Award-winning global digital
onboarding program

Subject: Onboarding
Industry: Automotive
  • About Continental

    Continental is a global automotive supplier to the world’s most reputable brands. Over 240,000 strong, they create sustainable value to help realize the dream of mobility every day for customers and users in 60 countries and markets.

  • Key features

    • Custom animation
    • Microlearning approach
    • Translated into eight languages

The Challenge

  • How do you quickly and effectively train 6,000 new employees each year?

    That was the challenge facing Continental, as it looked to replace its classroom training with an online learning solution that would be cost-effective (reducing reliance on presence training), yet just as effective.

  • Shifting to eLearning would help with scalability and consistency of messaging — but executing it in the right way would make all the difference. A dry, tired approach to the content would leave people uninspired, the worst way to begin your journey with a new organization.

  • Continental knew that this was a critical window for buy-in, and building the right learning experience was essential to their talent development and retention strategy.

    Continental found in SwissVBS a partner that was up to the challenge.

"Our goal was to develop a high-quality onboarding program that provided consistency on a global scale."

Anja Clessienne, Manager Onboarding

Our Solution

How do you tell the story of an organization?

That was the approach to how this program was to be designed. Facts were important, but making an employee feel welcome, excited and proud to be a part of the organization, was just as much a priority.

SwissVBS presented Continental’s onboarding content in short, fast-moving microlearning modules – ranging from company history and the structure of the corporation, to organizational values and the promotion of diversity. Learners could access the training through a ‘dynamic launchpad,’ which placed modules right at their fingertips in an easy-to-use ‘interface.’

Adding life and ‘character’

Customized animation helped give a real glimpse of the organization and delightful characters helped provide a light hearted approach. Immersive interactivities were used throughout the onboarding program as a key lever of engagement. To convey the passion behind working at Continental, ‘Peter’ (a character created for the program) served as the narrator for the training. He spoke in a highly personable tone and viewed onboarding from the learner’s perspective, rather than from just a management perspective – the perfect ‘welcoming committee’ for a new hire.

Through a compelling narrator and a fun cast of characters, learners journeyed through a brief overview of the entire organization, from its strategic vision right down to its individual business units. An environment was created for Continental where new hires would feel welcome, informed, and clearly understood how to navigate through their first few months in a massive global organization.

“We built a strong learning brand through a highly personal experience. Through the characters we created, it was something people could really relate to.”

Anja Clessienne, Manager Onboarding


  • Clear ROI and just getting started

    Before C.Onboard, new employees had to wait an average of six months before they could receive centrally provided onboarding presence training. With the revised onboarding program, training could begin on day one and took an average of four (self-paced) weeks to complete.

    Even when calculated on a conservative cost analysis (e.g., travel costs, location rental, trainer fees, opportunity costs through lack of productivity), by investing in online learning, the organization received an immense ROI of approximately 800% (only looking at year one with effects increasing in the years to follow).

  • Internal excitement, external accolades

    The program was instantly embraced, receiving an average score of 4.5 out of 5 (among the highest within the entire organization). A powerful learning brand (i.e. design approach, look and feel, media style) was established and Peter started showing up everywhere within the organization – in life-size cardboard cutouts within offices, even named “employee of the month” in Continental’s internal magazine.

    Continental’s onboarding program received the Brandon Hall Bronze award for Best New Hire Onboarding Program – a highly prestigious award within the industry.

  • The beginning of a true partnership

    C.Onboard would be the first project in what would be a long-standing relationship between SwissVBS and Continental – over 7 years and counting – ranging from content localization and translations, new eLearning projects, to augmented reality support, reinforcement apps, technical deployment on a new LMS and more – a true partnership in helping Continental embracing digitalization with cutting-edge, award-winning learning solutions.

“We brought ‘Peter’ to life as the host of our entry conference. Through augmented reality, he is welcoming participants and when leaving the conference, he is formally closing their onboarding experience with a good-bye video on their mobile devices.”

Dr. Margret Aenne Schoop, Learning Business Partner

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