You've heard the phrase "first impressions are everything," and that couldn't be more true for an organization's onboarding program. According to research from the Aberdeen Group, 90% of new hires decide whether they'll stay at your company or leave in the first six months of employment.

In the spirit of Omotenashi, Button's distinctive approach to onboarding ensures employees are set up for success from the start. We've designed the program with the foundational belief that every new-hire joining our team has a unique identity and specific needs. These distinctions impact how we support them and shape their individual journeys.

Here at Button, we strive to nourish an inclusive and supportive community that is relentlessly focused on growth. From day one we ask our new hires to complete a "Growth Survey" to align their personal mission with both their team's and the organization's. This survey includes questions that provide valuable insights into their learning style, their passions, and how they operate:

  • What is an example or moment when you felt appreciated for your work?
  • What do you see as your strongest professional assets?
  • What are your current and long term career goals?
  • Are there any particular skills you want to learn or challenges you'd like to experience?

This survey is reviewed with their manager at the end of their first week, and together they create actionable objectives for their growth path. These action plans are re-visited in detail on their 30th, 60th, and 90th day of work, but their growth is continuous and this principle is ingrained in Button's DNA.

Practicing Kaizen, a Japanese philosophy that translates to "change for better" and focuses on growth being "continuous," is core to our values. At Button, investment in growth, both professional and personal, is fundamental to the way we operate as a business, and we've structured our community in a way that provides opportunities to learn and become better each and every day:

  • We have an on-retainer professional coach who is available for one on one support and also leads quarterly workshops on giving powerful, story-driven presentations, working across multiple interaction styles, giving valuable feedback, and being an effective manager.
  • Weekly lunch and learns we call "Talk-Os"— served with tacos on Tuesdays naturally— allow Buttonians to practice their presentation skills and share business-related material or educate our team on personal interests or hobbies. Topics have ranged from 'dynamic buttons and context enrichment' to a live demo on 'how to make steak tartare.'
  • Our external speaker series program, appropriately named "Nourish," has brought in experts in and outside of our industry for lively discussions on a variety of relevant subjects, providing perspective outside of our Button bubble.
  • Because each of us has something to teach, our team is encouraged to build meaningful relationships with all colleagues. Our "Button Buddy" program connects cross-functional teammates on their first day, providing them with a source for information outside of their functional role.
  • Our employee resource groups and diversity & inclusion initiatives foster psychological safety and equal opportunities, maximizing an employee's confidence in taking risks and facing new challenges.
  • While we regularly embrace feedback, our bi-annual "Kaizen Conversations" provide a structured platform to constructively communicate with one another's peers, direct reports, and managers.
  • Quarterly "Retrospectives" gather us as an entire organization to learn from our failures, highlight our successes, and collaborate on ways we can improve.

We do a lot, to be quite honest, but we understand the value in these investments. Our entire organization benefits from this commitment growing and nurturing our team, and it is critical to our onboarding program, a period that lasts well beyond the first few months of an employees journey.

So yes, first impressions are certainly everything, but it's what you do after that initial impression that really makes an impact in someone's life.