Mezmo empowers engineering and security teams to control, enrich, and correlate machine data across different systems and applications, helping manage costs of telemetry data, improving compliance and security, and helping teams develop applications more efficiently.
The company has helped engineering teams at hyper-growth startups and Fortune 500 companies increase productivity, and counts names like IBM, Asics, Sysdig, and 6 River Systems among its customers.
To keep best-in-class engineering customers happy, Mezmo invests in keeping their own team happy and engaged. In 2022, the company was recognised as an Employee Experience Leader in the Reworked Impact Awards, and previously featured in the Fortune Best Small and Medium Workplaces list.
An award-winning employee experience doesn’t build itself, as Mezmo’s Remote Experience Manager Mikaila Read knows. Luckily, she had a secret weapon on her side… Eduflow.
“A lot of Learning Management Systems in the market are designed more for the enterprise; they’re not flexible, they're big, they're expensive, they're clunky. I didn't want that. I needed something really simple and approachable – something that anyone at Mezmo could log into and create a course to share knowledge without fuss. I set up a free trial with Eduflow, quickly built a course and have been able to continue iterating and improving it day after day!” Mikaila Read, Mezmo
The Challenge: Building Flexible Async Onboarding
While Mezmo wasn’t remote from inception, the pandemic spurred a shift to a remote-first way of working for the team. Leadership decided to stay that way when things opened up, but realized they needed to change some things:
“Many of the systems and structures were designed for a centralized or a hybrid team,” explains Mikaila. “Working norms, how we onboarded, how we managed projects and tasks, why and how we conduct meetings, etc. These needed to be aligned to a remote-first model, so they hired me to help lead the transformation.”
They needed a remote set-up that worked for Mezmo’s 150+ strong team spanning more than 8 time zones. Mikaila, who counts herself as passionate about building inclusive and engaging cultures on remote teams, knew exactly where she wanted to start—new hire onboarding, the earliest part of the employee lifecycle.
“We Can Onboard Even Better…”
Prior to working with Eduflow, Mezmo’s onboarding was more static and synchronous. “It was all done through Zoom and Slite,” says Mikaila. “It consisted of us saying, ‘Here’s your [employee] handbook, and on your first day, you’ll meet with the HR & IT teams over Zoom to walk through some high level overviews, which is a rather passive experience. There would also be a marketing and product session via Zoom – again, that’s rather passive.”
Mikaila wanted to find a more effective way to get new folks up to speed on the organization and encourage deeper engagement from day one. “Onboarding in a synchronous way is incredibly inefficient and it’s limiting us. If we can find ways to not only help new joiners understand what they’re stepping into, but also to be able to respond and give feedback on their own terms – that’s a win for us all.”
Moving to Eduflow Onboarding
“We wanted a solution that would allow us to offer a more personalized, interactive, and flexible learning experience to all new joiners,” explains Mikaila. There needed to be a way of providing them the right information at the right time, remotely, beyond asking new hires to read a digital handbook.
Mikaila had used Eduflow at her previous company and she thought that the product’s ability to promote discussion, embed videos, quizzes and polls, and integrate peer feedback would be perfect for Mezmo onboarding.
“We wanted something that didn’t rely on in-person meetings or even synchronous zoom calls, 100% self-paced and could be customized to individual learner department or level.”
Creating Customized Onboarding Experiences with Tags
Customization to individual onboarder needs was central to Mikaila’s vision for new hires. To achieve it, she leverages Eduflow’s tagging functionality.
“The first action any user takes is to identify which department they're in. Based on that tag, we'll drop down a conditional section with their department’s information. [The new hire] isn’t overwhelmed with the entire company’s information, as [they] might be with Slite or Notion. In those handbook approaches, users don’t always know what they’re looking for, but with Eduflow we can deliver the right information to the right people at the right time, and invite them to dig deeper in their own time.”
Tags also help Mikaila show relevant information about more things like location-specific benefits, reducing confusion across the distributed team.
“Mezmo's onboarding was the best onboarding experience I've ever had. The onboarding was thorough, culturally sensitive, inclusive, friendly, and open to feedback. I wish every company had this level of onboarding!” – Joshua Scott, Senior Product Manager at Mezmo
Driving Async Engagement Through Discussion Forums
Mikaila was keen to keep the onboarding experience engaging and human, even while she moved it to be 100% self-paced. To do so, she added discussion activities throughout the onboarding structure:
“The course is structured first with high level information, including a general overview of the company, our mission and purpose, and our core values. Then, we have an activity to embed values deeper and prompt reflection on them. There's a video where I explain the importance of core values and how they show up in everyday behaviors, and I ask learners to respond to a few reflection questions for at least one of the core values.”
The responses go in an Eduflow discussion thread that’s visible to everyone taking the onboarding. Mikaila appreciates that way the transparency encourages participation:
“In the discussion threads everyone can see each other's responses. This helps drive engagement because learners see their peers participating in the activity, too. The psychological impact of that visibility is: ‘Oh, people actually are doing this, I should do this too!’"
Find out more about using questions to spark discussion in Eduflow.
“Mezmo's approach to onboarding is easy-to-follow and collaborative across multiple teams. This allowed me to get a good overall understanding of not just my responsibilities but of the organization as a whole.” – Chelsea Wright, Customer Success Manager
Collecting Data Via Polls & Embedded Typeforms
Mezmo’s onboarding uses Eduflow polls to help new hires contextualize their employee experience, and provide helpful feedback to the company at the same time.
“I love the polling functionality,” says Mikaila. “We use polls to help people get an understanding of how they relate to the wider team in terms of things like remote work experience, introversion/extroversion, chronotype (whether they’re more productive as a night owl/morning lark), and more. They can see the [other people’s] answers, so for example a learner might see that 30% of the team has worked remotely for more than five years, whereas [they've] worked remotely for one year.”
Mikaila also uses the poll feature to collect information on what new hires might appreciate seeing in the future. One poll asks onboarders what their biggest challenges are around remote work—unplugging from work, staying motivated, managing distractions at home, collaborating/communicating across time zones, etc.—and Mikaila uses the results to inform possible changes to Mezmo’s future benefits and L&D offerings.
Polls aren’t the only way to get feedback from onboarders. Mezmo also uses typeforms embedded into Eduflow:
“It's awesome to be able to ask people for feedback in a section, instead of just at the end of onboarding. And it's nice to be able to do it in a way that they don't have to leave or navigate to a new window in order to submit it. There's no bouncing around, [which] I think that has really helped drive participation.”
Tracking Engagement with Certificates
Finally, Mikaila keeps on eye on completion rates with the certificate feature. According to Mikaila, the certificates are “a nice way for us to get a read on whether people are actually completing [onboarding] fully. And where are they seeming to drop off?”
Mezmo isn’t the only company to use certificates as a way of tracking course completion. Check out a case study we did with MetaMap, who use certificates to help managers understand who’s completed training on their teams.
Mezmo + Eduflow: Looking to the Future
Mezmo plan to keep improving the employee experience, and using Eduflow to help them do so.
For onboarding, Mikaila is looking to optimize new hires’ time. “I’m planning to convert department overviews in onboarding into videos, or even standalone courses. That will end up saving us a minimum of four or five hours per hire”
Beyond onboarding, the Mezmo team is considering moving the remote handbook into Eduflow, to socialize ways of working and expectations across the team. In this way, they expect to be able to offer a richer learning experience, and also encourage learners to participate in the course iteration process very early on.
The social learning potential of Eduflow also makes Mikaila think it might work as a way to run a buddy program. Right now, the Mezmo buddy program is “a bit unguided”, in Mikaila’s words. She plans to leverage Eduflow to provide meaningful training, stats and information on the benefits of buddies at work, as well as provide a space for buddies to reflect on their experience together in an asynchronous way.
She also plans to expand the buddy program to include multiple buddies: “In my ideal world, there would be two buddies per joiner: one, a culture buddy who is someone that's in the same locale (so that they're accessible); and then a role buddy, someone who's in their actual team or department. That's going to increase the touchpoints that they have in the organization. And that means that there will always be someone they can ask for anything, whether it's specific to their team or more general, just someone who's accessible and available.”