While you probably feel pretty good about your current employee onboarding practices, you may be surprised at how they strike a new hire.
Are they as helpful and welcoming as you intend?
If you’re not sure, you might be best off asking the hires directly or sending them a survey.
Your new employees offer you a unique opportunity to assess your orientation techniques. The experience is still fresh in their minds and their success on a daily basis is still largely dependent on your onboarding program.
Asking new hires about their onboarding experiences also fits right in with your commitment to tracking employee engagement starting on Day One.
And whether we like it or not, first impressions matter — at least to some extent. The more engaged employees are during the first days, the more likely they are to remain engaged thereafter.
Why Should You Engage Employees During Onboarding?
If employees aren’t engaged during their first days, chances are they’ll never realize their full talent potential while they work for you.
As you onboard employees, you need to make sure they have everything they need to be successful in their role right from the beginning beyond the onboarding process.
Your company needs to improve the way they onboard new employees constantly. You will also need feedback from new and current employees, as well as in-depth research on what has worked in the past and what caused employees to leave the organization.
Unfortunately, as many as one in every five new hires is unlikely to recommend their employer. Only 12% of employees can say that their organization does a good job during onboarding. The rest are missing out on improving their retention rates by as much as 82%.
If you want to make sure your hiring and employee onboarding processes are as engaging as possible, here are some questions you may want to consider asking your new hires as they get comfortable working in a new environment.
Given the present context, understanding what's working and what's not is especially important while onboarding remote employees.
How Often You Should Survey Your New Hires During Their Onboarding Experience
Just like regular employee engagement surveys that can be brief and sent daily, onboarding illuminates the importance of frequent and lightweight surveys. Your company needs to plan their cadence ahead of time, making sure that the surveys don’t take up too much of a new hire’s time that should be focused on understanding the team’s values and workflow.
The best approach is to send regular questions that are easy to answer and don’t require too much thinking time.
To ask these questions and take action upon them you have three options:
- Traditional Excel sheets - While this is easily accessible and doesn’t require an extra investment, the process of sending questions and recording answers is too complex. You’ll need to introduce all data manually and there’s no way for you to compare results or create reports automatically.
- Google Forms - The tool was primarily created for market research. While it does a good job at recording answers and it’s easy to use for the employees, it makes the analysis process difficult since you can’t exactly see the results for specific teams unless you create workarounds.
- TINYpulse Onboard - This solution strictly targets the onboarding process and provides a user-friendly way of answering the questions while allowing managers to get accurate feedback they can quickly act upon. The non-anonymous pulses let managers intervene when onboarding isn’t going well and compare data across company benchmarks. This data can later be used to improve how you onboarding new hires and identify any risks or gaps in the process.
Employee Onboarding Survey Questions to Ask at the End of the First Week
Your new hire has just completed their first week, and chances are it all still feels pretty new.
This is your earliest chance to get to know them better and craft the rest of the onboarding process based on these first feedback snippets.
As you onboard employees, try to get a sense of their first impressions by asking more on what you can do for them and understanding where their worries and challenges lie:
- 01. What thing strikes you most about your new job?
- 02. What aspect of your job excites you?
- 03. What aspect of your job worries you?
- 04. If you can describe your onboarding in one word, what would that word be?
- 05. Is there anything you need help with?
- 06. Do you need more time with your mentor?
Keep in mind there should be a person responsible for reviewing the feedback of the new hires. Their direct managers should be involved in this process since they’re likely to keep working with them for years to come and they also have a huge say when it comes to changing things around. They’re also responsible for making sure that new employees have everything they need from day one.
Employee Onboarding Survey Questions to Ask After Two Weeks on the Job
Your new employee is starting to settle in and has probably developed some opinions about the job and how well the onboarding process is working out. It’s a good time to ask more employee onboarding questions on work and training expectations as well as any new obstacles:
- 07. Is the assistance you’ve been receiving as you get acclimated helpful or a distraction?
- 08. Are you having to ask a lot of questions about topics not covered in your training?
- 09. What’s the biggest obstacle you’ve encountered so far?
- 10. Do you feel like you’ve been well prepared for your work?
- 11. Would you say you’re beginning to master your responsibilities?
- 12. What’s still unclear to you in terms of your duties and our work policies?
Employee Onboarding Survey Questions to Ask After a Month on the Job
Your employee is probably beginning to feel comfortable in their position, and their onboarding is now either paying off — or it isn’t.
Try asking the following questions as you’re one month into the employee onboarding process:
- 13. Do you feel like the training was relevant to the specifics of what you do?
- 14. Is there anything you wish you’d been told?
- 15. Do you understand what the expectations for this job are in detail?
- 16. Should onboarding have been longer, shorter, or was it just about right?
- 17. Do you have the knowledge you need to succeed?
- 18. Did we meet your expectations during this first month?
After a month, you should also involve employees in your engagement program by soliciting regular and frequent feedback on company decisions. Let them know that they have the outlet to express their opinions anonymously to build a better workplace.
As an idea, have them send regular anonymous suggestions to help you improve their life at work and performance without them feeling the pressure of saying something specific.
Questions to Ask After Three Months on the Job
At this point, the novelty of the new job has probably worn off. As a consequence, your new hire is simply hard at work.
Onboarding is in the past. Your now-experienced employee is ready to look back via employee survey questions like:
- 19. Did your onboarding make you feel more or less confident that you could do your job well?
- 20. Is there any kind of information you could’ve done with more of?
- 21. Would you tell a friend coming to your company that the early days are nothing to worry about?
- 22. How is this role different from your previous one?
- 23. Was your onboarding successful?
- 24. Would you like to have any additional duties that suit your passions or interests?
As a manager, don’t forget the importance of employee recognition throughout the entire onboarding process and beyond.
Show them you’re thankful for their work and reassure them that they’re doing a good job. Even a simple compliment or thank-you message can boost their motivation and keep them productive.
Questions to Ask Your Remote Employees During Onboarding
With remote work being the only future many employees envision, managers need to look at new ways of ensuring accurate feedback even when everyone’s working from different parts of the world.
All of the above employee survey questions still apply in a remote context. You just need to use the right technology to communicate them effectively and get honest responses in return.
With that in mind, here’s how the ask better questions during remote employee onboarding:
- 25. What would help you feel connected to the rest of the team?
- 26. Is there any type of resource you’d need to do your work better?
- 27. Do you have access to all the information you need?
- 28. What’s one thing you’d change about our workflow?
- 29. How can we help you improve your performance?
- 30. Have you had any significant communication issues you’d want us to fix?
New hires face different challenges. Early in the hiring process is the best time to course-correct by asking the right employee onboarding questions.
Sending non-anonymous onboarding pulses through TINYpulse allows you to understand how a new hire is settling in, and find opportunities to provide coaching early on. See what Rober Glazer from Acceleration Partners says about TINYpulse Onboard:
"It allows us to see, really clearly, the before and after of that effect and where it's working and where it's falling down."
-- Robert Glazer, CEO at Acceleration Partners
The answers to these employee onboarding questions or others like them should give you a pretty good idea as to what, if anything, needs to be changed in the way you onboard employees.
Be sure to thank your new hires for their honesty, reassuring them that their answers won’t adversely affect the way management feels about them as employees. After all, the goal of your questions is simply to make sure that the folks who are hired next have an even better employee onboarding experience.
Use this type of data to improve your employee onboarding process and increase the chances that your new hires will stick around.
As a result of well-chosen employee onboarding questions, you’ll enjoy increased employee retention, a stronger workforce, and a healthier bottom line. What’s not to like?
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