There are many benefits of employee onboarding, including increased employee satisfaction, reduced turnover, and, subsequently, lower recruitment costs. Quantifying those benefits can help you justify your investment and ensure continued support for your employee onboarding program.

Here are four ways you can measure the success of your employee onboarding program to share with stakeholders.

1. New hire surveys 

New hire surveys are one of the best ways to measure the success of your employee onboarding program because you can collect feedback directly from your team members.

Ask questions based on the goals of your employee onboarding program. For example, a one-week check-in survey might ask if your new employees feel welcome on the team and whether they received accurate information about their first week prior to their start date. A 90-day check-in survey might ask if your new hire would recommend your company as a great place to work and whether they understand how their role contributes to company goals.

Track how your new hires rate their satisfaction with your employee onboarding program and use their feedback to strategically improve your new hire experience.

2. Retention rates 

Strategic employee onboarding can help your team members feel welcome at your organization, assimilate to your company culture, and settle into their new roles. This can all help with retention. Calculate your retention rate monthly to spot trends and watch how it changes as you make adjustments to your employee onboarding process.

It’s also a good idea to track your 90-day turnover rate to understand how many of your new team members are leaving your company within the first few months of being hired. A high—or increasing—90-day turnover rate can signal serious problems with your hiring or onboarding processes and should be explored. 

When people leave, use exit interviews to learn why—and whether there’s anything you could do differently to improve retention. You may even want to run periodic stay interviews to see what it takes to get people to stay at your company long-term.

3. Feedback from your onboarding buddy program

An onboarding buddy program pairs your new team members up with a seasoned employee to help them better acclimate to their new role, team, and company.

Track the success of this program and your overall employee onboarding experience by gathering feedback from your new team member and their buddy. For example, you might ask your new hire if they feel comfortable asking their buddy questions that come up. And you might ask their work buddy how they think your new hire is adapting to the company culture and how their confidence has progressed since they started working.

An onboarding buddy can provide valuable feedback that may not be seen by managers or uncovered by metrics—but that can help you measure your success and provide a better new hire experience.

4. Objectives and key results

Goal setting is an important part of the employee onboarding process because it helps your new hires understand what’s expected of them. It can also help you measure how employee onboarding impacts productivity.

Set objectives and key results (OKRs) (or use another goal-setting methodology) and communicate them with each of your new team members. For example, a demand generation manager might be responsible for getting a set number of sales leads while a customer service representative may be responsible for a certain number of case resolutions. 

Keep in mind that new hires generally won’t reach full productivity right away. In fact, data suggests that new hires have a 25% productivity rate in their first month on the job, 50% in their second month, and 75% in their third month. Their goals should reflect this so they’re set up for success, and your onboarding program should be designed to support them in ramping to full productivity and achieving their goals.

Track new hire performance and how long it takes them to reach full productivity so you can quantify the success of your employee onboarding program.

Final thoughts on measuring the success of your employee onboarding program

Tracking HR metrics is crucial for planning and optimizing great people programs—but don’t keep this data to yourself. Share key findings with stakeholders to ensure continued buy-in. 

For instance, you need Finance to understand the return on investment for employee onboarding so you can continue to get (and increase) a budget for this program. You need managers to understand that investing their time in onboarding their new team members is paying off so they will continue to do so. And you need buddies to understand that their involvement is making a difference so they will continue to volunteer.

Share your wins and your opportunities for improvement cross-functionally to ensure the continued success of your employee onboarding program.

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Measuring the Success of Your Employee Onboarding Program