Friday, June 18, 2010

Nuts and Bolts of Onboarding Surveys

There is an excellent LinkedIn Group for those interested in employee onboarding called Onboarding Best Practices - Clearing the 90-Day Hurdle. It's run by Sue Edwards of Development by Design with whom I have been very impressed.

One of the members posed a question about Onboarding Surveys for which I happen to have a little bit of experience. I thought I'd share my bullet points answer here in the Nobscot blog for others who might be interested as well.

Question: Onboarding Survey?

I am part of a team that is designing a comprehensive onboarding process from hire date through first anniversary. We are looking for samples of new hire onboarding / first year surveys. We are interested in the content as well as the frequency that employees are surveyed - and if the content changes with each survey. Any information you can share would be very helpful. Thanks!

Beth's Answer:

We see a variety of approaches to onboarding surveys and each has its pros and cons. Here are a couple things to think about:

1. The frequency in which you survey needs to be congruent with your corporate culture. If you have a culture of listening to employees and acting on the feedback then you are in a good position to do multiple surveys. If your culture is not quite there yet then you might want to scale back the # of surveys initially until employees see that their feedback does make a difference.

2. If you are thinking of doing one survey only and doing it at 90 days, consider moving that up to 75 days. Ninety days is often the point where new hires give up. If you can catch them at 75 days, you may find out some of the needs before it's too late.

3. If you plan to do multiple surveys, you should plan your objective for each survey. For example an early survey might be geared around the recruitment and orientation experience, a second survey around the early training and meeting initial expectations and a third focused on socialization (are they beginning to identify with the organization).

4. You can also use multiple surveys to follow employees' (collective) work experiences and see if there is a particular point in time where your employees tend to lose their initial enthusiasm. This is useful if you have a lot of employee turnover in your first year.

5. Based on item 3 and 4 above, the answer to your question regarding whether or not the content changes for each survey, the answer is yes and no. You'll want to have some unique questions based on the objective of that particular survey and some core questions that you ask at each interval in order to track changes in responses.

6. Consider aligning your new hire survey questions with your exit interview questions. You'll often get a little bit more candid responses in the exit interviews and it will allow you to track the life cycle sentiments of your employees. (And be sure to track your exit interview results by length of service so you can break the data down appropriately. When you compare the data side-by-side you'll be able to see exactly where and when the irritations occur that cause people to leave.)

7. Depending on the volume, consider utilizing a new hire survey technology. This will make it easier for you to administer at the appropriate time interval, encourage honest responses from the new employees, track participation rates and make it easy to analyze and report on the results.


Anonymous Copy Paper said...

#4 is particularly a great strategy. High turnovers can just waste your time which in turn will hurt your business.

7:26 AM, November 12, 2010  
Anonymous onboarding said...

All strategy is very nice to implement...

12:57 AM, February 19, 2013  

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