1. Decide when to send out onboarding surveys
According to organizational designers, onboarding happens in the first year of the employee lifecycle. But don’t wait too long to send out an onboarding survey.
Most companies leverage onboarding surveys to understand how the first chapters of the employee lifecycle are unfolding and how to optimize them; so they focus on topics like:
- Orientation process;
- Technical setup;
- Knowledge transfer;
- Role clarity and expectations;
- Manager support;
- Likelihood to stay.
You’ll want these topics, impressions, and onboarding initiatives to be fresh on your new hire’s mind, so we suggest running these surveys within people’s first two months at the company.
If using a survey platform like Leapsome to prevent you from drowning in paperwork, the survey will be automatically triggered based on each employee’s start date.
2. Choose your survey’s questions
Determine the number of questions for your survey (consider keeping it short) and work on those questions.
Some recommended employee onboarding survey questions are:
- I feel welcome here.
- The training or onboarding process helped me get started in my new role.
- I know how my work supports the goals of [company].
- I have all the resources I need to perform in my new job.
- My current understanding of the role matches the description provided to me.
- I understand what is expected of me in this role.
- I still feel like this is a great role for me.
- Open question: How would you describe the experience so far since you started your job here?
- Open question: What could we have done to improve your onboarding experience?
You may also refer to our downloadable survey template with best-practice questionnaires on 22 categories for more questions.
If creating new questions, keep in mind that they should be measurable. Although a platform with advanced people analytics can provide sentiment analysis for qualitative answers, quantitative data makes for clearer tracking.
3. Invite participants and share the information they need
Implementing onboarding surveys shows that your organization values feedback and open communication, so take the lead by sending, along with the questions/survey invitation, information on:
- The purpose of the survey;
- How much time would be needed to fill it out;
- A deadline for participation;
- Anonymity. Clarify that participation is anonymous — and of course, make sure that anonymity is guaranteed (which you can easily do with Leapsome);
- How you intend to use these results. Employees know when there’s no practical purpose for a survey. In such cases, survey fatigue rises, and the response rate plummets.
Communicate that the organization intends to act upon survey responses to improve its onboarding program.
4. Send out reminders to increase participation
Don’t be forceful, as that could lead to participants skimming over the survey — then, you’d have unreliable results.
But don’t be afraid to remind your new hires that surveys are essential to give them a great employee experience.
A best-practice tip is to use multiple internal communications channels to share these reminders. E.g., chat, email, automated reminders via Leapsome. You can also ask managers to nudge their new reports during 1:1s.
Follow-up best practices for running an employee onboarding survey
Dig into the data
This is how you’ll understand what’s most crucial and flag key insights. Without interpreting quantitative and qualitative responses, you’ll have plenty of data, but no way to inform an action plan.
A tool with advanced people analytics can even analyze qualitative responses, offering a sentiment analysis and action plan suggestions.
Running a survey is not enough: It’s time to use the insights you’ve gathered and take action! Consider ways the company can improve its onboarding processes and list priority actions. Set ownership for each initiative and make them time-bound.
Check in with your new employee & remain available
Check in with your new hires from time to time to find out how they’re doing. Make it clear that you’re happy to answer questions and address concerns.
— Would you also like to learn how to run other types of surveys? We’ve got you covered: Check out our playbooks on running employee engagement surveys, pulse surveys, diversity surveys, and exit surveys. 😉