For most employees, their first few weeks and months in a new role are the most crucial in determining how well they settle in, engage with their colleagues and become successful long-term members of staff. This is because for many inductees, their overall perception of an organisation and its staff are influenced by their earliest experiences, which can come to impact their engagement levels, motivation and even their intentions to stay.

Typically referred to as employee onboarding, this earliest stage in an employee's lifecycle journey is focused on helping new staff adjust to the social and performance aspect of the organisation they have joined. By helping them to acquire the necessary, skills, knowledge and cultural attributes of the organisation they are working for, the aim of an employee onboarding programme is to swiftly turn them into productive and valuable members of staff.

However, just as much as this depends on the commitment and efforts of the new employee, it's also dependent on the tools and environment provided by the employer to help them achieve this. Which is where the feedback from employee surveys is extremely valuable. By enabling you to better understand what new recruits think about the support you're providing, see what's working and what isn't and any improvement you can make, an employee onboarding survey can help maximise your ability to develop more happy, productive and valuable long-term employees.

Employee onboarding

33% of new hires look for a new job within the first six months on the job

Harvard Business Review

Onboarding Surveys in the Employee Lifecyle

From their experience of the recruitment process and how it influenced their decision to work for you, to their views about their induction, initial training and their first few weeks and months working for you, onboarding surveys offer an invaluable resource for getting the views about your employees' very earliest experiences within your organisation. The survey is crucial as the views expressed by new staff typically set the tone about how they are likely to feel and perform in subsequent stages of their employment journey with you, giving you time to make any necessary improvements in order get the best out of an individual.

The onboarding stage is such a crucial period of a new recruit's employment journey, so it's essential to get it right, as new hires who experience poorly planned and executed onboarding and induction programmes can easily decide that an organisation is badly managed and leave, resulting in a costly waste of time for everyone involved.

To help provide you with more insight during this critical period, you may even consider slowly introducing some additional surveys for new employees after they've been working with you for a few weeks. These could range from recruitment and training surveys, to those that look to measure how contented, motivated and engaged they are with your wider organisation such as measuring job satisfaction, assessing levels of employee engagement and running occasional quick-fire pulse surveys.

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Benefits of Running an Onboarding Survey

Besides the beneficial impact it can have over the entire employee lifecycle, the business benefits that a successful employee onboarding survey programme can deliver include:

  • Improved talent acquisition:

    Every organisation wants to be able to have first pick of the best available talent in the market, so anything you can do make your organisation more attractive to these recruits is invaluable. First impressions speak loudly, so if you provide a positive onboarding experience, news that you are a great company to work for is likely to travel far and wide, making it easier to reach out and attract the best talent.

  • Quicker return on your investment:

    The quicker you can get new hires up and running and adding value to your business the better. With an effective onboarding survey programme in place, you're more likely to be listening to your new employees needs and giving them all the information, equipment and support they need to be operating at maximum efficiency and productivity.

  • Reduced employee churn:

    Given the high number of recruits that can typically leave a business within the first six months, it literally pays to have a good onboarding process, because if a new employee can get through their first six months, they are more likely to go on to become long term employees.

  • Helps strengthen your brand:

    It's commonly known that satisfied customers can become strong advocates for your brand, sharing their positive experiences with friends, family and associates, and the effect of happy employees can have a similarly positive impact on your reputation. If you have a strong onboarding process in place, which has drawn lots of favourable feedback, it's likely that your reputation in the local community as a great place to work will only get better, which is great news for your brand.

Nearly four out of five (78 percent) of business leaders rank employee retention as important or urgent

Talent Management & HR
Best practices for employee benefit surveys

Employee Onboarding Survey Best Practices

A good onboarding survey should not just be written once and then rolled out continuously for years to come. To be effective a good onboarding survey needs to be continually evolved, as the needs of your organisation, and its people, change over time.

However, whether you're starting your survey from scratch or just revising it, there are a few best practices you should be thinking about. Some things to consider include:

  1. Think carefully about everything you want to evaluate before creating or updating your survey:

    From their opinions about your recruitment process, why they joined and what they thought about their initial induction, to their views about any training and equipment they've been provided with, their overall onboard experience and their alignment with your organisation's values. There's a lot of areas that can be covered off in an onboarding programme, so it's important to know what yours will be covering, so you can evaluate it effectively and so get the most out of your survey.

  2. Issue your survey frequently at key stages within your onboarding process:

    To help keep new recruits focused and engaged, think about sending surveys with different questions that address significant stages or milestones of their onboarding. This could be key intervals such as after the first week, month and 3-month period, and any decisive stages such as after they've completed inductions, training or any reviews with their manager.

  3. If possible, try to incorporate some measurements into your survey:

    eNPS stands for employee Net Promoter Score and is a metric that organisations can use to measure employee loyalty. The Employee Net Promoter Score® seeks to provide employers with a quick overview of staff loyalty levels within their organisation, by asking their employees the question:

    On a scale of zero to ten, how likely would you recommend our organisation as a place to work?

    This can be a useful evaluation technique in an onboarding programme, which will give you quick insight into how happy your new recruits are. For the best results, try measuring it early on – say after their initial induction programme and then again just before the end of their probation period.

33% of employees knew whether they would stay at their company long-term after being on the job for one week or less; 63% knew within the first month.

Accessperks.com

Employee Onboarding Survey Questions

The questions you ask in your survey are vital to helping you to evaluate and improve the key stages you've highlighted as essential to the success of your employee onboarding programme. So, it's vital to have some strong questions in place that will help give you the feedback you need.

To help get you started, we've outlined some questions you might like to consider below.

At the beginning of your employee onboarding survey, you may be interested find out a bit more about what your newest employees thought about your recruitment process and how it influenced their decision to work for you. Suitable questions could include:

What do you think about the overall recruitment process you experienced with us? Is there anything more we could have done to improve it for you?
During this process was there anything significant you heard or learnt about, that was factor in your decision to come to work for us?

After the first week or two, you could then explore how new recruits were feeling about their onboarding experience to date, including any initial induction programme or training they had received.

How are you finding your onboarding experience so far? What have you enjoyed the most and is there anything you feel we could improve?
What did you think of your induction and/or training programme? Was the information and support you received sufficient to enable you to perform your job well going forward?

Then to get a feel for how they feel about their role, how they feel they fit in and their perception of the wider company, you might want to ask some further questions after they've been working for you for after a couple of months such as (these questions prompt respondents to rank their answers from strongly agree to strongly disagree):

I feel that this role is a good fit for me, and so far, matches the job description that was provided for me.
I've been made to feel welcome here and the experience of the organisation so far, is matching my expectations.
Onboarding survey questions

Employee Onboarding Survey Templates

From what you need to be asking your employees, to what structure of questions you should be using, it can be daunting to know where to start with your first survey. So, to help you we've developed a great selection of fully customisable templates for you to look at.

View templates
Employee onboarding survey template

Employee Onboarding Survey Software

From their first week, induction and orientation with your organisation and its policies, to any training programmes you may have provided and ongoing performance reviews, with so many key stages to an employee onboarding survey programme, it can be challenging managing your surveys, so that they are distributed, and their feedback gathered and analysed at exactly the right time.

With the right employee survey software in place this shouldn't present a major issue, as it's automation and integration capabilities will ensure a survey is triggered whenever a new employee reaches one of these key stages, to ensure your insight is maximised throughout the onboarding process.

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