ON24 Solution: ON24 Virtual Environment
Seeking a more collaborative, modern approach to on-boarding new employees, Marriott worked with ON24 to create a virtual learning environment, “Voyage,” that provides easy access to the training and resources new hires need to be successful.
On-boarding new employees in a collaborative, connected environment
Marriott International is a leading lodging company with more than 3,800 properties in 74 countries and approximately 325,000 employees. Based in Bethesda, MD, the $12 billion company operates and franchises hotels and resorts under 18 distinct brands. It is consistently recognized as a top employer.
In the past, Marriott used three different on-boarding programs, designed for separate brands and separate geographies.
These programs were paper-based and used a “dated” approach to on-boarding. Recruits were required to print materials from the company’s intranet and had limited opportunity to communicate or collaborate with global colleagues, managers or company leaders. In addition, the paper-based programs did not scale for Marriott’s rate of growth, and they lacked the interactivity, social media and mobile accessibility that attracts today’s high performing Millennials. In response, Marriott’s leaders turned to ON24 for a solution that could address these issues.
Marriott ‘Voyage’ virtual on-boarding environment
Marriott’s global talent leaders conducted focus groups with key constituencies such as college students, managers and recruiters, as well as with previous on-boarding participants. Armed with feedback from these groups, Marriott extracted the best parts of its paper-based programs and, working with ON24, evolved them into Voyage, a virtual on-boarding environment that provides an engaging way for new hires to access training and resources. Voyage was built as a collaborative environment that blends social learning tools with traditional learning management system functions. In contrast with their previous solution, Voyage is founded on the social aspects of communication, participation and connection.
Based on a multi-function virtual learning environment, Voyage enables new hires around the world to quickly, effectively and confidently assimilate into Marriott’s culture. It complements their on-the-job experience with learning activities and resources designed to rapidly expand their knowledge of Marriott’s myriad functional areas. It encourages active participation and engagement by providing managers with usage statistics. Managers are alerted when a new hire is not using all relevant learning and communication resources within the virtual environment. They can then encourage more active participation in those areas, thereby catching any potential learning lapses early.
Social learning with rich resources, 24/7
Voyage was implemented with a group of 65 new hires. Each “voyager” moves through the program under the guide of a coach and champion. Upon successful completion, graduates transition to a leadership role within the company. Marriott anticipates approximately 550 new recruits around the globe will begin the 12- to 18-month journey through Voyage in the coming year.
Feedback from Marriott new hires via social media postings delivered through Voyage indicates an overwhelmingly positive response to the virtual on-boarding program. Participants are demonstrating greater effectiveness in their positions much more quickly and are bonding as a virtual community of learners and future Marriott leaders. Global and targeted participant surveys generated through Voyage will help Marriott ensure that its on-boarding structure and content remain relevant and current going forward.