How DataGuard Runs Hybrid Onboarding and Internal Communication via Zavvy

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Locations (+ remote)
Days until full productivity
Difference in onboarding quality across locations

The Challenge: Knowledge that is scattered across tools, people, and locations

DataGuard is a compliance software company focused on Data Privacy and Information Security. As a European leader in Compliance Saas, they enable more than 3,000 customers to run compliance with ease. 

In the last year alone, their headcount grew by 49% (Linkedin). And along with rapid international growth and a hybrid work model came the need for a structured onboarding process

Naturally, knowledge was scattered across different tools, people, and locations. While some documentations were on Sharepoint or Excel spreadsheets, a few onboarding tasks were on their HRIS Personio.

In short, there was no central structure for onboarding and internal information.

The consequences:

  • Acquiring knowledge and getting up to speed was something new hires had to take care of on their own - an experience that is both inefficient and frustrating.
  • A lot of the info would get lost between teams and locations - not only for new hires, but everyone.
“Onboarding should not be underestimated as it builds the foundation for every employee’s professional relationship with a company”

When Matea Ćurić joined the company, she was still working on her bachelor’s thesis. The topic: Employee Onboarding - just the right time to put her scientific findings into practice and scientifically evaluate her own efforts. 

Solution: Structured hybrid onboarding and continuous internal communication

A highly scientific approach

Matea's research identified 3 key dimensions of effective onboarding:

  • 📊 Cultural integration
  • 👥 Social integration
  • 🛠 Professional integration

She would then use these dimensions to

  • 1) structure the whole process and
  • 2) evaluate her results against (read on for the findings).
“Many companies make the mistake of putting too little focus on relationship-building. However, it’s one of the most significant drivers of a positive onboarding (and general workplace) experience.”

Hence, the social integration aspect at DataGuard has turned out particularly strong, connecting people beyond departments and locations.
A few examples:

  • 👥 Group onboarding - New hires who start at the same time automatically get grouped. This helps create meaningful relationships beyond teams and from early on - Especially by connecting people in a similar situation and with similar issues.
  • 👋 Founder welcome meeting - so they get to know each other and to create closeness from week 1
  • 🧑 Onboarding buddy program that connects new hires with their buddies and guides both throughout the process

A central structure that connects the dots

"Our internal resources are scattered across different sharepoints and other tools. Zavvy essentially takes people by the hand and guides our people through the madness of 20,000 tools and guides. This way, they don’t lose the overview and get the information served in a motivating experience—step by step. "

Matea Ćurić, People Partner
Matea Ćurić, People Partner

Internal resources at DataGuard are scattered across different Sharepoint servers and other tools. Zavvy combines all these sources by mapping them out on a clear, cohesive timeline, and guiding new hires through them.

“Creating the onboarding process felt very natural, as you can simply embed content via drag-and-drop”, Matea remembers.

The structure is modular:

  • A Company Onboarding journey that is the same for everyone
  • Department Onboarding journeys built by the departments themselves
  • Role-related journeys that go even deeper

On a clear day-by-day roadmap, new hires get a transparent plan of what to expect and when - along with the necessary content and information that is embedded at all times.

First week at Dataguard: Onboarding

And that structure is motivating:

“Being able to check off tasks during the process helps create satisfaction and give oneself that extra motivational push. Seeing all the steps new hires have completed additionally gives them a sense of pride, satisfaction, and accomplishment.
Microsoft Teams Message from Dataguard's Onboarding

Beyond Onboarding: Making internal communication more engaging and effective

A huge problem working in a fast-paced software environment:
The product is being updated all the time. But, especially teams like sales and customer success have to stay on top of these changes all the time.

That’s why DataGuard’s product marketing team is using Zavvy to push out monthly product updates to the whole company. The benefits?

  • Track who has done what
  • Send automated reminders along with a due date
  • Access the knowledge any time and easily find it after months
  • Get the notifications on MS Teams - right where people are
  • Increase motivation to complete via tasks and visible progress

Result: Time-to-productivity shortened by a month and steady results across locations

“Instead of 3-4 months, new hires are now becoming fully productive within 2 months. But what surprised me most was the fact that there were zero differences between new hires who work remotely or in one of our office locations: All felt equally integrated - socially, culturally, and professionally.”

Matea Ćurić, People Partner
“People really really like Zavvy. The feedback we get is great.“
“Onboarding used to be something new hires had to organize themselves. Now it’s a clearly structured experience, where content is sequentially delivered on a timeline so people are not overwhelmed and stay motivated.”

But the results of her study even surprised the Zavvy team a little:

There was absolutely zero difference in the way new hires rated their onboarding experience - whether they worked in the headquarter, one of the smaller locations, or completely remote. 

“Instead of 3-4 months, new hires are now becoming fully productive within 2 months. But what surprised me most was the fact that there were zero differences between new hires who work remotely or in one of our office locations: All felt equally integrated - socially, culturally, and professionally.”

The results at a glance:

  • 🚀 Faster onboarding: New hires get up to speed a whole month faster. After 1 week, new hires already have a very clear picture of the product, departments, and the way things work.
  • 📍 All sources in one place: All knowledge is now combined and live-embedded in one, meaningful journey.
  • 🏝 A consistently strong onboarding experience across locations: There were no statistical differences between locations or remote status.
  • ❤️ An experience new hires actually love.“Feedback is continuously positive and surpasses expectations”, “Onboarding is very strong; definitely a best practice”.
  • 💬 Beyond onboarding, a way to push continuous internal updates and communication to the whole company.

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