Most of the conversation around talent management over the last two years has been focused on labor market turbulence and the so-called “Great Resignation.” While companies scramble to attract and retain top talent, one thing gets often overlooked: employee onboarding. Even before the move to remote work, “more than ⅓ of companies lacked a structured onboarding process” according to HBR. Now, research shows that remote onboarding or training is one of the biggest hiring challenges for employers.

Let’s get straight to the point. If you’ve ever started a new job alongside others, you know that your first weeks are crucial to your overall enjoyment, performance and satisfaction at said job. But what if it takes you a little longer to get acquainted with your new role? What if this process is happening fully remotely? Research shows that the average onboarding program lasts only 90 days, but that it typically takes new employees 12 months to reach their full performance potential.

Here are some numbers from Gallup to consider that show just how much of a challenge employee onboarding is becoming:

  • Only 12% of employees feel their company does a good job onboarding new team members… that means 88% of workers undergo lackluster onboarding experiences.
  • 94% of HR professionals said the people they’d hired during the pandemic had only interacted within the company virtually, and 31% said employees were struggling to connect with colleagues.

Now, knowing that poor onboarding can have a detrimental effect on engagement & retention, these statistics should leave you feeling worried. With a proper onboarding process, look how much better things get:

  • Companies that implement a formal onboarding program could see 50% greater employee retention and 62% greater productivity among new hires.
  • Employees who have a positive onboarding experience are 3x more likely to feel prepared and supported in their role — boosting their confidence & performance.

So now that I’ve painted the picture, and demonstrated just how crucial the onboarding process is… the question begs to be asked: What does a good onboarding program look like in 2022?

Don’t overlook these 2 Cs: Culture & Connection

In a remote/hybrid world the aspect of onboarding that is the most often overlooked, and the most difficult to realize: Culture & Connection. Onboarding documentation such as welcome guides, checklists, welcome videos etc. are great, but are they enough to communicate your company’s values and culture to the new hire? Not so fast. New employees (notably remote ones) need immediate access to spaces where they can share experiences, introduce themselves, get to know one another and seek advice & support. In the office, a lot of this happens naturally, but companies need to be very intentional about providing spaces outside of traditional productivity channels like Slack & Zoom for “water cooler” type conversations and deeper connection — beyond workplace responsibilities.

Loneliness is rampant. Workers everywhere are voicing their inability to build meaningful connections. It’s easier to quit a job when you’ve never met your colleagues in-person, or lack personal rapport with those around you. Making friends at work is not an HR “nice to have,” it’s a strategic imperative. Check out this HBR piece entitled “True Friends At Work.”

Luckily, platforms like MixR are the perfect place for new hires to find immediate support & connection among their peers. What’s more? It’s all based on the employees’ location and/or interests. By focusing on commonalities (passions, hobbies, backgrounds): building meaningful relationships happens naturally.

Onboarding doesn’t happen overnight…Introducing: “re-onboarding”

I’ll repeat it: most onboarding programs only last 90 days, yet it takes up to a year for employees to truly emerge in their new roles. As our advisor & former head of Employee Experience at Airbnb, Mark Levy, would say “It’s about supporting your people throughout their entire employee journey.” That means, companies need to treat onboarding as a holistic process, not one with an end date. Onboarding should take place in various stages: the first few weeks, the first few months and so on. And don’t forget “re-onboarding.” Change is happening so rapidly that even old employees need to be “re-onboarded” to get acquainted with new programs, policies, initiatives etc. Many organizations shy away from a structured onboarding process, citing time & administrative costs. However, at MixR, we’ve seen just how detrimental poor onboarding can be from a bottom-line perspective. If you want to get ahead in the talent wars, you need to invest time & resources into a structured and ongoing employee onboarding program.

Platforms like MixR help organizations manage every aspect of the onboarding journey, and reduce the overall load on HR when it comes to implementing and tracking the process. From day 1, employees can join dedicated communities for new hires, mentorship groups and so on .. to encourage a sense of belonging right from the start. From there, they can deepen their relationships across the organization and connect with others through interest and/or location based groups. Can’t find what they’re looking for? Employees are encouraged & empowered to create their own groups as they see fit… With MixR, everyone can find a place to be seen, heard and supported throughout their entire employee lifecycle. Imagine if you had these resources when starting off your job?

If you’re an organization looking to retain your talent for years to come, MixR may be right for you. Let’s connect. Visit to learn more and book a demo today.


Margaux Elias

PR & Content


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