Ready for Box Camp? Here’s How Box’s GTM Team Welcomes and Empowers New Hires
October 19, 2021
Since 2005, Box has been laser-focused on making it easy for people to access information from anywhere and collaborate effectively — and that core mission has taken the company a long way. Today, more than 97,000 companies across industries use their solutions, including 68% of the Fortune 500. Key to Box’s success are its people — and a unique approach to effective onboarding for new hires sets the company apart and empowers its employees to maximize their potential.
During this webinar, we spoke with Gabby Petrone, Senior GTM Enablement Manager at Box, to learn about how she’s using WorkRamp to create flexible and engaging courses tailored to various roles for effective onboarding. “I’m personally focused on the SMB sales segment, working with stakeholders to find and close any gaps in the onboarding process, and ensure sales reps have everything they need to close big deals,” Gabby said.
Gabby, who is a big proponent of “learning by doing,” compares effective onboarding to getting a driver’s license. “When you first start driving, you don’t learn how to parallel park, merge on and off the highway, and perform the more complicated aspects of driving until you’ve practiced a while,” she said. “It’s the same thing in a sales role. It takes time to develop the right skills to be successful.”
However, learning by doing became a challenge when the pandemic hit in March 2020. “Our effective onboarding program has always been fully live,” Gabby said. “We would fly everyone out to headquarters for two weeks for an immersive GTM effective onboarding experience. If someone would have told me I’d be running the program virtually, I would have laughed and said ‘absolutely not!’”
But that was the new reality — and over the past 18 months, Gabby has leveraged WorkRamp to build an engaging virtual and effective onboarding curriculum that not only simplifies the process of onboarding remote employees, but accommodates new hires in various roles and timezones.
First Stop for Effective Onboarding: Box Camp
The cornerstone of Box’s onboarding program, Box Camp, combines live and self-paced learning with team-building activities, to help new hires to the GTM team feel welcome, get up to speed quickly, and receive the training and information they need to excel in their work. “Box Camp is our foundational effective onboarding program for all customer-facing roles,” Gabby said. “We cover everything from use cases to pricing and product messaging, how to meet and engage with various teams and stakeholders, and a deep dive on the tools our employees use every day.”
Every new hire to the GTM team completes a 2-day new hire orientation, then continues on to Box Camp. Once Box Camp is complete, they progress into role-specific enablement plans that are 30, 60 or 90 days, depending on the role. Employees can then participate in what Gabby calls “ever-boarding” — ongoing training opportunities that encourage professional development. “All of the courses offer live sessions and self-paced coursework, as well as checkpoints and certifications to verify completion of the various modules,” she said.
In addition to coursework, Box Camp helps new hires feel like a part of the Box community and build relationships with colleagues. Gabby conducts ice-breaking activities such as asking everyone to share the four C’s — first concert, favorite cuisine, a country you want to visit, and a celebrity you’d like to spend the day with — to help people feel comfortable and get to know each other. Additionally, Box Camp graduates earn a campfire logo sticker. “Our campfire sticker is a coveted badge of honor that Box Camp graduates receive, and these are treated like precious royalty at our company,” Gabby said.
Taking Box Camp Virtual — and Ensuring Long-term Success
Before Covid-19, Box Camp was held at the company’s Redwood City headquarters, and attendees would participate in two weeks worth of in-person labs. Once the lockdown went into effect, that was impossible, and the focus had to shift rapidly to onboarding remote employees. “We had 30 new hires starting the following week, so we had to get our virtual effective onboarding program up and running in four days,” Gabby said. “Fortunately, we had just signed on with WorkRamp, and that helped us pivot rapidly,” Since then, Gabby and her team have been fine-tuning the program to cater to the needs of today’s hybrid workforce.
WorkRamp provided a flexible, powerful platform for taking Box Camp virtual almost overnight, but there are additional factors that contributed to the program’s long-term success. Here are six tips Gabby offered for effective onboarding, and making ongoing enablement programs engaging for the long term:
- Strike the right balance between live and self-paced learning: To develop the Box Camp program, Gabby asked managers to provide a list of all possible topics that would be beneficial to each GTM role, and whether the course should be a live or self-paced. “Gathering input from stakeholders ahead of time helped us strike the right balance between virtual and self-paced content, and avoid Zoom fatigue” she said. It also helped her find commonalities between roles and where training might overlap. “Tracking all of this in a spreadsheet helped us to determine and plan role-specific pathways, and scope out what a future hybrid training model would look like.”
- Don’t reinvent the wheel. Gabby’s team structured its WorkRamp instance to include checks and balances for creating and publishing content, to ensure uniformity and consistency in the way courses are designed and presented. “Everyone can follow an established format instead of reinventing the wheel every time,” she said. “Ensuring strong and open communication helps everyone share best practices, as well.”
- Get personal. Gabby recommends making courses relevant with real-world examples and stories, and leveraging instant messaging apps such as Slack to encourage collaboration and camaraderie. “There’s a lot you can do within WorkRamp, as well, to make the courses more personal and applicable,” she said.
- Create a tools library. Complex tools are a necessary part of the daily workflow, but new hires need help ramping up for effective onboarding. Gabby recommends creating a tools library, where new hires can get the help they need, á la carte. Additionally, her team is experimenting with a sandbox version of Salesforce, so that sales reps can simulate creating and managing opportunities outside of the production environment. “Everyone completes a WorkRamp guide on account setup, as well, and we follow that up with live outreach training, if needed,” she said.
- Track the right metrics. “WorkRamp has been critical to helping us track foundational metrics upon program completion,” Gabby said, adding that her team is increasingly metrics-driven. The platform’s flexibility allows her team to set and track KPIs appropriate for various roles, such as deal size, time to first meeting, or time to first closed deal, which they use to determine where additional training may be necessary and to verify that the program is producing the desired results.
- Collect and act on feedback. Gabby said collecting feedback from managers and course graduates is essential for continuous improvement. To that end, they send out a summary to managers and request their feedback, and a Google survey to new hires through WorkRamp. A little bribery doesn’t hurt, either. “We have really nice Box crewnecks, but you can’t get one until you complete the survey!” Gabby said.
Effective Onboarding for New Hires in the Hybrid Workplace
Gabby offered a final piece of advice: Be flexible and ready to iterate as hybrid work environments become the new normal. “As people continue to return to the physical office, they’ll have different comfort levels and learning styles, and flexibility will be the key to designing a program that works for everyone,” she said. “A platform like WorkRamp can help you cater to different audiences and provide everyone with a consistent, high-quality and engaging learning experience — whether in-person or online.”
Our partnership with Box is one of our best effective employee onboarding examples. Watch this full webinar on our YouTube channel, and visit our customer testimonials page to learn why market-leading organizations such as Zoom, Reddit, 8X8 and others choose to partner with WorkRamp for effective onboarding.
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