Most companies believe that their employee onboarding process is effective, but without truly measuring it, how do you really know?
You can't afford to overlook the importance of employee onboarding, especially if you want to retain and grow your valued employees long term. When you hire a new employee, it’s important that they’re brought up to speed with the overall goals of the business, what’s expected of them in their new role, and how you and others in the business will be there to help them be successful. Considering a BHG study found that great employee onboarding can improve employee retention by 82% while directly impacting company profitability and profit margin, it’s something you should be certain about.
Measuring the effectiveness of your onboarding process is no easy task — 76 percent of HR managers have outlined that their organizations underutilize employee onboarding best practices. The fact is, whether your current onboarding process is short and sweet or extensive and complex, don’t make onboarding a transactional process of just filling out forms and meeting the team leader. Employee Onboarding should be about helping new hires forge a deep connection with the company, its people, and its values. And it needs to be tracked and measured for both the health of the employee and the business.
Key HR metrics can help measure the effectiveness of your employee onboarding process and will ensure your new employees have the tools they need to succeed from day one.
We've outlined five key metrics for measuring onboarding effectiveness for your business. Let's get started.
1. Voluntary and Involuntary Turnover Rate
An unexpected increase in turnover is a strong indicator that something could be wrong inside the business, and that it’s time to take a deeper look. And in order to properly assess what is causing your turnover rate to increase, you must first differentiate between voluntary and involuntary turnover, respectively.
Involuntary turnover can suggest an issue with recruitment, such as a lack of well-qualified candidates. Voluntary turnover indicates an issue with onboarding and potentially company culture: either the training was insufficient, or the culture and rewards were misrepresented and possibly not what the employee was expecting. To mitigate this try the following:
- Assign designating mentors or buddies (non-team members) to help guide the new employee
- Integrating new recruits into the team with team building exercises
- Ensure clear goals and expectations are being set early on
- Never underestimate the power of positive feedback for a job well done
Keep in mind that turnover is normal and a healthy part of a growing business. You don’t want to have a 100% retention rate for your employees, as that may be an indicator that you are retaining employees that aren’t a good cultural fit or could be low or under performers.
And most importantly, when a new employee leaves, get feedback. Their input will be very useful in understanding their experience and perspective of your onboarding process and it will help you identify areas for improvement overall.
2. Track who’s Leaving
It's just as crucial to use metrics to track overall turnover, as it is to track who in the business is leaving. Some new employees that leave will have a greater impact on your business than others might, depending on their position and responsibilities. Understanding who’s leaving and why they are leaving is another way to determine gaps in your onboarding process that may be impacting its effectiveness.
Some additional ways to retain employees and create an uplifting work environment during the onboarding process are:
- Education and review of total compensation
- Key introduction meetings with employees outside of their department or team
- Have genuine and authentic conversations
- Take stock of employee initiatives and ideas
- Discuss educational and career-development opportunities
- Offer employee feedback opportunities
3. Keep Track of Overall Employee Satisfaction
Employee satisfaction can be measured in a variety of ways.
The first step is to measure and track employee happiness. Many businesses utilize anonymous surveys or employee interviews to gauge employee satisfaction. Employees that are happy at work are more productive and more likely to stay with the company.
Employee satisfaction is also strongly linked to co-worker relationships. Friendly and constructive relationships between coworkers can be fostered in many ways like team activities or mentorship programs. Anything that can provide engagement with other employees outside their team or department.
Understanding overall employee satisfaction will help determine the impact it is having on new employees. Happy employees in a healthy company culture will make the new employees feel welcomed, involved, and part of the team early into the onboarding process.
4. Track New Employee Satisfaction
As with overall employee satisfaction, regular questionnaires or surveys are great tools for tracking new employee satisfaction as well. Focus on job and workplace satisfaction, manage expectations of the role, and how your workplace compares to their ideal workplace. If satisfaction isn’t as high as you’d like it to be, you’ll be able to identify which areas should be amended or improved upon quickly and early into their onboarding.
Another great way to identify new employee satisfaction levels is with a net promoter score (NPS). Although typically used for clients, the same principles can apply to new hires. Ask new hires to rate, on a scale from 1-10, how likely they are to recommend the company to a colleague or friend, based on their onboarding experience. Those who mark 9 or 10 are promoters, and those who mark 1-6 are detractors. Those who rank between 7-8 are passive. To calculate your net promoter score, subtract the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters.
Tracking satisfaction in new employees is another integral way to measure onboarding effectiveness.
5. Consistency, With personalization
It may sound like personalization contradicts consistency, but it doesn’t have to. Personalizing your employee onboarding process simply means ensuring that your templated and repeatable onboarding experience is personalized to the individual enough that it does not feel like a ‘one-size fits all' approach. No two employees are the same, and their onboarding shouldn’t be either. The ideal onboarding program should be consistent, but also allow for flexibility within each department and role.
Based on the feedback you are receiving, you can keep what is working, adjust what isn't and allow for the personalization and flexibility to be a part of each new employee onboarding experience.
Best Practices for Effective Employee Onboarding:
- Ask the right questions: Don’t be afraid of feedback. In fact, encourage it. This will be one of the most valuable parts of increasing the effectiveness of your onboarding process
- Make it personal: Although it may feel metrics based, and it is, make sure that it is personal and down to earth. Each employee is a person, not a number.
- Attentiveness: Make sure that new employees feel part of the team, and connected.
Measuring onboarding effectiveness with the five metrics we’ve discussed is a simple way to know which issues are positively and negatively affecting your employee onboarding process. The more time you spend understanding your employees, the better you will be at setting them up for success, and ultimately, creating a happy, healthy and effective workplace. Happy onboarding.