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How do you measure the success of your onboarding program?

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Here are the steps to find the right way to measure your organization's onboarding program including a FREE Onboarding Survey!

Step 1: What do you want to get out of it? Defining your KPIs

Do you want to measure how welcome your new hires feel? In that case, you can have them fill in a survey, for example. Do you want to measure whether your onboarding program has contributed to getting the new hires up and running faster? Take a look at the output, for instance in the project management tool used by your organization. Maybe your employees have to record their hours. Check how billable someone is after following the current onboarding program. 

Are these points recognizable for your organization, and do you feel your KPIs can be improved? First, write down why you feel a good onboarding program is important. Things to think of:

  • You want to make new hires feel welcome;
  • You want to help new hires build a network by getting to know their colleagues;
  • You want to get new hires operational as soon as possible;
  • You want new hires to feel connected and a part of your organization at an earlier stage;
  • You want to manage expectations of new hires.

A good guideline for how to establish your KPIs are the four C’s of onboarding, developed by Talya N. Bauer. Take a look at the various elements of your onboarding program; which of the elements stand out most?

Step 2: How are you going to measure the results?

Think critically about how you want to measure things. For me, a yes/no question such as: “Did you like the speakers at the induction meeting?” is not a very interesting question in a survey to measure the success of the onboarding program. The question: “On a scale of 1 to 5, how well did your colleagues help you get started?” will give you a much more specific answer.

My tip is to measure smaller elements of the onboarding process at specific moments in time. For example: Before the first working day, you can already check whether your new employee is ready to get started and completed the preparation phase. After the first week, you can ask how things are going, and you can schedule progress interviews at the end of the trial period and after the first hundred days. This already gives you four measuring moments throughout the onboarding journey. 

Step 3: What do you want to do with the conclusions?

If you measure the effect of the onboarding program, you know what works well, whether there are things you missed, and whether the information given is being processed and applied. 

For example, one of my clients noticed that the rules on information security and compliance were not properly enforced. As part of their onboarding, employees have to go complete tasks in their Appical app, where these rules are explained. The customer decided to improve the content on this subject by adding gamification. 

And guess what? After just a short while, compliance was the most successful element of the entire new onboarding program. In fact, it now gets the highest scores from new employees! In short, by intelligently measuring and monitoring your onboarding program, you can improve the onboarding experience. 

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