Onboarding Survey and How to Conduct it

by Srikant Chellappa Apr 20,2022

The People Strategy Leaders Podcast

with Srikant Chellappa, CEO

Employee onboarding is the process of assisting newly recruited employees in adjusting to the social expectations and performance dynamics of a company. This method assists skilled recruits in swiftly adjusting to their new jobs and also in acquiring the required knowledge and abilities to perform productively within the company.

Your onboarding program should be able to provide new hires an opportunity to learn about your organization; your corporate culture; and what role they would play in the organization’s growth. Importantly, employee onboarding should be more than a maze of paperwork for new recruits in the name of the onboarding process.

Companies that fail to appreciate the critical nature of employee onboarding surveys in the modern era may face far-reaching implications. Thus, employee onboarding exercises must be well-thought-out and revised frequently to acquire meaningful insights and avoid being seen as a burdensome endeavour.

Keeping these factors under consideration, well-thought and structured onboarding survey questions would be the best methodology to adopt to ensure a successful onboarding process. Onboarding survey questions help to gather feedback from recruits about their first few weeks of employment, as well as an assessment of the success and efficacy of their onboarding program. Employee onboarding experience survey insights would assist an HR department in identifying areas for improvement in your onboarding programs. Then, accordingly, the HR department can take action to rectify the mistakes it is committing.

We’ll explain what is an onboarding survey; why it is crucial for your company, and how to design your first one in this complete guide. Continue reading to learn what type of questions (open-ended and scale-rating questions) to ask your team’s newest members in an onboarding survey.

Get to know the practices to implement in an onboarding program that ensure your employees have a long, successful career in your organization.

Understanding the process of an onboarding survey

Employee onboarding surveys are conducted systematically as a part of the employee onboarding process for newly hired employees. This feedback given during the survey helps to measure new recruits’ satisfaction with the onboarding process and their overall recruitment experience.

New hire onboarding survey questions help HR management and leadership to optimize and enhance the investment they make in recruiting and training new employees by gathering data from each new hire, including information on:

  • How content they are
  • Their manager’s opinion
  • Orientation processes’ efficacy
  • Possibility of continuing with the company

Even if you believe your business currently does an amazing job of training new employees for long and illustrious careers with your company, onboarding surveys may help you fine-tune your program and ensure you’re offering an unparalleled experience to every recruit. 

After all, new recruits are experiencing your onboarding resources for the first time, and they may pick up on something you overlooked. Their fresh viewpoints, along with their prior onboarding experiences, will offer a lot of knowledge that you can tap into and utilize to enhance your organization’s new recruit experience.

Significance of onboarding survey questions

You may also be shocked to find that, according to Gallup’s 2017 State of the American Workplace Report, just 12% of workers strongly feel their company does an excellent job onboarding new employees. A poorly handled onboarding process not only alienates new workers by making them feel uncomfortable but also creates an irreversible first impression.

New recruits who have an unsatisfactory onboarding and induction experience may mistakenly conclude that the company is poorly managed, and that they made a wrong choice by joining the company. 

In this context, Liz Pavese-Kaplan, Ph.D., Principal Consultant of Employee Experience at Qualtrics, thoughts that onboarding new employees is a make-or-break opportunity for organizations is true to a larger extent. Employee onboarding is a vital step in the employee lifecycle since it lays the groundwork for new recruits’ success in your company.

Employee onboarding survey questions allow you to familiarize new hires with your company’s culture, goal, vision, and fundamental values; thereby, encouraging them to feel immediately connected to the team. The employee onboarding experience survey will provide you with vital insight into the effectiveness of your recruiting strategy, and it reassures employees that their views and feelings about the organization are being heard. Thus, onboarding surveys are indispensable because they enable you to listen to and understand your new recruits’ demands. 

The workforce is continuously evolving, and new hires often have needs that their predecessors did not. Maintaining an open channel of contact with your new hires will help you stay informed of these developments and identify concrete ways to improve your onboarding program.

Also Read: 10 Amazing Employee Onboarding Examples

Benefits of well-designed onboarding survey questions

A survey on employee onboarding experience may provide a business with a plethora of advantages. Several significant advantages of onboarding survey questions include:

Determine what works and what doesn’t:

By conducting an onboarding survey, you may ascertain what works and what doesn’t, what needs to be improved, and possibly, unforeseen factors affecting employee retention that you may not be aware of.

Establishes the tone for the employment experience as a whole:

A strong onboarding process establishes the tone for employee engagement. By focusing on corporate culture, employee development, and regular check-ins, you show to new recruits that your company cares about the employees’ success and growth in terms of knowledge and advancement. 

Extending these key areas beyond the onboarding process ensures your employees are satisfied from the moment they are hired to their retirement.

Productivity: The more effective the onboarding process, the quicker new employees become productive and provide value to the organization.

Endorsement: A more effective onboarding process has been found to improve the possibility that new employees would recommend your organization as a place to work, thereby bringing in top talents.

Higher employee retention:

An effective onboarding program that delivers an exceptional employee experience may go a long way toward not just retaining talents, but also attracting outstanding potential candidates. Once you’ve delivered a world-class onboarding experience, get feedback from new recruits using new hire onboarding survey questions.

What should an onboarding survey must ideally include?

The onboarding survey questions should include both open-ended and scale-rated questions, enabling the collection of both quantitative and qualitative inputs. You may use a number scale, ranging from 1 to 5, to evaluate the preciseness of feedback. 

Alternatively, you can use the Likert Scale, which includes various alternatives, ranging from ‘Strongly Disagree’, ‘Agree’, ‘Neutral’, ‘Disagree’, or ‘Strongly Agree.’

While rating scales make it simpler to gather, evaluate, and improvise on employee inputs from onboarding survey questions, open-ended questions enable you to understand your employees’ views and have a deeper understanding of their thought processes.

Questions to ask new employees during their onboarding process

Given below are new hire survey sample questions. The questions are open-ended employee onboarding survey questions; employee onboarding scale-rated survey questions (on a scale of 1 to 10); and Likert scale-rated survey answers, based on employee satisfaction. 

Open-ended employee onboarding survey questions

The following are some open-ended onboarding survey questions that can be used during an employee’s onboarding process, following his first few weeks on the job. 

  • It has been a few weeks since you started working. Do you have a thorough understanding of what is required of you in this position now?
  • What can we do to assist you in doing your work more effectively?
  • Are you satisfied with your job, career prospects, and does it fulfill what you had expected of it?
  • Do you feel you are able to do an assigned job easily, facing no challenges? 
  • If you had come across any biggest challenges while working, what are they? 
  • Do you believe you have all the tools and resources necessary to do a good job?
  • Is there anything about our onboarding procedure that you dislike?
  • Which aspect of our onboarding process do you like the most?
  • What additional measures should we incorporate according to you to enhance our onboarding process?

Employee onboarding questionnaire, rated on a scale of 1 to 10

On a scale of 1 to 10, the following are some employee onboarding survey questions

  • If you had to rate your onboarding experience, how would you rate it on a scale of 1 to 10?
  • How would you rate the level of reception you have received on a scale from 1 to 10?
  • In your opinion, how valuable do you feel you are at work on a scale of 1 to 10?
  • How pleased are you with your employment so far, on a scale of 1 to 10?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how well do you believe you fit into our work culture?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how comfortable do you feel as a member of your team?

Likert scale-rated survey answers, based on employee satisfaction

Kindly take a few moments to share your thoughts on your current employment position and organization.

You can check-mark an answer, based on the scale’s responses (1 – Strongly Disagree, 2 – Somewhat Disagree, 3 – Neither Agree Nor Disagree, 4 – Somewhat Agree, 5 – Strongly Agree)

  • I am pleased with the onboarding process.
  • I am confident about my personal and career development and advancement.
  • I am content with my current job prospects.
  • I have access to all the resources necessary to do my work effectively.
  • My objectives are well defined.
  • My team members make me feel at ease.
  • I’m happy with my workplace.
  • I feel as if I am a part of the organization and its work culture
Also Read: 6 Trends That Will Shape HR Strategies In 2023

Best practices for implementing the onboarding process for new employees

It might take months to train a new employee so that they can be acquainted with the necessary knowledge, skills, and behavioral patterns to contribute to the organization’s success. This may last up to a year and it’s very hard to design a precise onboarding agenda, timetable, or template to tune an employee as per the organization’s expectations and goals.

Thus, supplement the onboarding process with the best practices, described below, that will measure the success of the onboarding process.

Best Practice #1: Begin planning the onboarding process for your new recruits before the first day of work.

Best Practice #2: Develop outstanding recruiting and welcoming procedures that will leave an excellent and memorable first impression in the mind of the new recruit.

Best Practice #3: Involve the most important members of your organization, such as team members, managers, senior leaders, and founders in onboarding events to build an engaging business culture.

Best Practice #4: Utilize an onboarding solution, such as Engagedly, which provides employee surveys with extensive analytics and reporting. It offers automated, integrated solutions in an employee’s journey that avoids data input duplication; decrease reliance on paper forms and expedite the entire process. Additionally, they ensure that the onboarding process runs well throughout the crucial first few days and weeks.

Best Practice #5: Establish a living trust agreement with your employee, since trust is the bedrock of every great working relationship, whether it’s among team members or between a management and a team member. It should be cooperatively developed, documented, evaluated, and updated regularly. 

Best Practice #6: Conduct regular one-on-one meetings with team members to build strong and productive relationships.

Best Practice #7: Provide opportunities for new hires to connect with work colleagues by scheduling brief introductory meetings; assigning an existing fellow employee to function as an advisor or buddy to the new recruit; organizing a team lunch or team-building event to foster a more comfortable, informal environment for getting to know one another, and preparing a welcome video for the new hire prior to his first day of work.

Best Practice #8: Give the new recruit the opportunity to describe and express what they need to settle in and provide your feedback. This demonstrates that you value inclusiveness and belonging.

Best Practice #9: Conduct an “offboarding” exercise to determine the most common reason employees leave your company and how you can retain them.

Final Thoughts

Employee onboarding surveys can assist you in improving the onboarding process and retention rate of your organization.

According to Wynhurst group research, employees who undergo organized onboarding are 58 percent more likely to stay with the organization after three years of joining.

To ensure that your onboarding process is engaging and successful, you may consider working with Engagedly software to create, manage, and monitor your onboarding surveys. With Engagedly, you can schedule onboarding survey questions automatically, based on an employee’s start date; customize survey templates, and simply analyze employee responses to identify concrete ways to enhance your onboarding program.

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Srikant Chellappa
CEO & Co-Founder of Engagedly

Srikant Chellappa is the Co-Founder and CEO at Engagedly and is a passionate entrepreneur and people leader. He is an author, producer/director of 6 feature films, a music album with his band Manchester Underground, and is the host of The People Strategy Leaders Podcast. He is currently working on his next book, Ikigai at the Workplace, which is slated for release in the fall of 2024.

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