Prime’s “Radical Welcomeness” approach to onboarding employees receives national recognition

New employee onboarding program earned a bronze medal from Brandon Hall, a research and analyst firm that aims to inspire a better workplace

August 31, 2021

Each year, Brandon Hall hosts their Excellence Awards, recognizing organizations that have successfully deployed programs, strategies and tools that have achieved measurable results. This year saw the biggest number of applicants in their 28 years of the award program.

In response to the changing ways people work which was accelerated by the pandemic, Prime Therapeutics (Prime) overhauled its onboarding program to be more flexible and efficient for trainers and attendees. The company submitted its newly created onboarding program under the “talent acquisition” category and earned the bronze medal. Prime competed against companies such as Google, IBM, Hyatt, Infosys, and McKinsey & Company.

“It is such an honor to be recognized alongside these large, global companies. The team did an amazing job adapting the program to make it a far better experience for everyone – trainers and employees,” says Vicki Heinz, Prime’s assistant vice president, talent management.

About the onboarding experience

According a March 2021 Human Resource Executive article, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and Harvard Business Review (HBR) both agreed that onboarding – or acclimating new employees into a company – is growing in importance. SHRM found that 69% of employees with a good onboarding experience are more likely to stay with their company for at least three years. HBR asserted that employee retention is perhaps the top challenge most CEOs currently face.

Given the new ways people are working during the pandemic – many of them now remote –formal, day-long, in-person orientations and learning sessions have gone by the wayside. As companies return to the office full time, move to a hybrid approach, or stay remote, it’s important for companies to reevaluate how they are onboarding their new employees so they can acclimate in the most successful way and get them engaged early and keep them engaged.

Prime’s new onboarding program starts well before a new employee logs on for their first day. It begins by giving them access to a pre-boarding website, which contains information about what to expect at Prime.

Once a team member has their credentials, they receive automated tasks and communications, including “meet and greets,” customized messages and other key information about joining Prime.

Onboarding activities continue throughout the first year. New employees are invited to take part in an e-learning series called Prime + You. The series covers:

  • Prime’s company culture
  • The pharmacy benefit management (PBM) industry
  • The health care industry, and
  • Other areas of Prime’s business

New employees also are invited to join an internal, new hire Yammer community. They can attend a monthly meet up with Prime’s Welcome Ambassadors. The ambassadors are a volunteer group of employees from across the company who extend personal messages to new employees, share their experiences, and lead virtual networking sessions. This keeps current employees engaged and developing beyond their first year as well.

The year culminates when every employee receives a congratulatory email from Chief Human Resources Officer Erin Feigal on their one-year work anniversary.

“I am so impressed by the work that the team did to create an innovative onboarding program. It is modern, engaging and informing,” says Erin, “They set out to create a feeling of ‘radical welcomeness’ for all new team members and they succeeded.”

Prime’s team members involved in the development of the program are scheduled to be honored at Brandon Hall Group’s HCM Excellence Conference, Feb. 1-3, 2022 at the Hilton West Palm Beach, Florida.

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