Typically, new hires at Lyft would convene at the company’s San Francisco headquarters. But since Lyft started working remotely, the company’s new hire orientation has gone virtual.
For a day-and-a-half, these employees get to know each other and the company in an interactive introduction to life at Lyft. Virtual orientation includes live presentations and breakout sessions.
The fundamental goal, Lyft’s chief people officer Emily Nishi told Business Insider in January, is for employees to learn “why this work is important, and how they can really make the best of their time” at the ride-share company. They find out more about Lyft’s history and mission, learn about Lyft’s diversity and inclusion efforts, and hear from executives across the organization. There’s also a newer presentation on Lyft’s COVID-19 response.
Lyft went public in 2019, one of several tech unicorns — including WeWork and Lyft competitor Uber — that had relatively unsuccessful IPOs that year. Around the same time, it was a target of protests by drivers demanding fairer compensation. Drivers have continued to voice concerns about their treatment by Lyft. One New York City-based driver previously told Insider that after working during fatal flooding in September the company took nearly half of his earnings.
Still, Lyft was ranked No. 19 on LinkedIn’s list of the top 50 companies to work for in 2019, based on LinkedIn members’ interest in working there and how long employees stay, among other measures. Additionally, Lyft began offering free trips to vaccination sites until from May to July, and has now extended the program in cities like Atlanta, according to WSB-TV.
In April, Lyft laid off 17% of its staff, Insider’s Graham Rapier reported. The job cuts were related to the coronavirus crisis. Additionally, Insider previously reported that Lyft has been raising fares — with the average cost of a ride increasing from $22 in January to $27 in June, according to Superfly.
Leaders at Lyft revamped its orientation programming a few years ago, Nishi said, in an effort to make it less like “someone talking to you” about benefits paperwork and dress codes. The new version of orientation is designed to “bring our core values and our mission to life,” she added. Virtual orientation features a scavenger hunt, in which employees are asked to find objects nearby that are related to Lyft in some way.
In pre-pandemic times, the agenda involved more hands-on activities, like a visit to a lush San Francisco park that the city converted from a highway. “It’s really neat for our new team members to see how our mission of providing the world’s best transportation and, over time, reducing car ownership can really revitalize neighborhoods,” Nishi said.
Orientation kicks off with a presentation of a slide deck describing Lyft’s three core values — be yourself, uplift others, and make it happen — plus 10 steps to make it happen, including taking ownership of your work and prioritizing the team’s success over your own.
Nishi emphasized the importance of making sure Lyft’s entire workforce is aligned on the company values from day one. She said, “We’re excited that we can give new team members walking in the door a really strong connection to that mission right from the start.”
Below you’ll find an abridged version of that orientation deck, which we’ve shared with Lyft’s permission.
Tat Bellamy Walker contributed to an earlier version of this post.