This case tells you the three key steps to succeed with onboarding. It is all about connecting newcomers to the right mentors!

The Challenge of a Silicon Valley Startup

A fintech company based in Silicon Valley had grown from zero to +200 employees in only four years. This rapid growth was expected to continue in the coming years.

This rapid growth surely challenged the company, because 50% of the employees had joined the company within the last six months. There was not a clear onboarding approach and in the last six months leadership felt they had been welcoming new joiners in a trial and error way.

Innovisor was therefore asked by the CEO to determine how successful the onboarding had been. This would then resulted in key insights that could help the company to set a baseline, and – more importantly – help create a set of best practices for future onboarding.

The three steps to understanding your onboarding

1. Influence

The first key finding into the organizational network was that when they wanted to spread a meme in the organization, they knew exactly with which employees they should start with. There were 9 employees who directly influenced 70% of all employees. When looking two degrees removed from the nine influencers, the company was able to influence all the 250 employees.

2. Tenure

The second key finding into the organizational network was that there was a correlation of influence to tenure, but a much looser correlation than expected. There were outliers on both sides. Many employees – the top cluster – had an outsized influence in the organization relative to their tenure. The cluster on the right shows that a handful of long-term employees never reached their influence potential.

3. New Employees

The third key finding was around the new employees. Now that the company knew that tenured employees have an advantage, the company wanted to know how integrated the employees were who had been with the company for less than six month.

This showed that employees with more than six months tenure did not connect to colleagues who had less than six months tenure – the so-called “newcomers”. A small group of 14 “newcomers” managed however to break the hidden walls and established a far stronger network position than their fellow “newcomers”.

These 14 new employees did something to rocket into high influence position

So, this organizational network analysis helped the company to identify the most influential employees, and to understand how they did it s they could “manufacture” more of these high influencers.

What was next?

Based on following the three steps and generating unique insights in their informal networks, the company decided to run three specific actions to strengthen its onboarding process:

  • Learn from conversations with the 14 “newcomers”. What did they do differently to get connected in the organization
  • Establish a set of best practices for faster onboarding based on the learnings from the 14 newcomers
  • Establish a discipline for connecting “newcomers” to more senior colleagues with central network positions in the organization

Do you also want to change to an evidence-based onboarding process? Contact us!

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