New Employee Orientation at Sun Using Web 2.0

» Posted by Jeanne Meister  » Posted on 01.14.08

Sun Learning Uses Web 2.0 For New Hires

Sun Microsystems is a global company with 34,000 employees. Half of these employees work away from the office, so finding an easy and comfortable way to orient new hires is a high priority.


Karie Willyerd, Sun Learning CLO, took on the challenge of creating a network that would allow seasoned employees to interact with recently hired Sun employees digitally through blogs, wiki’s, podcasts and custom video tutorials.

Sun’s New Hire Orientation Program was launched in July 2007 and features a special site that uses five engaging icons, linking to specific sections that help new hires learn about Sun. The icons and corresponding sections are:

Welcome. In this section new hires are encouraged to visit CEO Jonathan Schwartz’s blog. A recent post on results from the last quarter of 2007 can be found here.

Learn. From this icon new hires find links to free online learning resources related to Sun’s business, including thousands of books, articles and white papers.

Participate. Employees are encouraged to join company networks thru blogs, wikis, discussion forums and videos.

Explore. This area is like most Company 101 programs. Employees can use it to find in-depth information on Sun, such as analyst reports, competition, etc.


Play. This is probably the funnest, most engaging area. Sun created a multiplayer game called Rise of the Millennial to teach new hires about Sun. During the game, employees learn about Sun’s business, strategy, mission and culture. Using Web 2.0’s playfulness to create an experience for new hires to learn about the company has proved to be a home run for the company.

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