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What Is an Onboarding Survey?
The onboarding process is a new employee’s introduction to your company and should be consistently evaluated and improved.
An onboarding survey can measure the effectiveness of your interview process, training, leadership and more.
Why You Should Survey Your New Employees During Onboarding
What better way to understand the perspective of a new employee than to ask them? You need to know what’s working well for you and what isn’t. You should survey your new employees regarding onboarding to gain an understanding of what an introduction to your company truly looks like and to ensure you’re touching on all the areas necessary during onboarding.
- Understand your first impression. The onboarding process is when you make your first impression by introducing the company product or service, leadership, culture, values, mission and so much more. Are you conveying this information in the way you intend to? The best way to find out is to simply ask.
- Evaluate your recruiting process. New hires are the people who have most recently experienced the recruiting process, so they are the ideal people to ask about the effectiveness of your recruiting process. Focus on what you want the recruiting experience to be like and ask if you are achieving that.
- Ask if they felt reaffirmed in their decision. Changing careers or companies is a big deal and can be intimidating. You want to help new employees know that they made the right decision when choosing to work at your company. Help employees to feel excited for this new opportunity and confident in their decision during the onboarding process. You should be asking if you’re meeting their expectations to help reaffirm their decision.
- Confirm you’re helping employees start strong. Although it takes time for new employees to fully contribute and add value through their work, you should be helping them start off as strongly as possible. You can do this by creating a promising environment and offering tools that encourage success early on. You may not know everything this entails, so asking it in an onboarding survey helps to ensure you’re offering all that you should.
- Assess the effectiveness of trainers. Starting a new job and learning how a new company functions is difficult. It is the duty of the trainers to make this process successful. Asking how new hires experience the training process in an onboarding survey will help you gain needed perspective about it.
These are all things that can significantly help your onboarding process, which in turn helps employees to be more effective as they continue with your company. You need to ask the right questions to see if you’re achieving your desired goals.
When to Send Out an Onboarding Survey
When you want to send out your onboarding survey depends on what information you’re trying to gather from it. If you simply want to learn about the recruiting experience or their experience during the first few days, you’ll likely want to send it out after their first week while it’s fresh in their minds.
If you want to learn about the training they received from their new manager, you may want to wait until their 30-day mark. Some topics can be taught or discussed within the first few days of employment while others need more time to be fully exposed to and understood.
Or, you want to align with specific milestones they achieve at your company. If you do a 90-day review, you may want to do your onboarding survey then, whether it be the initial survey or an additional one.
Determine what information you intend to gather from your onboarding survey, and use that as a guideline when determining when to send it out. You can send more than one onboarding survey, but you don’t want to overwhelm your new employees. Odds are that the more surveys you send out, the lower your response rate. You want to make sure you’re making the most out of the survey you send.
Questions to Ask in Your Onboarding Surveys
There are countless questions you can ask in your onboarding survey, so how do you know which will be best for you? Again, this depends on what information you want to gather from this survey. Do you want to evaluate your recruiting, interviewing, training, overall impression or something else entirely? We’ve come up with a few questions that will get you started in the right direction.
It’s also important to make sure you’re asking your questions in the right format. Otherwise, you may not be getting the information you really want in the answers. Try using a Likert scale (in which respondents rate their answer on a scale) in your onboarding survey to get the most accurate understanding of your onboarding experience. Here are a few good general questions to begin with.
“Overall, how confident are you that this company is a good fit for you? Rate your answer on a scale of 1-5.”
This question gauges a general understanding of your new employee’s feelings towards your company. This oftentimes ties in with your first impression and how well you portrayed your company culture, values, etc. This can help you estimate the degree of their engagement, integration and their desire to stay.
To get further details, follow this question with a free response option asking the respondent to explain why they gave the rating they did. To be even more specific, you can ask if their response relates to recruiting, interviewing, training, culture, company leadership, etc., to see exactly what they liked or disliked.
“Based on your training, how confident are you in your ability to start your job ? Rate your answer on a scale of 1-5.”
Although onboarding should include introductions to the company, it should also teach an employee how to be successful in their new role. It’s necessary to ask new hires if they’ve received the proper training to help them start strong in their roles with confidence. If they haven’t, you know which part of your onboarding experience can be improved.
“Please tell us what would have made your onboarding experience better.”
It’s important to give new employees the opportunity to provide suggestions for improvement. This can be a free response question, or you can prompt responses for specific topics, such as the interview process, training, etc. Open questions like this generate feedback that you might not have obtained otherwise.
How to Analyze and Act on Survey Results
This information doesn’t mean anything unless you use it. Make sure you have a designated person(s) to review the data. Set aside time after each new hire group to analyze the survey results. Once analyzed, following up on the results should be done in a timely manner. It would be helpful to create a system to ensure efficiency. Whether that involves the recruiters, hiring managers or trainers, create a standard operating procedure to continually improve your onboarding process.
Free Tools You Can Use for Your Onboarding Surveys
There are plenty of free tools you can start using today to survey employees during onboarding. Here are a few examples:
If your company uses G-Suite, then Google Forms could be a good platform for your onboarding surveys. It’s a free option, and it integrates well with other Google products for an easy-to-use experience.
If your company uses Microsoft Office, then Microsoft Forms may be the best option for you. It’s free with Microsoft Office, and integrates well with your other Microsoft products. It also has added features that you can upgrade to get.
This tool offers both a free basic package as well as upgraded options that include added features. The basic package allows you to ask up to 10 questions per survey. Survey Monkey is user friendly, but if you want more than 10 questions, you will need to upgrade.
Qualtrics is another tool that also offers both free and upgraded accounts. The free account offers a variety of options, including access to up to 50+ survey templates, eight question types, and a limit of 15 questions. If you want to have more than one active survey at a time, you will need to upgrade.
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Natalie graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources Management in 2020. Following her schooling, she completed an additional HR internship and is currently an Associate HR Operations Specialist. She loves working in HR and fully intends to further her education alongside her career.
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