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How to Evaluate and Improve Your Onboarding Strategy

Jun 7, 2023| Reading time: 5min

BY Sharon Rusinowitz

Director of Content Marketing

Onboarding is a critical process for any organization. It’s a time when new hires get their first taste of the company culture, expectations, and how they will fit into the team. A well-planned onboarding day can set the tone for a successful tenure with the company. 

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How to Evaluate Your Onboarding Strategy

Evaluating and improving your onboarding process is a critical step in ensuring that your new hires have a positive experience and feel confident in their roles. Here are some steps you can take to evaluate and improve your onboarding:

1) Gather Feedback

One of the most effective ways to evaluate your onboarding is to ask new hires for feedback. You can do this through a survey, focus group, or one-on-one interviews. Ask about their overall experience, what they found most helpful, and what could be improved. Use this feedback to identify areas where you can improve your onboarding and make adjustments accordingly.

2) Review Your People Data

Another way to evaluate your onboarding is to review metrics related to new hire performance and retention. Look at metrics such as time-to-productivity, turnover rates, and job satisfaction to see if there are any correlations between your onboarding process and these metrics. For example, if you notice that new employees who complete a particular onboarding activity are more likely to stay with the company long-term, you may want to expand that activity to all new hires.

3) Assess the Onboarding Content

Take a critical look at the content of your onboarding program. Are there any areas that could be improved or expanded upon? Is the information presented in a clear and concise manner? Are the activities engaging and effective? Consider bringing in a consultant or an expert in onboarding to review your content and provide suggestions for improvement.

4) Update and Improve

Based on the feedback and data you’ve collected, update and improve your onboarding process. This may involve tweaking certain activities or expanding on certain topics. You may also need to update your materials and resources to ensure they are up-to-date and relevant.

5) Continuously Monitor 

Onboarding is not a one-time event but an ongoing process. Continuously monitor and evaluate your onboarding process and make adjustments as needed. This may involve incorporating new technologies or changing the way certain activities are conducted. By continuously monitoring and improving your onboarding, you can ensure that your new hires have a positive experience and feel confident in their roles.

5 Steps to Improve Your Onboarding Strategy

Once you’ve evaluated your onboarding strategy, it’s time to take steps to improve the process. Start with these five steps:

Step 1: Define Your Objectives

Before planning your onboarding day, it’s essential to define your objectives. While that may sound obvious, many organizations actually jump into onboarding without asking some essential questions, therefore missing the important aspect of intentionality. 

In short, your objectives will guide the planning process and ensure that your new hire onboarding meets the needs of your company and new employees.

Examples objectives are: 

  • Introducing new hires to the company culture and values
  • Providing an overview of the company structure, products or services, and industry
  • Familiarizing new hires with the company policies, procedures, and expectations
  • Building connections and relationships between new hires and their colleagues
  • Developing skills and knowledge necessary for success in the role

Step 2: Plan the Agenda

Once you define your objectives, you need to roughly plan the agenda to understand the other stakeholders involved. Ideally, your agenda will include activities that align with the objectives and provide a mix of information, interaction, and fun. 

Here’s an example of a possible agenda:

8:30 – 9:00 AM: Welcome and Introduction

  • Welcome new hires and provide an overview of the day’s agenda
  • Introduce the company culture, mission, and values

9:00 – 10:00 AM: Company Overview

  • Provide an overview of the company history, structure, products or services, and industry
  • Explain how the new hires’ roles fit into the company

10:00 – 10:15 AM: Break

10:15 – 11:00 AM: Policies and Procedures

  • Discuss company policies and procedures, such as sick leave, vacation, and performance evaluations
  • Provide an overview of the employee handbook

11:00 – 12:00 PM: Departmental Introductions

  • Introduce new hires to their department and colleagues
  • Provide an overview of the department’s goals and responsibilities
  • Assign a buddy or mentor to each new hire

12:00 – 1:00 PM: Lunch

1:00 – 2:00 PM: Skill Development

  • Provide training on skills necessary for success in the role, such as communication, time management, or customer service
  • Include hands-on activities or role-playing

2:00 – 2:15 PM: Break

2:15 – 3:15 PM: Team Building

  • Conduct team-building activities to foster connections and relationships between new hires and colleagues
  • Examples include a scavenger hunt or a group project

3:15 – 4:00 PM: Q&A and Wrap-up

  • Provide an opportunity for new hires to ask questions and provide feedback
  • Recap the day’s activities and emphasize the importance of the new hires’ roles

Step 3: Assign Roles and Responsibilities

To ensure a smooth onboarding day, it’s essential to assign roles and responsibilities to the appropriate team members. For example, the People team may be responsible for introducing the company culture and policies, while the department managers may lead the departmental introductions. Assigning roles and responsibilities ensures that everyone knows what they need to do and when they need to do it.

Step 4: Prepare Materials and Resources

Your onboarding day will require a range of materials and resources, such as presentations, handouts, and activities. Prepare these materials in advance to ensure they are ready and available that day. You may also want to consider creating a welcome package for each new hire, which could include company swag, the employee handbook, and any other relevant resources.

Step 5: Evaluate and Improve

We get it – designing a strong onboarding experience can be overwhelming. Read how Adriana Roche transformed MURAL’s onboarding process into an engaging and supporting experience for all.

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