Real Pet Food (RPF) began as a small family-owned business and over the years through a series of ownership changes and acquisitions has grown into a global pet food manufacturing organisation with approximately 1000 employees in 11 locations spanning five countries. For context, Real Pet Food competitors in the pet food category include global FMCG giants Nestle, Unilever and Mars.
Despite RPF’s commercial growth, the business lacked an OD or L&D function and strategy until 2021, and any onboarding, training or development was considered operational and was delivered at a site level.
Like many organisations, the responsibility of onboarding fell on each new hire’s leader to induct them into the organisation which was an inconsistent approach often resulting in a poor employee experience due to:
- Leader tenure, experience and knowledge of the business
- Leader capacity and resourcing, due to operating in a fast-paced 24/7 environment
- An ad-hoc approach to onboarding, lacking structure and consistent messaging
- A heavy focus on operational processes and a lack of organisational awareness
- A lack of documented RPF history, information and resources
With increasing commercial demands and significant COVID-19 workforce impacts challenging each RPF site, it was evident that they needed a solution that relieved leaders of pressures, elevated new hire experience, and motivated and aligned the organisation. From here, the concept of Embark: An RPF Experience was born.
What is Embark?
New starters are welcomed from their first touchpoint, receive support collateral to help them transition into RPF, gain access to the Embark digital learning solution, access to checklists, success plans ultimately to walk away with an understanding of RPF's purpose, values and organisation. Best of all, they’ll be welcomed to Real Pet Food in a consistent way that creates a common language and stage.
What we've done
1. End-to-end project development process with Real Pet Food that went through information gathering phase, review phase (HR, SLT, ELT, Marketing), testing phase, launch phase and a post-survey analysis.
2. Created an internal brand 'Embark' to tie all onboarding processes to for consistency.
3. Created a A world-class learning experience coded from the ground up, of which we have not seen replicated when investigating solutions. Fully responsive on any device, without the limitations of traditional authoring tools.
4. Visited each Australia and New Zealand site to get employee video (hype reels, location videos) and photography to ensure a real an authentic learning experience.
5. Created a 90 Day Success plan which goes through the first 90 days of Real Pet Food and how to setup a platform for success.
6. Created onboarding checklists for managers and new starters at both a corporate and factory level.
7. Designed Merchandise for new starters to select from after their six week survey.
What are RPF employees saying?
“The representation of the companies history and goals was valuable. Truly exhibiting an ethical and forward thinking approach and mentality.”
“Embark was a great tool to start with. My manager has set me up for success and provided me all the tools I need to perform well on my role.”
“The embark process was useful. Having all of my tech equipment ready to go from day one. Initial introduction and catch-up meetings. Everyone offering their time and expertise.”
“The videos were amazing - seeing people in their natural habitat and getting a chance to put faces to names is great. Being able to see our factories and get a feel for how they operate.”
— Increased feelings of support from leaders and new hires, and a 7% uplift from 2021 in RPF's 2022 engagement survey results. A key takeaway from employees is that they feel more connected to RPF values and purpose.
— A review survey was conducted across the business, with Embark receiving an NPS of 76 when asked “How likely are you to recommend the Embark program to other Real Pet Food employees?’
— One major call-out from the internal feedback was that each person that completed it felt more connected to the entire RPF organisation, not just their specific site. One month into the launch, RPF had over 36% of their entire global employee base complete Embark.
— Embark has resulted in an estimated yearly ROI of $833,200 on resourcing alone, taking into consideration both new starter, leader and stakeholder time spent previously on the onboarding process over an annual average.
— 95% of employees rated it a 8 or higher when asked “Compared to previous organisation onboarding programs you've experienced, how would you rate the Embark program?”.