Research from i4cp and thought leader Rob Cross points to the early experiences of new hires and their ability to establish relevant network connections as critical to performance (e.g., time to contribution, retention, and promotability).

The quality of a newcomer’s network dramatically decreases time to productivity and odds of unwanted attrition. Does your organization's onboarding process help new employees develop internal networks quickly?

Rapid Onboarding and Retention through Networks Course

Rapid onboarding and employee retention through networks

This employee onboarding and retention course employs a face-to-face experience for the first session followed by four virtual modules that include an overview, videos, knowledge check, and action plan. The materials are based on decades of research to help new employees rapidly replicate the connectivity of high performers on entry and by transitioning these networks over 18 months of tenure.

Program description
Unlike traditional on-boarding programs, this course focuses on building the right network connections at the right point.

0-9 months tenure
Successful people:

  • Create pull
  • Leverage legitimacy of influencers
  • Engage colleagues to make sense of context

9-18 months tenure
Successful people:

  • Initiate enterprise-wide networks
  • Engage in activities that create collaboratively efficient networks
  • Find connections and work that yield a sense of purpose


Onboarding and Transition Card Decks

How to initiate, engage, and refine networks for success in new roles

Applied in a group workshop or individual coaching, these highly popular cards—which use QR codes to link to additional resources and insights online—are designed to help people make transitions, whether starting as a new hire, making a lateral move, or accepting a promotion.

Research shows that initiating and engaging personal networks in targeted ways is critical to successful role transition. Whether entering a new organization, taking on a lateral transfer or accepting a promotion, people who invest in certain network strategies enjoy more successful role transitions. Counterintuitively, a big network is not the distinguishing factor, rather people who are successful:


  • Initiate: Jumpstart productivity and inclusion through connections that yield influence without authority, address skill gaps, and magnify capability.
  • Engage: Connect in ways that energize others, build rapid trust, and create pull into important projects and streams of work.
  • Refine: Re-calibrate networks and collaborative practices for long-term performance and wellbeing/engagement in work.