Savvis 101

The Savvis onboarding program, called Savvis 101, starts upon a new hire accepting a job offer with prehire communications and then extends through the first 90 days.

An outsourcing provider of managed computing and network infrastructure for IT applications, Savvis, A Century Link Company, has a strategic priority to “Enhance the Employee Experience” across the entire employee lifecycle. The company strongly believes its orientation program is critical to its business because it drives Savvis’ ability to attract and retain smart and talented people.

Savvis employees face unique challenges within the high-tech industry. First, it is a “cloud” company, which requires a multi-disciplined approach to all work in order to deliver solutions to its customers. Second, it is a global organization, which necessitates that employees work cooperatively in a 24×7, “follow-the-sun” business model.

With that context, Savvis identified onboarding as a critical investment in human capital. It sought to achieve two specific goals with the program:

1. Reduce time to productivity

2. Improve employee engagement

The Savvis onboarding program, called Savvis 101, starts upon a new hire accepting a job offer with prehire communications and then extends through the first 90 days. The program has four key components:

1. Savvis 101 Curriculum: On day one, the employee is assigned the Savvis 101 curriculum, which is unique to his or her global region. It includes a variety of activities and learning modalities that are intended to meet legal requirements, as well as drive employee engagement. It has items in three categories:

Best Practices: Including establishing a strong working relationship with co-workers and the manager via regular meetings/updates.

Core Requirements: Including HR/compliance training, policy acknowledgement, and benefit selections.

Enterprise Systems: Including navigating the intranet; learning and locating vital internal resources.

2. Savvis 101 Connect: A resource center for onboarding-related topics on the company’s intranet, this site is built to be a collaborative center for onboarding discussion topics and connecting new hires. The curriculum drives employees to the site to participate in discussions or to find resources. New hires are able and encouraged to blog about their experiences and post best practices.

3. Savvis 101 Live: This live instructor-led event in the company headquarters uses learning maps and team activities to teach new employees about the corporate strategy and priorities, products and services, and the corporate culture.

4. Manager and Peer Support: New hires are assigned a peer trainer, usually from their department, to assist them with the onboarding process. Also, the manager is provided with an onboarding best practices job aid so they can make the best use of their time with the new hire.


Employees are surveyed at seven, 30, and 90 days; managers are surveyed at 45 and 90 days. Feedback is used to make adjustments to the program.

  • Savvis has reduced the reported time to productivity by 42 percent over the three years the program has been in existence—within the complex high-tech business, reaching productivity in 60 days is lauded within the company as a great accomplishment.
  • Savvis has impacted engagement with the current Net Promoter Score (NPS) of Savvis 101 Live at 69 percent on the annual engagement survey:
  • I know what is expected of me at work: 95.2 percent
  • I enjoy my job: 93.4 percent
Edited by Lorri Freifeld
Lorri Freifeld is the editor/publisher of Training magazine, owned by Lakewood Media Group. She writes on a number of topics, including talent management, training technology, and leadership development. She spearheads two awards programs: the Training APEX Awards and Emerging Training Leaders. A writer/editor for the last 30 years, she has held editing positions at a variety of publications and holds a Master’s degree in journalism from New York University.