At Adjust we pride ourselves on a high level of product knowledge among all employees, no matter what department you are in. From marketing or sales to the developers, every new starter undergoes a full three weeks of onboarding on our product, and the mobile ecosystem at large.
As Louie Moore, Director of Learning & Development, explains, “We feel that everyone needs that first introduction to understanding the building blocks of the Adjust product.”
Karel Ellis-Gray, our VP of People & Organization added, “[The biggest benefit is] the acceleration we've seen in salespeople becoming effective, or impacting revenue sooner.”
Adjust’s new starters intake from March share a joke on Zoom
It’s always been very important to Adjust that the new starters do a full three weeks in our global headquarters in Berlin. But then coronavirus paralyzed the globe and suddenly things looked very different.
Romy Van Antro, our Sales trainer, explains how things went down: “So actually we were joking around a couple of days before — because we were in Tenerife on a team retreat — and we were in lockdown already [in Tenerife].”
“We were joking at the team retreat saying ‘Probably we will find out on the Sunday that we have to do the whole onboarding remotely’... and then actually we did find out on the Sunday.”
As Inma Ferrer, Training Manager, explains: “It was a bit overwhelming, to discover that we were not allowed to go to the office because we had recently traveled to Tenerife.”
“Suddenly on Sunday we were told, ‘Eh, no, you’re not coming to the office, you have to do 14 days in quarantine and you will be coming back after that.’ So yeah, it was a bit distressing, too. But in the end, we thought, ‘Ok, this is the perfect opportunity to do something we have been talking about for a long time.’”
“This has been on the table, remote onboarding, for a long time. Because as the company is getting bigger, there's more people who find it difficult to come for three whole weeks to the [Berlin] office. Because of families and different personal situations. It’s a big commitment.”
With an intake of expectant newbies to welcome to Adjust the following day, the team had to get to work.
Screenshot from the Adjust Gameshow, the end of onboarding quiz
A bad workman blames his tools
With an absurdly short timeline, the learning and development team had to act fast. Inma explained that this meant a lot of trial and error; “We went hands on, we started trying out different tools… We tried out Zoom because we had read [about the benefits]... and we definitely saw them.”
Finding a whiteboard substitute was another problem: “We had already been doing some diagrams with Miro, for a migration project that we were doing, brainstorming and retrospectives.”
“And then it dawned on us, ‘Hey why don't we use Miro?’ We can very easily do diagrams there — and they look good. They are clear and we have enough space to do everything we used to do in our live session. So we started using it, I know that Andrea and Matt also had [the idea] to have the diagram already done and, little-by-little, copy and paste it into our new space.”
“In order to feel comfortable using Zoom, we did what we call ‘Shakedowns’. This is something that we already do when a trainer prepares a new live session.”
“The team poses as if they were learners and ask questions, interrupt and try to mock — as realistic as possible — how a learner would react to the explanation, or if something was not very clearly explained. We did exactly that same process but with Zoom. So this way we got 'comfortable' with this really weird silence that you have when you're doing these sessions through a camera. I think that's the worst part of all. When you say 'is this clear?' and — silence. Absolute silence.”
Data is the name of the game
As a mobile measurement company, Adjust is an entirely data-driven business. And this was proven to the fullest extent during this period of uncertainty. Romy shared how Training & Development used micro-surveys to fine-tune their teaching approach; “We were asking for a lot of feedback, especially at the beginning, which we were implementing immediately.”
“This was session specific feedback, so something as small as ‘is the text on our screens big enough’. Those kinds of things we were adopting immediately, so our sessions got stronger and stronger over time, and the processes got a lot smoother.”
Louie also explained how the Learning & Development team iterated upon their success using feedback: “We were really really happy to see all the positive feedback coming through and I think it was crucial to see the detail that they give.”
"We work with that feedback and also carry out an end of month analysis, implementing any changes into the next onboarding. That's always how we do it, even in the in-person training sessions.”
Adjust Gameshow scoreboard, designed in Miro
Having gone through one onboarding cycle, the Learning & Development team has some advice for any company that is currently struggling to onboard team members during the corona crisis.
Inma explained: “I would tell a Learning & Development team to feel excited about this opportunity that they've got in their hands, because it's going to be an opportunity to think about their sessions differently and make them more accessible for everyone.
“I would tell anyone in a similar role to embrace the challenge, and put their minds to create and feel excited about it. And also of course, if they need any resources that we can recommend, that would be Zoom and Miro.”
Romy says: “Do not underestimate how much time you need to prepare a session, because you lose a lot of resources such as body language, a white board or visualizing things with your hands, so you need to find ways to replace that vital way of communicating.”
“And so that's going to be preparing a lot of visuals and making sure that you’re really smooth in the way that you present them.”
In part two of this series, we will talk to one of our new intake to find out how they found the remote experience.