How Lonza Achieved a 99% Engagement Rate On Their Onboarding Programs

Case Study 


Lonza is the preferred global partner to the pharmaceutical, biotech, and nutrition markets, supporting its customers to deliver new and innovative medicines that help treat a wide range of diseases.

Lonza's success metrics:


Achieved 99% engagement rate for new joiners during onboarding


Achieved 99% engagement rate for buddies during onboarding


Achieved 98% engagement rate for people managers during onboarding

⚙️ The Challenge: Crafting a Global Employee Experience

Creating an exciting, informative onboarding experience can make a huge difference in how engaged and motivated new hires feel about joining your company. But how do you take that process and scale it across more than 50 sites and for more than 17,000 employees? That’s the challenge Lonza needed to solve.

“We had a lot of good local onboarding processes, but nothing really consistent,” says Alice Bally-Frankenne, senior director of global HR head R&D, Sales & Licensing Biologics at Lonza. So in 2021, Lonza made onboarding a global priority project and set out to make the experience for new joiners even better.

“We call it the hard onboarding and soft onboarding,” says Alice. “Hard onboarding is about making sure you have a seat, a desk, and a laptop on your first day. But just as important is the engagement and motivation of our new joiners. Soft onboarding is about giving them the information they need to be prepared and excited to join us on day one. This is about ensuring they've had some interaction with their hiring manager and buddy before they start, so they have a support network and feel welcome." And a best-in-class onboarding experience would tackle both.

New Joiner Engagement

✅ Increase of net promoter score by 12

+10% in positive onboarding experience

+7% in positive manager support

+15% in positive buddy support

+11% in feeling productive one month after joining

Lonza set out to find a solution that would level up the new hire experience and eliminate manual onboarding processes, giving HR and people managers critical time back in their day. For them, that meant finding a tool that could handle the demand, creating a really solid content strategy, and generating excitement for all internal stakeholders – from executive leadership to local hiring managers.

💬 Real employee feedback
 “To be honest it’s been the best onboarding process I’ve ever seen in my 34 years of experience. The step-by-step process, the support from you and the system, the way that it has been structured and the reminders are some of the qualities that make the difference. Thanks.”

💡 The Solution: A Flexible, Integrated Rollout Across the Globe

Once executive leadership was on board, Lonza searched the market and chose Enboarder to address their global onboarding needs. Enboarder offered the flexibility Lonza needed and seamlessly integrated with Workday, Lonza's HRIS.

Laura Devlin, director of client services at Korn Ferry, supported Lonza in driving the day-to-day project plan: "Our proof of concept journey began by piloting the new onboarding process in four sites – one in the U.S. and three in Switzerland. We carefully planned and executed a strong project launch and spent time with the stakeholders who participated in the proposed onboarding process. They gave us the feedback we needed to take the project forward.”

Pre-Boarding Engagement

16% increase in overall onboarding satisfaction

14% increase in positive buddy support

15% increase in workspace organized on day one

14% increase in receiving meaningful information

Participation and engagement data showed that the proof of concept was a success. Now it was time to roll out the new onboarding process to sites across the Americas, which the team achieved in just three months. Since then, the project has expanded with launches across seven countries in the Asia Pacific and EMEA regions.

Laura attributes part of that speed to the ease of customization within Enboarder: “We have constant themes that are built within each live workflow to drive global consistency. We were also able to customize for different sites to create a more individual and local experience for new joiners.” Laura checks Enboarder data regularly. “Enboarder’s heat maps are great,” she says. “So from day one, if there are any dips in engagement, we can act on it quickly.”

The overall success of this rollout couldn’t have been achieved without the prep work the team did before each regional launch and the continuous change management and communication after. “Everything was well prepared and we communicated with people managers really early on to give them the chance to ask questions and prepare for the launch,” says Alice. “I have never in my life experienced such a smooth go-live. We achieved this together, and this was the feeling and the cooperation from the very beginning.”

💬 Real employee feedback
“It was very helpful for me to receive messages with very detailed instructions before joining. Thank you very much for your support and everything. And I feel very comfortable working here.”

👑 The Results: Driving Compliance and Excitement

The engagement rates in the onboarding process at Lonza have nearly doubled, and new joiners feel immediately connected. The human element of this project has also boosted engagement survey rates.

There is a small, global onboarding support team on hand to answer questions and support users in their journeys. So new joiners get the information they need quickly and efficiently.

What's more, Lonza has the highest engagement rates out of all Enboarder customers worldwide – a testament to the way the team followed every best practice and got the right internal stakeholders engaged with creating a connected employee experience.

Manager Engagement

+5%  in overall onboarding satisfaction

✅ -16% in dissatisfaction with new joiner setup

9% less dissatisfaction on organization or role orientation for new joiners

6% less dissatisfaction with training for new joiners

“For new joiners, they feel much more welcome. On day one they feel more connected not only with Lonza as a company but also with line managers and team members. This was a huge success,” says Alice.

"Behaviors are changing for the better. Now hiring managers are putting the onboarding experience at the forefront of everything they do for new joiners," shares Laura. "We have people managers thanking us for making them aware of the importance of onboarding and saying 'this process is really helping me be the leader I want to be.'"

💬 Real employee feedback

“My experience was great. The messages helped me navigate through the first few weeks with lots of great and useful information.”

Completion rates from all sides remain high – 99% for buddies, 98% for hiring managers, and 99% for new hires.

Overall, feedback about the new onboarding experience has been overwhelmingly positive – from senior management to line managers. “Everybody is so motivated and engaged with Enboarder that they’re sharing a lot of ideas about how to develop further in the future,” says Alice.

Looking ahead, Lonza will continue to work with Enboarder to find opportunities to build a dynamic and integrated experience for its workforce.

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