Apr 29, 2016
New employee orientation best practices are fundamental to the success of any new hire orientation and it begins with measurement.
Now that your organization has a new employee orientation program, it is time to determine if it is a success. In order to determine if it is a success or not, it is important to ask yourself the following questions:
- Did you measure the outcomes?
- What outcomes should you measure?
- How did you measure?
Let’s address each of these million dollar questions.
It is important to start with the BIG picture. Measure those aspects that directly contribute to your business goals. Establish a baseline, which is more or less similar for most organizations – rate of employee turnover or retention, time to productivity, and employee satisfaction.
Once the areas to be measured are identified, integrate corresponding methods for periodic assessments. The exact metrics and methods depend on your company size, employee demographics, and business objectives, but it is most important to establish upfront what needs to be measured, why, and when.
Numbers say it all – Quantitative Metrics
Addressing employee turnover and employee productivity are key when following new employee orientation best practices.
Headache of the Modern business – Employee Turnover
This critical figure helps you identify the success of an onboarding program as it is directly tied to the business goals of the organization. Organizations can compare employee turnover figures before and after the inclusion of a new hire orientation program.
Productivity metrics associated with business and support functions could help determine the business contribution of new hires, and thus the effectiveness of a new hire orientation program. In the absence of past organizational data, Michael Watkins’ average of 6.2 months can be used as a break-even point for new hires.
Following new employee orientation best practices, organizations would do well to automate measurements using onboarding software. Usually, SaaS-based, these onboarding software help capture data pertaining to performance, onboarding checklists, training schedules, and milestones.
The Human Element – Qualitative Data
Apart from the above specific data points, there is a need to capture qualitative attributes in relation to the new hires. An organization could see increased retention rates, but it may be worthwhile to see if that was accompanied with enthusiasm and ownership, not just of the new hires, but also of all stakeholders.
Onboarding managers need to conduct periodic assessments to assess goals, both with respect to the new employee and the employer. Such periodic assessments could cover the following:
New Employee Engagement – How Engaged is the New Hire?
The answer to this question clearly indicates the effectiveness and success of your new hire onboarding program. But, how do you actually measure if an employee is engaged enough?
a) Pre-Onboarding / First Few Weeks
Assess the needs and wants of the new hire early, as early as the pre-onboarding phase or the first week of joining. This information can be obtained by simply asking a few questions to the new hire and also consulting the hiring manager. It is critical to plan the coming months of the new hire.
b) The First 30 to 90 Days and beyond
Regular interviews with the new hire covering the following topics would give a sense of engagement levels.
- Company culture and job
- Role in the team
- Alignment with company goals
The timeline of these interviews will depend on the needs of organization.
Take Continuous Feedback from New Hires
Feedback sessions are important for mid-course corrections. This may also be a good opportunity to put forward the company’s expectations from the new hire, instead of waiting for the end of the probation period.
Exclusive Performance Appraisal Process for New Hires
Organizations should complement a formal new employee orientation program with a corresponding performance appraisal process that is exclusive for new hires. In addition to assessing the new hire directly, this appraisal should obtain feedback from the new hire’s peers, subordinates, manager, and the human resources team.
This would ensure that the organization goals in respect to the new hires are achieved. An exclusive new hire appraisal process would increase the chances of bringing out the effectiveness of the new employee orientation program.
Quantitative and qualitative measurements are both important in determining the effectiveness of a new employee orientation program. It is vital that the two sets of measurements corroborate each other. Positive correlation between the two would increase your confidence levels in the measurement process, whereas a negative correlation would mean going back to the drawing board.
Leave us a comment and tell us all about your organization’s experience in measuring the implementation of new employee orientation best practices!