• John Bell

Future Work: Frictionless Onboarding


["Frictionless Onboarding" is one of 5 Near-term Realities of Future Work. Click here to see all five.]



Remember when onboarding someone was showing them where the bathrooms were? That doesn’t matter so much when the bathroom is down the hall from my bedroom.


With so many people working from home, switching jobs and being hired, and a new relationship to work emerging amongst Gen Z that suggests longevity at a company may be a thing of the past, we need fast, efficient ways to get people up to speed.



PlusPlus was born out of Twitter University with the insight that teams were siloed and not well served by a central HR function. They needed to get new team members up to speed on work as quickly as possible.


The platform delivers in three ways:

  • Accelerate new hire time-to-productivity in a way that scales and is efficient.

  • Communicate and demonstrate culture and values consistently to everyone while creating community.

  • Engage top talent and SMEs to share knowledge and mentor.


Companies like Netflix use PlusPlus to onboard hundreds of new team members whether they work in Albuquerque, Los Angeles or London.



Introducing Culture

One of the biggest worries about a distributed, work-from-anywhere workforce is how we build and share culture for a business. Without the all-hands meetings, the cafeterias or lunchrooms, in-person training events, how are values passed on and shared? How do you even introduce new hires to the values of an organization?


I worked at Ogilvy for years. Started by David Ogilvy, the company still shares a founder-based culture. "Ogilvy on Advertising" remains one of the most popular books in marketing and features timeless wisdom and plenty of dated scenarios as well.


Welcome kits like the one that Ogilvy has used include ways to communicate culture. The Ogilvy version is wonderfully "physical" and includes the David Ogilvy chapbook, The Eternal Pursuit of Unhappiness – a gem of a book worth reading and one that says more about Ogilvy’s “divine discontent” culture than anything else.



The pace of job-switching may not let up all that much in the post-COVID world. Businesses can craft ways to onboard new hires quickly not just to the mechanics of how work gets done but the culture and values of the organization.



Future Work: 5 Near-Future Realities was originally delivered as a live presentation to the Economic Forum of Albuquerque in 2022.

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