If there were ever a make-or-break point of the hiring process, it would be onboarding. How successfully the onboarding programme integrates your new employee into the company has the potential to shape the rest of their employment, for better or for worse
While a great onboarding experience can set them up for success and help them feel at ease in the company, a negative onboarding experience can overwhelm them and deepen their anxieties about being the ‘new kid on the block.’
And while a great onboarding experience can foster team spirit and raise productivity levels right off the bat, a negative onboarding experience can leave you with an unhappy employee plotting their exit strategy.
So, it really is in everyone’s best interest to make sure that the onboarding programme is running smoothly and efficiently. But how do you do that? Well, we’re glad you asked.
Here are 5 key metrics to measure onboarding success.
We won’t be the first ones to tell you this, and we won’t be the last: The best way to know whether your onboarding programme is working is to track whether your new employees are happy and engaged. While employee happiness is about emotional wellbeing, employee engagement is a direct result of this wellbeing and affects team-wide or even company-wide operations.
Though there is no numerical way to measure employee happiness, try conducting regular check-ins with your new hires, as well as keeping an eye out for how smoothly the overall team is functioning. Trust us, this will come in handy in more ways than one!
Though it may sound like the same thing as employee happiness, employee satisfaction relates to more measurable aspects. Are recent hires content with their work conditions, for example, or with levels of teamwork, or communication with management? Do they feel that they are being compensated enough?
While regular check-ins might be useful for this one too, conducting anonymous employee surveys and questionnaires, or asking for direct feedback, can be a better way to do it. This is also a great time to ask your employees whether they felt that the onboarding programme was sufficient in integrating them to the company.
Employee retention and turnover
When you spend time and money on recruiting exactly the right candidates for your company, the last thing you want is to lose them. Retention success correlates directly to onboarding success, so evaluating turnover percentages can be a great way to assess the efficiency of the onboarding programme.
Both voluntary and involuntary turnover can be a serious indicator that something is going wrong not just during the onboarding process, but throughout the entire recruitment process. Are positions not being advertised well, or is something being left out during the onboarding stage? Make sure your onboarding experience is providing employees with exactly what they want and need, and this issue might just solve itself.
A tip here is to conduct exit interviews and surveys. A leaving employee will find it much easier to respond to questions honestly, so don’t be afraid to ask them both direct and indirect questions. More overt questions might include what has influenced their decision to leave and whether they were happy with onboarding, while more discreet ones might include whether they felt it easy to integrate into the team during their first month and whether they had any issues familiarising themselves with office technology.
It may be difficult to measure productivity depending on the field of work your company engages in. While one employee’s productivity may result in direct sales and income, another one’s productivity might mean helping other employees perform their best. The most important piece of this equation, therefore, is to have a clear understanding of what the desired productivity outcome is from the recent hires.
Once this is settled, it’s time to look into how long it took them to become productive. Were they getting in handfuls of new clients within the first month? Had they boosted team morale to never-before-seen levels in a quarter of a year? Or did it take them weeks on end just to get a hang of their emails?
While there is an inevitable adjustment period with every new hire, there will also come a point by which you expect productivity levels to have reached their maximum. When this time has come, as harsh as it may sound, it may be best to ask yourself whether this employee is generating value or decreasing it. And if the answer is negative, it may be best to evaluate how the onboarding programme was unsuccessful in getting them to their full potential.
And finally, perhaps the most straightforward one: Are recent hires completing all of the tasks that are part of the onboarding programme? When done correctly, the onboarding dashboard must feature a comprehensive checklist. This might include anything from training activities to management meetings, from comprehension tests to trial tasks. And though it may be difficult, especially in larger companies, to keep track of all new hires’ onboarding programmes, we would strong urge you to do so.
Making the onboarding dashboard accessible both by the employee and by HR is a great way to keep tabs on whether anyone is finding it difficult to complete everything on the checklist. And if this is a common occurrence, it might be time to ask why.
By managing your onboard efficiency through these 5 metrics, you can build a practical onboarding experience that sets you up for success.