A living labs case study Re: Unconventional onboarding

Learning and improvement are a big part of Eagle Hill’s culture. So is our philosophy that in our Eagle Hill family, every employee’s input is valued and encouraged. As we grew, we wanted to better integrate new hires into that culture, and to empower them to rise to success. When a group of employees offered suggestions to strengthen our onboarding process, our leadership gave them the reins (and the support) to explore.

How we knew the time was right:


Listening to our employees

When employees suggested establishing a formal onboarding program as a strategic initiative, we chose to move proactively—before our new hire needs outpaced our existing program.


Finding ourselves at a recruitment tipping point

We were already working hard to recruit the best of the best. But we needed to make sure we were equipping our new hires to succeed—and stay.


Wanting to preserve our culture

As the company grew, we wanted a repeatable way to welcome new hires into our award-winning culture.


The task

Growing our onboarding program was the perfect challenge for the Eagle Hill Employee Council to launch an employee-driven initiative.

sticky What is the employee council?
Phase 1:


Cataloging what worked and what didn't for Council members' previous employers
Researching onboarding best practices
Prioritizing what would be realistic and most beneficial for Eagle Hill
Phase 2:


Establish an onboarding core team
"Start small" with quicker, easier-to-implement items
Map a plan to build new programs and capabilities over time
sticky What is a core team?
Phase 3:


Collecting and understanding feedback from new hires
Using an iterative approach, trying new ideas and course-correcting as we go

Day-to-day at Eagle Hill

Today, our onboarding starts with an orientation. But it extends far beyond an employee's first few days with an established timeline and milestones for a new hire’s entire first year.

Get a deeper look at a Year in the Life of an Eagle Hill new team member.

Before starting

Introduction emails from Melissa and designated buddy


Week 1

"The usual": Orientation, paperwork, training on systems and policies

New hire scavenger Hunt to meet more of the team

Comprehensive brand training, including social media and effective writing


Week 2

Specific project onboarding with established checkpoints

Meeting with an assigned career advisor

Regular check-ins to discuss projects and ask questions

Guidance on how and when to get involved with core teams and internal initiatives


Week 3 & beyond

Help building an internal network and tools for recognizing colleagues

Tips on presenting ideas to leadership and getting involved in business development

Coming soon

Introductions to diversity & inclusion

Seminars on the business development process


The buddy program

The buddy program pairs new hires with established Eagle Hillers to give them someone they can connect with right away.


Helps new hires get answers and become part of the team more seamlessly

Provides a point person for questions outside of project teams and supervisors

Offers colleagues the chance to connect over coffee and lunches

Sends friendly reminders about onboarding progress and checkpoints

Reminds current employees of their value to Eagle Hill

Creates lasting rapport and relationships between employees

top border

To do:

Interested in learning more about what's going on in the Eagle Hill Living Labs?