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How Measuring Network Size by Seniority Reflects the Success of Your Onboarding Strategy

Onboarding
|
December 5, 2022
|
6
min read
People & Data Scientist, Ludek Stehlik, Ph.D., discusses his recommendations for business leaders looking to improve employee engagement and productivity, and retention efforts with onboarding metrics.

This article expands on an original LinkedIn post by Ludek Stehlik, Ph.D., our People & Data Scientist. 

Implementing effective employee onboarding strategies is more important than ever. Companies are experiencing higher YoY turnover, economic uncertainty, and adopting various working models that pose unique challenges for retention efforts with a distributed workforce

We shared 8 takeaways on what COVID taught us about digital collaboration, working from home, and the future of work, and there is a clear discrepancy between employee engagement, and productivity across on-site, hybrid, and remote working environments. The path to improving employee retention, productivity, and profits requires a hard look at onboarding practices in our hybrid and remote working world. After-all, it’s clear that companies are getting worse at employee onboarding

When joining a new company, it's important to get connected, but it's even more important with whom. One of the most popular Time is Ltd. metrics is the number of connections employees make during their first year with the company

The reason is twofold. On the one hand, a well-executed onboarding strategy is associated with improved new employee performance, engagement, job satisfaction, and willingness to stay with the company. On the other hand, in the era of hybrid and remote working models, onboarding new employees is much more difficult. 

Illustration showing external network size across hybrid, office, and remote teams. Remote teams engage with the least amount of contacts both internally and externally.

HR and business leaders need to have a method for measuring employee experience - and how well new hires are establishing key interpersonal relationships, building information networks, and having access to supportive resources. Our “network size” metric provides a strong indication of onboarding effectiveness.

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But not all connections are created equal. Connecting with other new hires helps with building a sense of belonging, collegiality, and camaraderie; but it doesn’t help with obtaining critical knowledge, information, and other key resources. It’s important that new employees build their network with more senior and tenured colleagues as they provide critical guidance and act as enablers to new employees. Therefore, managers and HR leaders should track network size in relation to seniority. Check out the charts below to see how the number of contacts between new hires and colleagues with different tenure and management levels, evolves during their first 12 months in the company.

A chart showing the number of connections employees gain over time based on seniority. ‍

In this particular example, we can see that when it comes to more senior employees, the number of new hires’ contacts is growing steadily - which indicates new hires are properly networking with more senior colleagues.      

A chart showing the number of connections employees have with managers and individual contributors within the first year in a company. 

It’s also important to track (and encourage) one-on-one meetings between new hires and their direct supervisors. One-on-one meetings are of great value to all employees because they facilitate team coordination and alignment, foster trust and engagement, and support employee development and performance. They can be of even greater value to new hires, who may be more likely to struggle with finding their niche(s) at the company.

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The Takeaway 

The Time is Ltd. platform empowers business leaders to measure and improve employee productivity and engagement to cultivate an effective and highly productive workforce. To learn more about how Time is Ltd. can improve your team’s productivity and effectiveness, contact solutions@timeisltd.com.

Article by
Ludek Stehlik
People & data scientist with extensive experience with applying data and analytics to optimization of various HR processes. Ludek has a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology, his research focus extends to psychometrics, sociometry, statistics, and HR consulting. Previously worked for Deloitte or Assessment Systems International.
Article by
Ludek Stehlik
People & data scientist with extensive experience with applying data and analytics to optimization of various HR processes. Ludek has a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology, his research focus extends to psychometrics, sociometry, statistics, and HR consulting. Previously worked for Deloitte or Assessment Systems International.

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