On any given day, you can walk through one of LivePerson’s 12 offices around the world and find people meeting, collaborating, and connecting. Every so often, instead of seeing the standard meeting in our glass-walled conference rooms, you’ll see LP staff wearing matching bright-orange T-shirts. They aren’t listening to someone walk through a PowerPoint presentation or going through another spreadsheet. They’re painting.
Yes, painting. And drinking wine. In the middle of the afternoon. On a Tuesday.
Welcome to Inspire, the crown jewel of LivePerson’s onboarding program. It’s widely known that a thoughtful onboarding process is an essential activity — organizations that deploy them experience 54% greater new-hire productivity, and employees who’ve been onboarded are 69% more likely to stay at a company longer. However, unlike traditional inductions, Inspire is not focused on teaching new employees how to navigate their email or even the ins and outs of LivePerson’s strategy. Rather, the goal is to immerse new LPers into our culture, which is fundamental to any employee’s success here. Our mission of creating meaning connections is at the heart of everything we do...and it’s more than just a slogan on the wall. The only true way to make our new team members understand this mission is to have them actually live it.
“Inspire is culture training,” says Myke Mansberger, our director of employee experience. He led the team that reinvented LivePerson’s new-hire experience. Having co-facilitated our onboarding program for years, ushering hundreds of employees through the door as LivePerson grew, Myke developed a keen eye for the most valuable elements of making new employees successful in the long term.
“Response to the previous welcome experience was either really positive or neutral, but one thing was unanimous: The connections they made across functions were crucial, so I knew — going into it — we had to emphasize that core part of our culture,” he explains. Things like HR systems and product roadmaps taught in more function-based onboarding programs are bound to change, but a company’s culture is what makes it tick. With a collective mission to create meaningful connections, Inspire introduces new hires to LivePerson’s culture, where connections are everything. And learning how to build them is a must.
During the immersive two-day experience, attendees do more than explain what their roles are or where they’re coming from. Inspire gets more personal, often pulling participants out of their comfort zones. They share doubts, fears, past challenges, and hopes for the future. All this leads to connections that have a much longer shelf life. It turns out that the friendships formed there are pretty important, with 70% of employees reporting that having friends at the office is the most necessary element to having a happy work life.
Every session of Inspire is not only geared toward helping new hires acclimate themselves to the company culture, but it’s also helping us define our culture as we add new members and, finally, conveying it to colleagues, customers, and consumers.
This brings me back to painting. Part of what makes our office space unique is that we each had a part in designing it. New hires are just as much a part of this as veterans, and the art made during Inspire is displayed around the offices.
Every time a new Inspire kicks off and that familiar pack of orange T-shirts appears, we know that our newcomers have no idea about the powerful two days of connection they are about to experience or that, in 48 hours, they will have a whole new perspective on what it means to work at LivePerson.