regular coffee chats.
  • Initial coffee chats are scheduled with their team members and cross-functional partners to kick off these connections.

A path to success

Finally, it is important that our new team members understand how to succeed in their roles and how success is measured. This year we launched our onboarding success maps. Every new hire receives one on their first day and it includes a timeline with learning outcomes for all of their major onboarding sessions, actions and outcomes for weeks 1 & 2, and company and role-specific success outcomes for their first 30, 60, and 90 days. This tool allows them to track and own their onboarding journey. 

We also understand the importance of our emotional culture; the culture that our workplace encourages and fosters in terms of emotions, attitudes, and values and its impact on the employee experience. We have found riders&elephant’s Emotional Culture deck incredibly valuable in a number of company conversations and have incorporated this focus on feelings into our onboarding success maps. It is all about checking in and understanding how the experience feels. New team members select the primary feelings they experience after weeks 1 and 2, and after 30, 60, and 90 days, and talk to their managers about what is going well and where we can support them.

Riipen onboarding is always going to be a work in progress as we collect feedback and tailor the experience to better support our needs. We are excited to continue making onboarding the best that it can be and setting up our team members for a successful start at Riipen! 

About the author

Madison Sameshima is a People & Culture Specialist based in Vancouver. After completing her undergraduate and graduate degrees in HR, she joined Riipen’s People & Culture team as an intern in 2020. She is passionate about providing people with the tools, resources, and support to do their best work.

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