For the last 25 years, the Webby Awards have celebrated the best of the internet, from Humans of New York to the New York Times. Today, we’re thrilled to announce some big news: our original docu-series Onboarding Joei has been selected as an honoree in the category of Unscripted brand entertainment video in this year’s Webbys!
This means we made it to the top 20% of the pool of almost 13,500 submissions this year. It’s a huge deal for us just to be mentioned alongside names like Alicia Keys or Teyana Taylor. And with big brands (and budgets) like Christie’s and Google in our category, we had some stiff competition.
We couldn’t have made it this far without your support. So, we’d like to take a second to reflect on what both seasons of Onboarding Joei have meant to us here at 360Learning, and show you just how much we appreciate our community of viewers, supporters, and fans.
And if you haven’t seen the series yet, you can now binge all 22 episodes.
To begin with, I really didn’t know what to expect from Onboarding Joei.
This is where it all started:
Starting a new job is always weird. It’s awkward, and it can be tense at times. The stakes are high: you have to show your new colleagues what you can do–and reassure them that they made the right decision by hiring you in the first place.
It’s full of emotional ups and downs, and it’s a side of the story that’s never been told in the glossy startup world of beanbags, free beer, and unlimited holidays.
What is it really like to start a new job at a startup?
That’s where this crazy idea of Onboarding Joei came from. A 90-day docu-series that follows the onboarding of a new employee as she finds her place at a new job, with unscripted, behind-the-scenes footage.
The show has been our chance to step past the usual Kool-Aid fest that startups use to show off their company culture, and to offer a raw and authentic perspective. It might have started with a focus on the professional side of onboarding and hiring, but the story quickly became personal for me.
It wasn’t always such a comfortable experience being in front of the camera during this period–especially when I was feeling stressed out or overwhelmed.
We’ve made the editorial decision to be fully transparent. Real conflicts, disagreements, and personal events–sometimes that’s not pretty.
But now that we’ve reached the end, it’s clear the show has struck a chord with people. And that’s a great feeling:
When you’re preparing such an intimate and honest show to be released into the world, it can be hard to know exactly how it’s going to be received.
How are you going to come across? Will people enjoy the story? Will anyone really care, outside of your family and close friends?
That’s why it was so great to see such a positive response from our audience–and to see how much our story resonated with you.
We were so excited when the launch of season 2 earned us a feature in Product Hunt’s daily digest:
And when our viewers send us personal messages to share their support:
In fact, some of our audience responses might have been a little too generous...
These reactions offered us more than just positive reinforcement, though.
The responses from our community of viewers and supporters also gave us a lot of fascinating insights about our shared experience with working, living, and simply existing during the age of COVID-19.
When we started filming season one of Onboarding Joei in February 2020, we had no idea the mother of all plot twists was lurking just around the corner.
Two weeks into the series, COVID-19 hit, and everything we had planned was canceled.
Like the rest of the world, our show had to pivot and adapt:
The disruptions of COVID-19 weren’t limited just to our first season, either. For season two, I faced the challenge of recruiting and onboarding a whole content team, all from a distance. Not only was this my first time hiring a team–I couldn’t even vet them in person.
But as much of a curveball the pandemic has been, it also gave us the opportunity to deliver relatable stories about the realities of life in the age of COVID-19. That’s about as much of a silver lining as anyone can hope for these days.
For so many of us, the last 18 months have blurred the boundaries between our professional and personal lives.
It’s become impossible to draw a line between work and home. We knew millions of people around the world were managing the same difficulties.
It was great to see that the challenges we were highlighting in the series–uncertainty, isolation, the risk of burnout, trying to stay connected–resonated with our audience.
We started out with Onboarding Joei with the aim of telling a behind-the-scenes story of what it means to start a new job and prove yourself.
But with COVID-19, we were given an unexpected opportunity to capture the universal experience of onboarding from a distance, as well as hiring and welcoming a whole new team without being able to meet them in person.
Needless to say, the pandemic has had a major impact for our teams, our prospects, and our wider audience. It’s something millions of people are still dealing with, and it’s given us an entirely new lens to reexamine the fundamental question of what work means in these crazy times.
We know people are in more need of onboarding and employee engagement guidance than ever before. It’s been our pleasure to bring some of this guidance to you, through our own experience. (And if you’re looking for more of a step-by-step guide, don’t miss our Onboarding Playbook.)
To finish up the official stuff, I’d like to say a big thanks one more time: it means a lot to have had so many people join me and the 360Learning team during this journey.
Whether you’ve come for the onboarding tips, the COVID drama, or the chance to peek behind the curtain of a growing startup, we’re glad you joined us.
Here are a few bonus behind-the-scenes footage and fun highlights.
Like what our home studio looks like and who steps in when I didn't have time for camera and lighting tests:
One useful tip: when you’re introducing your brand new teams to the office for the very first time, make sure you know EXACTLY what’s behind every door you’re about to open.
Another pointer: always remember, not everyone is 100% comfortable in front of the camera.
But who knows? Maybe we’ll see you in another season...
And that’s a wrap from us! Thanks for watching. And rewatching.