No matter where you go or what point you are in your career, there’s going to be a learning curve when you transition into a new role. How long will it take to learn the product from top to bottom? Do they use Slack or Hangouts? Where’s the best place to get lunch around the office?
If you’re lucky, your new team will have an onboarding system in place to help you figure out what you need to know first and help establish a foundation.
At Klaviyo, they have two weeks dedicated to learning the company from top to bottom.
In 2018, Klaviyo’s onboarding had some room for improvement, so a dedicated team created a structured two-week training program to welcome all new hires to the company with ease. Now, they’re focused on scaling up as Klaviyo prepares to move offices and make room for hundreds of new employees.
EMPLOYEES: 300+, 250+ local
WHAT THEY DO: Klaviyo is an email marketing platform that’s specifically geared towards catering to online businesses.
WHERE THEY DO IT: Boston
PATRIOT PROUD: Klaviyo is proud to be a part of Boston — so proud, in fact, that it sent every employee to New England Patriots games following Black Friday and Cyber Monday the past two seasons.
MOVIN’ ON UP: Klaviyo is moving its headquarters to a new building that has more square footage than TD Garden and Fenway Park combined.
Geanna Flavetta, Technical Writer
Whether she’s writing for internal training, webinars or general updates, Flavetta needs to be able to write with a deep level of expertise. “Technical writers at Klaviyo are unlike technical writers elsewhere,” Flavetta said. “We are professors of the product.”
Could you walk us through what the Klaviyo Academy Team does? What part do they play in the onboarding experience?
The Academy Team is made up of technical writers, many growth customer success managers and a videographer. Our goal is to help customers and Klaviyos [employees at Klaviyo] understand what's special about Klaviyo, get up and running quickly and get the utmost value.
With our internal training program, we run a two-week deep dive into the product, covering topics ranging from the basics of Klaviyo’s functionality to building a content calendar.
In tandem, new Klaviyos create and build out their very own e-commerce store. The purpose of the training is twofold: both learning how to use Klaviyo as well as building empathy with our customers. Building an e-commerce brand is no small feat, and we want all Klaviyos to understand the hard work that goes into creating and marketing a small business.
...it’s our task, from day one, to ensure that every Klaviyo is well-equipped to do their job and push the bounds of their knowledge in tech, marketing and beyond.”
What kinds of topics do you cover as an instructor in the program? How does that information help new hires perform better in their new position?
Over the last year, I’ve taught all of the new hire courses. My favorite course to teach is the first day’s “Getting Started with Klaviyo” course. There’s so much energy in the room, and I enjoy meeting all of the passionate and bright new Klaviyos that are joining the company.
Over the course of product training, the most important thing our new hires learn is how much you can do within Klaviyo. Regardless of the job they have at Klaviyo, understanding how best to meet a customer’s needs is important.
How do you see onboarding evolving as Klaviyo switches focus from recruiting hundreds of new employees to retaining them?
Over the last year, we’ve seen training go from once a month to two offerings a month, with an online option and extensive onboarding process. As we continue to grow, it will be essential to maintain a culture of people who love to learn. As the team continues to serve our customers with more information and avenues for learning, it’s our task, from day one, to ensure that every Klaviyo is well-equipped to do their job and push the bounds of their knowledge in tech, marketing and beyond.
Rachelle Walker, New Hire Onboarding Specialist
Walker is involved in every single new hire’s onboarding. Even before new members join the team, Walker is already coordinated with IT, operations and hiring managers to make sure the transition is as smooth as possible.
You’re often the first person people come into contact with when they join Klaviyo. How do you ensure their success from the get-go?
My first goal is to engage every new Klaviyo that comes in. Engaging our Klaviyos early is the best way to ensure a successful onboarding. I am currently scaling our process to accommodate our rapid growth and working to continue to create up-to-date, intellectually challenging content.
Ultimately, my goal is to create the best onboarding program in Boston and, from day one, I want people to feel validated with their decision to join Klaviyo.
Coming into a new role can be daunting. How do you approach your role in onboarding Klaviyos?
Whenever I greet a new Klaviyo, I always try to remember what it was like on my first day — the level of excitement, but also the normal level of nervousness you feel when starting a new role. To alleviate any nerves, I work really hard to make the transition as smooth as possible by communicating schedules early, information and resource sharing and consistently being available. My approach to the role is to simply ensure all new Klaviyos have access to everything they could possibly need while allowing them to take everything in at their own pace.
Ultimately, my goal is to create the best onboarding program in Boston and, from day one, I want people to feel validated with their decision to join Klaviyo.”
Where do you see the onboarding process a year from now?
A year from now, my goals for the program are to scale content to match our growth, which means digitizing more of our content, continuously updating it so that it is modern, thought evoking and engaging, and creating specific curriculum and standard procedures for onboarding for each and every team here at Klaviyo.
For myself and my role, I’m hoping I can continue to focus on the employee experience, which includes building out more continuous learning and professional development opportunities, partnering with others to develop an intern experience, and continuing to work with a team that offers the best opportunities for learning and development.
Becky Cummings, Sales Enablement Manager
Klaviyo’s take on sales enablement is a bit unique, as it allows Cummings to focus more on training and development. “We have been a hybrid of a sales enablement team with a more traditional learning and development spin, building out the curriculum for both the new hires and also for existing reps who are progressing through the ranks,” Cummings said.
How do you keep refining the sales enablement team program and your curriculum?
We continue to refine the program by taking feedback from managers and new hires and continuing to iterate and build upon the foundation that has made our team so successful thus far. We have also added some amazing folks to the enablement team and they have been a vital part of taking this team to the next level now that our new hire program is established. We have so many exciting changes and improvements ahead of us.
What was your own onboarding process like? Is there any part of the program you wish you had gone through when you first started?
When I first came on board here at Klaviyo a year and a half ago, there was no formal onboarding for my role or for the company as a whole. This fueled a passion in me to develop and build a general company onboarding program for all Klaviyos prior to their role-specific training.
The courses that have been built out since the onboarding program was established truly provide all new employees a world-class onboarding experience that goes above and beyond the usual “Welcome to Company X, here is our history.” This truly sets Klaviyo apart from other onboarding programs.
We have so many exciting changes and improvements ahead of us.”
What kind of progress has Klaviyo’s onboarding process seen since you first joined the company?
We created a great foundation, but we really needed someone to take what we initially built and take it to the next level. Rachelle has done that with flying colors! There is always room for improvement and we are still in the growing pains phase, but I believe we are certainly on track to build a world-class, best-in-Boston onboarding program!