Rock Your Role - Issue 2

Rock Your Role


Rock Your Role


2 Welcome

The Flip Side 10 Our User Onboarding

The Onboarding Issue



In a NY Minute

Baby on Board

Kelly Leyden on Life as a New Mom

Mindy Ferguson Knows a DQ for You



You are Here

Our New Employee Onboarding Experience

A Day in the Life 8 What’s new to new LVers

Words Employee Experience Team

Thanks Abigail Gray Jason Hillard Kelly Leyden Mindy Ferguson Will La Yehuda Borochov Contact Us

“I could probably write our Wikipedia page now I know so much....that might be the LaCroix talking.”

- New employee at a recent onboarding

Issue 2


Right now I’m standing in line to board a plane. I’m in one of those bridges that connect plane to gate and feels like the inside of an accordion. Six hours from now I’ll be in Colorado, meeting up with my dad to start a fly fishing trip, a style we’ve never tried before. On the way back, I’ll stop by my sister’s place in Chica- go to celebrate my niece’s first roation around the sun. It’ll be a good break. At work, our Employee Experience team (eX) just wrapped up some major projects — 10 classes, 6 onsite events, are launching a new platform— and are about to complete a new one, this magazine. As an organization, we have hit a major milestone of releasing 500 plans through Blazewater technology, and internally we are growing at 100%. It seems fitting then that our first issue is on onboarding, or, more generally, the experi- ence of transitioning into something new. We are always taking in what’s going on around us, but when it’s something novel, or at the bookends of a meaningful period, we tend to process the experience more fully and to tuck it away in a place that’s easy to recall. This first issue explores these periods in their different variations. We hope you enjoy.

MATT MARSAGLIA Learning Technoligist, eX


Hoodies, Bots, and Chicken Wings


Howwe’re growing at 100%


Each day, we get to be a part of the team that helps provide af- fordable, accessible, and unbiased financial advice to hundreds of thousands of Americans through great tech and amazing people. Not to mention, there’s string cheese, dogs, and almost always a great pun on Slack. It doesn’t take long to feel the energy, connect with the people, and be in awe of the products. But as we grow at 100% this year, we want to ensure that each of our new team members understands this as soon as they walk through the door. That’s why our Onboarding Revamp is such an important project. We want to ensure that each new employee understands four things: our Purpose, People, Products, and Partnerships. By providing that context from the begin- ning, we’re also enabling our managers and teammates to spend more quality time with new employees.

We wanted our new employees to know our Purpose, People, Products, and Partnerships.

We also wanted our hiring managers to have more quality time with new employees and their team. Meet: Hiring managers now have new mobile learning and calendar invites to lunch w/ new hires.

Meet: LV101 , which covers where we’ve been and where we’re going.

Recently, we began our new onboarding. Close to 150 new LVers will experience it by December. After day 1, every new LVer will know why we exist, how we make money, and where each team’s work impacts our cus- tomers.

And, for new employees to engage in important work sooner.

Understanding the why and the what helps employees get to the how faster.

Onboarding doesn’t stop at day 1.

We have tech that helps employees find and understand essential information more efficiently.

Meet: Our eX concierge provides support on Day 1, Week 1, Month 1 and throughout your journey.

Meet: Our new SlackBot can answer over 100 questions. Try it out in #newkidsontheblock.

We’ll continue to iterate, but for now, we’re refining these changes and measuring the impact they’re having.

Hiring managers now have their own new-hire mobile learning and new-hire lunch schedules.

Now: New employees enjoy catered lunch with their new team and other LVers who win the lunch lottery.

Before starting, new hires complete a job expecta- tions survey. We’ll check in to see that a new hire’s aspirations become a re- ality.

Stay tuned! The best is yet to come.

Want to check out our new onboarding?

Join an upcoming session:

Wed 9/20 - Soho 11AM: LV 101 12PM: Rock your Role

Wed 10/4 - Soho 3PM: LV 101

A Day in the Life Day 1 at any company is both exciting and challenging. Here's how new employees experience our updated onboarding.


Breakfast + Tour Office tour focuses on the essentials mostly snacks

Welcome email with greeting from Alexa Day 1 Itinerary: what to expect Checklist of things to consider Desk set up: Swag, computer, Financially Fearless

IT Setup


Laptop set-up, processes, and system overviews

Learn about our Purpose, People, Products, and Partnerships From how we make money to how we operate in a partnership with NM, and the impact of our work on the customer


Mobile learning for hiring managers Lunch with new-hire scheduled into hiring manager calendar LVers randomly selected to join new-hires for lunch

Rock Your Role

Ops + Facilities

Immersive learning Introduces professional growth opportunities Passion projects

Employee referrals and other relevant programs Fire safety and facilities questions Ways to get involved in culture

Career development Learning catalogue

Ongoing Support Job expectations and 30-60-90 day checkins. Employee experience concierge - personalized support available at every step #newkidsontheblock for beginner questions and answers via crowd-sourced, ChatBot, and live help.

New Cohort Activities Group activities focused on team building and culture throughout the experience, creating a cohort feel for new hires.

Desk Time

Checklist of things to expect by day 1, week 1, month 1, year 1. Covers HR and IT essentials (Honey, Slack set- ups) and culture (pet a dog, go to a Breakfast Club meeting, etc.)

Coming Soon


Presentation Skills

Lunch and Learn

Want to learn to let go and jump in? Join us for our improv class taught by the People's Improv Theater. Kick Off Event 9/14.

We've already launched our presentation skills series, but stay tuned for future classes like Stand and Deliver and Presenting with Visuals .

Committed to covering a broad range of topics in 60 minutes or less. We've already explored motivation, influence, and unconscious bias. Curious? Join us for lunch and find out more.

Digital Learning

We've already launched our presentation skills series, but stay tuned for future classes like

We believe that learning happens everywhere.

Stand and Deliver and Presenting with Visuals .

That's why we've partnered with D greed and L nkedIn Learning to launch a digital, mobile learning platform to create a learning experience just for you. With articles, videos, courses and even certifications, Degreed's easy to use platform will be your one stop shop for all things learning. The best part? Degreed will be learning too... the more content you consume, the more recommendations it will give you. Think "Netflix" of learning, with access to all of the things that matter most to you.

Find us, always, on Honey > Learning Lab


Our employees aren’t the only ones who are new.

The Flip Side A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a

part of building a strong relationship. Here’s a few strate- gies our Design team uses to start clients’ journey in a way that is simple, approach- able, and nonjudg- mental. First, they break per- sonal financing down into chunks, and then break each chunk down further, because it can be difficult to picture your financial reality as a monolith and easy to forget what makes up

expenses in each area. For example, one large chunk of your personal financing picture is fixed costs, and one of several fixed costs is your rent or mortgage. Another thing de- sign does is show a little positive rein- forcement in our copy. While people feel like algorithms are less judgy than people, well-placed copy can mimic the

positive emotional support of a friend. Without care, the process could easily feel cold - like data entry. We think it’s important to ask what their goals are and how they’re feeling at the end of their onboarding. These questions have twofold im- pact: they help customers inter- nalize where their money is going, and it provides their fi- nancial rep context to inform a next conversation.

single a great aphorism, but what if you don’t know which direction to go and what the destination looks like? Beginning your fi- nancing journey with LV + NM is a vul- nerable time for our clients. Sharing your spending and saving habits to someone can be scary, and so helping clients ease into their journey with us is a critical

Hi, John C Doe






Monthly Income Howmuchyou takehomeafter taxes fromyour salary, freelancework,or rental income.

Take control of your finances. Getstartedbybuildingabaselinebudget foryourfinancialplan.We’llstartby lookingatyour income,fixedexpenses,financialgoalcomittments,andflexible spending.Later,you’llworkwithyourfinancialplanner togetaconcreteplan for yourmoneyand tools to trackyourspending.

FixedExpenses Expensesyouhave topayona recurringbasis, suchas rent,gymmemberships,andutilites.

FinancialGoals This ismoneyyou’llput towardyourfinancial goals, likepayingoffdebtorsaving for retirement.


FlexibleSpending Flexiblespendingcovers the funstuff, like shopping,anddinnersoutwith friends.

What You Get

Track Your Spending

Personalized Financial Advice

Progress Toward Your Goals

Connectyouraccounts tostayon topof yourspending.Withallofyour info inone place, it’seasy togetacompletepictureof yourfinancial life.

Getpersonalizedadvice fromyourfinancial representative thatcanhelpyounavigate yourbiggestfinancialquestions, likehow to payoffdebtorhowmuch tosave for retirement.

Afteryoudevelopaconcreteplanwithyour financial representative, trackyourprogress towardamoresecurefinancial future.

When Mindy Ferguson joined LearnVest in early 2017, she wasn’t just accepting a new role, she was accepting a new city. Almost two-thirds of the way through her first year, we chat with Mindy on food, sports, and surprises. We also talk rats.

eX: Where were you before LearnVest and New York, and how long were you there? Mindy: I was in DC, and then spent 16 years in Los Ange- les before deciding to join LearnVest and making the jump from the west coast to the east coast. eX: What was the most ex- citing part about moving to New York? Mindy: I live on the West Side, and, obviously, I pass what appears to be hundreds of restaurants. I’ve given myself the goal of eating my way down 9th avenue. It’s probably not the best thing for my life insurance plan, but it’s a great goal. It’s also motivated me to go to the gym, because eating your way through New York does have consequences. eX: What’s been the best restaurant so far? Mindy: Anejo is my favorite Mexican food place in New York.

It’s on 47th and 10th. It’s very nice place, great drinks, with a nice outdoor patio area in the summer time. I enjoy it. I’m also a regular at 44&X, which has a great wine list. My journey down 9th ave has been mainly around pizza. I think the biggest difference is learning to call it a “pie” and a “slice.” eX: What is most challenging part of the move? Mindy: Well, I moved in Jan- uary. I think anytime some- one does a cross country move in January the weather is a challenge. Now, the most challenging part, day to day, is getting to work without completely having all of your clothes drenched in sweat. I spent 16 years in an envi- ronment that has relatively no humidity, and am now re-acclimating to a place that really gets quite steamy in the summer. It’s...been a challenge.


eX: What is your favorite NYC find? Mindy: The biggest find in New York, is that people are much much nicer than New York- ers like to portray themselves. I think New Yorkers find some great pride in thinking that they’re rude, but they’re really not. There’s a sense of community within a tight knit, highly dense population, and you see it on a regular basis where people help one another out. You can almost stop any single person, ask any question or ask for help, and anybody who lives here will go out of their way to help you. I think that’s one of the coolest things. eX: What’s your favorite Broadway play? Mindy: InTransit. It got shut down early in 2017, so clearly it wasn’t anyone else’s favor- ite play. But for me it was important because it was about relationships in life on a subway system. Since moving here, there’s not a sin- gle day where I don’t get super excited about getting on the train. I love to get on the train. ** I don’t care where I go. I sometimes ride the Staten Island Ferry, just for the hell of it, because there’s a Dairy Queen on the other side. Someone has to have a reason to go to Staten Island, right?

eX: Jets or Giants? Mindy: I’m on the fence here. I bought a Gi- ants hat when I moved, but finance tells me I should be on the side of the Jets. I’m a little concerned about my choice of hat, and I need to figure this out quickly before the season starts. From everything I’ve read it seems, and I could be wrong here, that the Jets have a more loyal Manhattan fanbase. That’s prob- ably where I should be, but I do like Eli Man- ning. I’m going to have to go, with the Giants. Don’t tell finance. I’m probably a better LA Rams fan. eX: Rangers or Islanders? Mindy: Rangers all the way. I didn’t even know the Islanders existed, so that’s probably why. eX: Yankees or Mets? Mindy: Yankees. But Citi Field has better food. eX: What’s your advice for people relocating? Mindy: Finding an apartment here is very different than in any other part in the world and in the country. Do your research, and by all means go get a broker.

“I sometimes ride the Staten Island Ferry, just for the hell of it, because there’s a Dairy Queen on the other side.”

**EDITOR’S NOTE: this is even after having a rat crawl across her foot on a subway platform. If that doesn’t make you a NYer, we don’t know what

If you’re moving from out of state, or not in a place where you can easily see an apartment, make sure that your broker is doing the legwork for you. But be prepared. Know that New York apartment renting is not like any other place in the country, so showing your tax returns and pret- ty much giving away your first born, all that seems pretty standard here. eX: Any surprises in your move? Mindy: The move here has been so much fun. I hope people understand it’s just a really amazing city. Except for the rats. But If you can survive the humid- ity, the rats, and the smell of the trash, you can make it here.

I think people have an idea that New Yorkers work harder than any other part of the country and that is not my perception. Actu- ally, my work life balance is much better here. The people make this the best place ever. I came to LearnVest because I was sold, on day one of my in- terview, on the crazy-spe- cial people who were in this company. Also, I’m always looking for new food recommen- dations; I’ll take whatever anyone has to give! Just make sure it has an A rating.

“If you can survive the humidity, the rats, and the smell of the trash, you can make it here.”

hello, future september 25-29






Thought Leadership

Leadership Lessons from a Spymaster:


Let the Games Begin!

Lunch & Learn



All Day

12:30 pm

All Day

Leadership readi- ness - the 8 things leaders must do to ensure their teams are armed and ready to win.

Have an idea you want heard? Let us help you create a podcast, a meetup, or even a magazine - just like this one.

Join your hosts in pop-up games on your campus! The more games you play, the more points you earn!

CIA Ops Officer reporting to the President talks about his years in the service.

Join our hosts Jason Hillard, Rachel Ward, Bruce Wolf, Molly Crego,

Katie Mioni, So- bia Jabeen, and Demitret Melton for the Special Edition Town Hall followed by a happy hour.






Stay tuned for more updates about the Hello, Future Event on Honey!


An interview with Kelly Leyden

As the VP of People at Learnvest, Kelly worked with the executive teams at LV and NM to ensure a smooth transfor- mation from individual teams to one blended team. But the professional changes were just one facet of the transition in Kelly’s life. In late 2016, Kelly welcomed Logan, her baby boy, to her life. She spent some time with us talking through her new role as a mom and how it’s changed her perspective.

eX: How’s Logan doing? Kelly: Good. He is getting his 7th tooth right now. He just said his first couple words.

eX: What were they? Kelly: His first word was uh-oh, then Mama, then Dada.

eX: That’s funny. Is he developing his own personality yet? Kelly: He definitely has a personality. He’s really happy and outgoing - definitely an extrovert. He loves being outside. He’s really curious about everything, touching everything, pulling everything, he’s always looking around. He has a stubborn streak too. He’s his own person for sure. eX: How are you doing through this transition? Kelly: I think it’s a tough transition, it always is right? It becomes your life. Your priorities change: you sleep a lot less - sleep is gone! - you don’t see anyone, and you put your child first and think about all the things that are important. I think for me, it really grounded me. All the things that would get you upset in the past are not as important anymore. I think you go through a couple stages. Pre-baby you’re pregnant, and in my case, miserable and uncomfortable trying to get ready. And then the first three or four months of your child’s life your life is very hard because they have so many needs. They’re helpless, essentially. My sister and I had this joke that your job is to keep this human alive. And while you’re doing that, you’re going through massive sleep deprivation and making a lot of mistakes, trying to collect data, learn constantly. But then you have these moments when it’s night and it’s silent and you’re alone with your baby and know?

eX: No, but that part sounds nice. Kelly: Yeah. And then after about six months they start to develop a personality and it’s much more interactive between you two. They’re smiling, babling, crawling, laughing. As soon as you figure it out, it’s on to a new stage and you have to figure that out. So you’re con- stantly learning, because you don’t know what each day is going to bring you. eX: What were the first few hours like? Kelly: When Logan was born, I held him for a second, and he reached out and like rubbed my face like it’s going to be ok, Mom, but then they took him away from the NICU, and they took me back down to my hospital room, be- cause my blood pressure was still really high, so I didn’t get to see him for almost 24 hours, which was incredibly hard. eX: How do you remember your first few months? Kelly: It’s funny, I think your brain kind of pro- tects you from those first few months, so those memories are kind of vague. I do remember a sort of euphoria in moments when I was bond- ing with Logan. I think for me, I bonded with my child right away, but I think it first feels like it’s you and your child when they start to develop their own personality and they start interacting with you. You see them start to develop as their own person and that’s a lot of fun. Before that it’s just keeping them alive.

eX: Where did you go when you didn’t know something? Kelly: I did a lot of research while I was preg- nant. I subscribed to a couple apps, and the apps would give you an update every week. The baby is this size...these are your side effects. On top of that, I was a high-risk pregnancy so I was seeing my doctors all the time and having tests done. There was also a lot of people here [at LearnVest] that were pregnant at the same time or had just had a baby, so there were a lot of conversations about what I can expect, what they were feeling, so there was a lot of peer- to-peer learning, which was helpful. eX: Has being a mom changed how you work? Kelly: I think what Logan has done a lot for my life is add a whole dimension of patience. I think I bring more empathy and kindness to work in some ways. It’s a different relation- ship when you’re a parent with a child. You’re responsible for making them a good person, raising them, and helping mold them, and so there’s a level of empathy that comes with that. They’re not you, they’re different and you have to accept that. Patience is huge too because in the beginning you have to give up some of the things you had before, you have to become selfless in many ways. Your priorities change so things that used to bother me at work don’t bother me any more.

eX: I’ve heard new parents say that it’s easier to focus because you nev- er have time to think about yourself and things that don’t matter. Kelly: I think that’s true. Many of the things you worried about don’t have as much importance anymore. Time becomes more of an asset to you. Logan needs this. I need to get that. You have to be much more focused and prioritized. I have to be really focused here so that I can get everything done and meet up with the nanny. The balance changes. Be- fore it was all work and some play, that was my life. And now it’s really about my child and my job. Which is a really hard balance by the way. Everyone does it in their own way, and I think you have to individualize it to that child, because every child is different.

eX: Best surprise from the baby registry? Kelly: The Boppy, if you ever have a child.... Boppy - get one. It’s

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