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Getting the Most Out Your of Onboarding Program

Most understand the benefits of onboarding. We’ve written a number of blogs about onboarding. Yet building and growing a strong onboarding program proves difficult to position with leadership. It requires dedicated resources like L&D or HR professionals to have continued involvement to improve and maintain. Presenting data about gains in proficiency and productivity is rather difficult for learning because it can occur over a long period of time or directly correlate with what you originally set out to achieve. So you have to be creative when measuring your Return-On-Invest (ROI) for your onboarding program.

First step before you set out to build your program is to answer a few guiding questions to ensure your content will have the intended impact on your organization. Begin by asking:

What problems are we trying to solve?

  • Example Problem: Experienced team members are spending unplanned time assisting new hires filling out their weekly timesheet submission

How can data help me solve that problem?

  • Example Data Set: Experienced team members are spending 2-3 hours per new hire, weekly on timesheet submission - this typically occurs over a new hire’s first month which adds about 12 hours of work, on average team members help 2 new hires, so we lose about 24 hours to timesheet help per team member and new hire during a month period

What actions will I take based on the data?

  • Example Solution: Create a solution that demonstrates the timesheet submission process for new hires and build additional resources that team members can easily refer new hires to, postponing the need to involve team members right away in a new hires learning process

How will I measure the success after the action is taken? Example Measurements:

  • Qualitative Survey of experienced team members and new hires about timesheet solution and resources
  • Compare time spent pre-solution and post-solution for both team members and new hires
  • Increases in productivity in other areas like project delays, deliverables on-time, etc

These questions can help set a foundation for pieces of your onboarding program content. This will help you measure specifics about your program, but there are also overall metrics and conditions to ensure onboarding success. And sometimes this requires creativity in measurement to understand the qualitative and quantitative impact. Here are some standards to look for in your onboarding program’s success:

  • New hire sentiment: Ask new hires about their experience with the onboarding content - is it relevant, timely, digestible?

  • Retention rate: Review the current retention rate pre and post onboarding implementation - retention rate is tied to employee morale, cultural engagement, development opportunities, work-life balance, and role satisfaction

  • Time to proficiency: This may require a manager or self-assessment that can document knowledge gain and application across time - sometimes it can be as simple as how many questions have new hires asked in the last 30 days?

  • Average Tenure: Similar to retention, how long people are staying with your company is important - this can be influenced by management, how well the role was represented during the hiring process, and if the onboarding program and company culture reflect each other

Designing an onboarding experience for new hires is critical to their future job success with your company. But it also has a great impact across multiple stakeholders and processes like experienced team members from our example. Aligning your onboarding program with data helps show the ROI of a successful program. Check out some of our onboarding customer success stories here.