How do you measure the impact of effective onboarding practices?
Time to Proficiency
How to Measure Onboarding Effectiveness
Onboarding is an important way for organizations to help new hires adjust to social and performance aspects of their jobs quickly and smoothly. Therefore, it is essential to measure the impact of onboarding. According to Mary Collins, the first indicator is do they stay and for how long. “I think probably the most powerful measure is retention. I think people are going to be reluctant to give honest criticism early in their role within the organization, so pulse surveys with a constructive focus can serve to improve onboarding at a basic level. We also need to consider the metrics of the direct line manager, or the team leader, whoever is heading up the division, to ensure they take ownership of the onboarding process for their new hires.”
“We measure effectiveness by reviewing retention rates during probation, retention overall, performance data and culture survey feedback”, says Leigh Morrison, Recruitment Manager. “The onboarding process is manager-driven and is highly critical to retention at MSD. The managers are fully supported by the Human Resource Business Partners. The managers support the onboarding of their new team member by helping them feel welcome, engaged and oriented to the organization and their role. They ensure the new colleague understands what is expected of them and where they can go for help.”
The employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) is a concept that builds off the NPS system, allowing employers to measure and get a snapshot of employees’ willingness to be ambassadors for the company by advocating employment there”, says Whitter. By asking a variation of the question “On a scale of zero to ten, how likely is it that you would recommend this company as a place to work?” you are able to segment employees into promoters, passives, and detractors. “I’ve seen regular pulse surveys being done throughout the 90 day period, very short surveys, even one to three questions, just very simple temperature tests. The eNPS is still relevant on the employee experience side. The validity of it is debatable and the depth it goes into but it still gives a metric to look at which gives practitioners something to follow to present a business case to the Board to get more investment in the whole area of employee experience.”
Continuously gathering data on feedback, retention, and time to proficiency allows the organization to experiment with and enact more targeted onboarding practices. “Feedback is essential to discern role clarity, self-efficacy, social integration and knowledge of culture”, says Collins. “Exit interviews are also a source of feedback and a new phenomenon we’re increasingly seeing among millennials especially is boomerang employees or returners who leave organizations without burning bridges only to return maybe a year later with different experience. The come back kids are on the rise so it’s important to keep exits positive and leave the door open for returners”, says Collins.