Avis F., Customer Insights, San Francisco

Caitlin W., Learning & Development, Seattle

Alison K., Customer Insights, San Francisco

Maya J., Customer Insights, San Francisco

Our “DocuSign Innovates” blog series places the spotlight on employees and teams who create and innovate in many different and unexpected ways. Some build cool tools, analyze data or and write code in new ways. Others may redesign product and processes or create clever marketing campaigns. Still others may figure out a way to make a positive impact on the communities in which we live and work. We’d like to celebrate those individuals and teams here. This week we sat down with Avis in Customer Insights, Caitlin in Learning & Development, Alison in Customer Insights, and Maya Joseph in Customer Insights, to learn more about how they innovate in their roles.

Q: Can you provide a little background about Discovering DocuSign and the changes you envisioned for it?

DocuSign onboards hundreds of new employees each year and invites each employee from every office around the world to a two-day training session in Seattle called “Discovering DocuSign.” It’s an important investment for the company, and senior executives from different departments dedicate time to develop content and travel to Seattle to train new hires. While we survey new hires to find out what they liked and didn’t like about Discovering DocuSign and receive very high scores, we knew we could improve the new hire experience even more.

In thinking about ways to make changes to Discovering DocuSign, was there a particular problem you were addressing?

We had a good problem in that we had a great program, something the company valued, but we knew there was room for improvement. We wanted to take a fresh look at the whole onboarding process. Be a little more creative, a little more inventive and continue to improve.

I would add that one of things we heard so much when we were interviewing employees about their experience was that people really wanted to have a better understanding of the company as a whole. We learned we couldn’t redesign Discovering DocuSign from within just one department. We needed to leverage the expertise across teams to make sure we were providing that holistic view of the company.

What have been some of the changes you’ve implemented?

Right off the bat, we started organizing people into small groups.  We got feedback from new hires that they’d come in and see this giant group of people, and they weren’t able to really get to know people.  We’ve put people into assigned groups at round tables instead of long-row desks. And we wanted to have a cross-section of location, department, countries and positions at each table.

Such a simple idea, but it sounds like it’s been effective.

Yes, and we’re also doing more interactive exercises, like having a product demo to show people how to sign and send with DocuSign using the mobile app.  We’re looking at ways to make that a more in-depth demo so people get exposed to the complete array of rich features of the product.  We want to give employees a good understanding of the basics. And it becomes another fun way to engage people by letting them try it out.

Great.  Anything else?

We’ve also taken a look at the content to see what areas people felt were missing. We were told we weren’t doing a great job of showing what our competitors do and how we compare, so we’re looking at redoing our module on our competitiveness. We’ve also started a DocuSign Trivia at the end of the session. We tell people at the beginning to pay attention and work closely with their team. In the last hour, they do a big trivia quiz to go over what they’ve learned. It gets people to interact in a fun competition and ends on a lively, positive note.

We’re also focused on reducing redundancy, so getting all the presenters together to eliminate overlap and discuss what should be in each module.  Even though our programs is targeted to new employees – giving them the basics to get up to speed whatever role they’re in — we’re also making sure that we’re not overlapping with the other bootcamps.

Describe how you jump-started the process of the Discovering DocuSign innovation.

We wanted to work collaboratively with the Customer Experience and Insights team to help identify new ways to improve the Discovering DocuSign experience. We started by hosting an Innovation Day with about 20 key participants and presenters from around the company to tap their insights and thinking. We modeled the day off design-thinking workshops at Stanford’s D School and started with employee interviews. We broke them up into small, diverse teams from different areas of the organization. Then the team debriefed and identified the needs of the employees. From there, they brainstormed, prototyped, and made specific recommendations. We started making small changes right away after that Innovation Day.

How long has the whole process taken?

From idea to execution, the process took about three months. However, we’re constantly executing and iterating. We’re now meeting regularly with content providers and presenters to review survey results, gather direct input and continue the dialogue. The ideation and improvement process never stops!

Have you gotten feedback from the new hires and been able to evaluate the success of the program?

We’re still early in making these changes, but we’ve seen a jump in scores. The comments and feedback have been very positive. People even stop us in the hall and send messages after the fact saying what a wonderful experience it was, that they’d never been at a company where they’ve been onboarded this way.  That’s been happening a lot more lately than it had in the past. They’ve been so appreciative.

Do you think there’s an opportunity for further innovation?

Absolutely, this was our initial stab at it.  Each month, we’re implementing a little more, with new pieces we’re putting in, redoing the modules.  We want to test and measure impact along the way. By rolling out and testing different new concepts, we’re able to better assess the impact of one change.

Can you speak to the culture of innovation in your various departments or at the company as a whole?

What’s innovative is that we came together cross-functionally and got to know other departments to try this method out together. What’s really great and unique in this situation is that we don’t typically collaborate using this new design-thinking methodology to solve our own business problems. So, not only was this innovative for Discovering DocuSign, but this was an opportunity for us to take our research team’s design-thinking training and apply it internally to a program that affects every new employee — to really push internal innovation, which is critical because we are scaling so fast. It was really an awesome opportunity for us to collaborate across teams, and everyone has been so open to it.

Will this collaboration open up other opportunities for you all to work together in other ways?

We sure hope so!