How we enhance employee experience through peer-learning, starting with onboarding

How we enhance employee experience through peer-learning, starting with onboarding

Talent acquisition and retention is as challenging as it is trending right now. It’s no surprise that our fellow big tech Montrealer GSoft launched its latest onboarding software solution earlier this year. They live and breathe the employee experience.

As Simon De Baene, co-founder and CEO of Gsoft shared in an interview with Forbes:

“If you miss your onboarding, there’s a good chance that the person will leave much earlier than expected”.

Employee retention starts at the very beginning of the employee journey. Reinventing the onboarding experience is a must to compete with today’s talent turnover. At Braindate, we bring a culture of peer-learning into the mix.

Our platform is a space for employees to introduce themselves beyond their professional role and responsibilities. We bring together the hybrid and remote workforce by opening access to all regardless of physical location. Employees can tap into the company culture by engaging in conversations with the people who make up the workplace.

By offering a more human approach based on relationship building we help people understand their place in a new system and foresee how they can contribute to the company’s greater mission. It’s not only a warmer icebreaker but an accelerator to making new hires experience the culture from the very beginning and feel like they want to belong.

We design with our clients employee experiences in mind which include onboarding plans. We lead by example by using our Braindate Everyday solution in our own onboarding process to welcome our people. To speak to it, Cindy Hoang wrote about her onboarding journey joining Braindate.

Cindy’s onboarding story

Cindy's employee onboarding success story
employee onboarding timeline

I started my position as the new UX/UI designer at e-180 at the beginning of October. During my first month, I have been doing my onboarding using our Braindate Everyday team platform.

As you may know, Braindate is our solution for driving meaningful and focused conversations across a multitude of industry events, conferences, and within organizations.

Earlier this year, Braindate Everyday was released, a sister solution that aims to provide organizations and communities an everyday tool to foster and maintain ongoing professional conversations and help to build meaningful relationships among employees. Braindate Everyday strives to cultivate positive and productive employee engagement amongst peers, within the workplace and place peer learning at the center of the future of work.

This is more relevant than ever now that many workplaces have shifted to being remote only or hybrid. It is challenging to build interpersonal connections between employee and workplace within the remote working environment. Physical barriers emerge between individuals, teams and departments, causing employees to feel disconnected or indifferent in their position. This frequently impedes their sense of belonging and purpose in their workplace.

In my past experience working remotely, I found that the team building aspect was in need of more TLC. I didn’t find alignment in the workplace culture and I could feel the silos forming around me. Braindate Everyday provides a solution that removes these barriers and encourages employees to connect, share and thrive.

By engaging in various Braindate activities – ranging from company – wide brainstorms, to thematic deep dives, storytelling, mentoring sessions and more – employees are able to immerse themselves in productive discussions that allow for them to learn, build connections with different teams and gain new valuable skills. Braindating is a self-directed, experiential and collaborative experience.

It feels like a natural fit that Braindate Everyday can be used for onboarding new employees into an organization. I experienced it myself over the last few weeks!

“I saw firsthand how Braindate Everyday was a tool for knowledge sharing as well as building healthy workplace cultures where everyone’s voice could be heard.”

For new hires, at any job, whether in-person, remote or hybrid, the first week of onboarding is often intimidating. Going into a new position, especially in an unfamiliar environment is not simple, and they may not know what to expect or how they should approach their peers or other teams.

I experienced similar feelings entering my first week. However, on day one, I was introduced to our internal Braindate Everyday platform and was tasked to accomplish the following:

Braindate with at least 10 employees using our BD Everyday solution within the first month

Upon entering the Braindate Everyday platform, I was excited to be greeted with an endless sea of fascinating Braindate topics of conversation created by fellow employees. Topics ranging from group lunch & learns, brainstorming discussions, one-on-one knowledge sharing sessions, and so much more.

I stumbled upon different profiles, began recognizing and learning names and faces before I even had met them, and began wondering which braindates I should participate in first. There were no silos, no hierarchies and the distance between everyone was reduced to whether we shared interests, challenges, ideas or not.

New employee remote onboarding with Fishbowl Braindate

I was encouraged to join a Fishbowl braindate that very same day — it was a company-wide learning session. There, I was immediately recognized and acknowledged by the amazing hosts, Drew and Peter, who welcomed me to the team and encouraged me to join as a speaker. It was a great way to not only familiarize myself with the product, but with my team as well! I was happy to be greeted among a group of other participants, and was able to introduce myself more personally.

Throughout the braindate, I got a deeper sense of how everyone collaborated amongst each other. Though we all had different roles, we found meaning in learning about each other’s work, and understanding how our mission and goals all come together cohesively at the end of the day. People were not hesitant to ask questions, give their input, share knowledge and to cheer and express gratitude to each other. Through this, I felt comfortable and at ease. I had already made professional connections on my first day.

Most importantly I felt that my insights were going to be heard and useful to my team. I saw firsthand how Braindate Everyday was a tool for knowledge sharing as well as building healthy workplace cultures where everyone’s voice could be heard.

Cindy participated in 24 braindates

Over the next few weeks, I focused on joining more braindates, as well as setting up my own topics. I decided to create two one-on-one topics in order to have deeper conversations and learn more about everyone individually.

A mix of Cindy’s topics and the topics that she joined

Breaking down silos – for real!

Cindy met with 26 new colleagues across 7 teams

After I had set up my topics on the platform, I immediately got some invitations to braindate from people I had never met before in the company! They were from different teams, and people I wouldn’t have met or had a chance to chat with one-on-one in such a meaningful fashion this early on in most other workplaces. I had insightful conversations with QA testers, learning concierges’, web designers, the account manager, and even our CTO, Alexandre Spaeth. I saw first-hand how Braindate worked to bring down not only horizontal silos, but vertically hierarchical silos to help establish a sense of connection to others and purpose within the workplace.

Going on braindates happened to be a perfect opportunity to learn more about other roles and projects going within our organization. As the UX/UI designer, I also greatly benefitted from experiencing many use cases (like having a pleasant chat around shared interests, building those professional relationships!) firsthand. It was helpful in an onboarding sense, and I was able to apply what I had learned from others in my work.

Received invitations to meet on topics

One of the true gifts of Braindate:
Uniting people together through peer learning and engagement. 

I was in awe of how much sense of the company culture I was able to absorb purely through braindating. In a way, it forced me out of my comfort zone so that I could feel more confident and have more trust to initiate conversations with others (as an introvert, at that!) instead of waiting for others to invite me on a coffee chat. I was able to feel truly connected to my peers, and felt so proud of everyone’s contributions, all within the span of one week.

I had a pleasant time braindating, with my conversations consisting of talking about mutual interests, hobbies and culture, to talking about our product and how we position ourselves to clients, and more. I was able to take away and learn something from each braindate I attended, no matter what topic it was, and that is one of the true gifts of Braindate: Uniting people together through peer learning and engagement.

Braindate with at least 10 employees using our BD Everyday solution within the first month

To sum it all up, my first couple weeks of onboarding was absolutely stellar — it was amazing to get to know so many personalities and roles over such a short amount of time. I immediately felt welcomed, I was immediately engaged in team discussions, and I could really feel everyone’s strong desire to learn, grow and succeed.

I’m proud to be a member of e180 because I get to work among so many creative individuals who make ample room for peer learning. They inspire me. I have witnessed the impact Braindate can unlock within an organization, how it empowers employees to bring their full self to work and is paving the way for the future of work. 

knowledge sharing between team members in the workplace

It now marks my first month of being part of the team and my confidence in our product and team has never faltered, instead it has actually risen exponentially. That’s also, in part, thanks to the role Braindate Everyday played early in the onboarding process.

I’m very much looking forward to what’s next to come.
Until then, à bientôt!

Cindy Hoang

Make your people happy from their first day at work. Talk to our team

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