Smart Onboarding for a Smart City: NEOM Case Study

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NEOM is a region in northwest Saudi Arabia on the Red Sea being built from the ground up as a living laboratory — a place where entrepreneurship will chart the course for the New Future. A hub for innovation, entrepreneurs, business leaders and companies will come to NEOM to research, incubate and commercialize new technologies and enterprises in ground-breaking ways. TTRO interviews Dale Bracegirdle, Senior Manager | Performance Engagement at NEOM.


The Situation:
NEOM requested that TTRO design a scalable and impactful onboarding solution that supports NEOM’s growing diverse workforce. The goal of the onboarding program is to help the new employee engage with and immerse themselves into NEOM’s culture from the beginning of their career journey, and instil within them a sense of belonging to the organization.
We asked ‘What was it that lead you to seek our services? What was your challenge?’
Dale Bracegirdle: “We are an organization that were going from 275 employees in the end of 2019, and now, a year later, we have around 700 employees, and we expect to double again by 2021. When we reached out to TTRO, we wanted to really scale our onboarding experience while making sure that we have a series of standardized ways to communicate information and help people with their pre-boarding and onboarding.”


The Solution:
We asked ‘What work did we do together to achieve success?’
Dale Bracegirdle: With TTRO we were able to really digitize and modernize many of the documents that we had, bring them into a bite-sized approach and provide a journey and an experience that builds over time versus giving them all of the information in one go. That was important. As we did that, we found that through our partnership with TTRO, we were also able to pilot the use of augmented reality and trial new and modern ways to approach compliance. It was a good chance to introduce these new approaches into the business and test it so that we could evolve it into the future, and were able to do that.


  •  TTRO designed a full digital onboarding journey with the different phases: pre-onboarding, onboarding, and integration.
  • The onboarding journey was created and designed to include a variety of engaging different digital assets including interactive videos, augmented reality, animations, interactive PDFs, and video production to enhance the learner experience.
  • The richness and diversity of the onboarding elements were tailored to reflect the nature of NEOM being at the forefront of technology and innovation.
  • The onboarding program was designed to be engaging and immersive, which commences two weeks before the new employee joins NEOM, and extends through 90 days after Day 1 to ensure a solid induction into the company.
  • The onboarding program aims to address all aspects that new employees will need to know about relocating to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, their new roles, the organization, their team and the Saudi Vision 2030.


The Impact:
We asked ‘What work did we do together to achieve success?’
Dale Bracegirdle: The work we’ve done has been to completely transform and digitize our onboarding experience for new employees. For us, it is really a critical element of setting the culture and the digital capabilities that we require as a business. We felt that we’ve had a strong partnership from TTRO, and that a quite large and supportive team is with us on this journey in South Africa as well as within the Kingdom.


The Conclusion:
Research from Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) shows that turnover during the first 18 months on the job can be as high as 50 percent. Organizations are realizing they must move beyond the standard new hire orientation and create an effective onboarding process. This is critical to improve employee retention. Your employees are the heart of the business. To better retain staff — and keep them happy and engaged — you can show you value them from the start. A successful onboarding program not only helps new hires feel like they’re part of the team, they will also better understand the process and how their role contributes to the overall success of the business.
We asked ‘What would you say to someone or organisation like you, facing the same challenge you had?’
Dale Bracegirdle: TTRO are really a world-class digital learning organization. One of the true experts in the world at this. We’ve been delighted to have a team on the ground within Saudi Arabia to help us deliver the work we are doing.

Contact us today to find out more about how TTRO can support your onboarding journey and prepare your new starters.


Author: Lara Chaya


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