Lessons Learned after Implementing a New Hire Feedback Survey

December 5, 2023

Implementing a new hire feedback survey can be a game-changer for any organization striving to enhance the onboarding experience. For business owners, C-suite executives, and HR managers who have made the leap and integrated this tool into their talent acquisition process, there are rich insights to be gained. The more effective your new hire survey, the better the input your organization will receive. At Tesseon we take these surveys very seriously, and through trial and error, we have honed these surveys to provide substantial information that we can use to improve our onboarding experience.

According to the Director of Human Resources, “New hire surveys are like conducting a health check on our organizational practices.” She went on, “It offers insights into the employee experience, ensuring that we can take the necessary measures to strengthen our employees from their very first steps at the company. This allows us to build a stronger foundation of support, accelerate productivity, and reinforce retention through responsive action and tailored growth opportunities.”

Why did we decide to embark on this journey?

At Tesseon, our aim is to become one of the best companies to work for. We want to foster a culture of continuous improvement and stay attuned to the needs and experiences of our workforce. The goal was to ensure that new team members felt valued from day one and immerse them in Tesseon’s company culture. We also recognized that optimizing the onboarding process could lead to increased productivity and retention, which in turn would contribute positively to our bottom line.

What we didn’t anticipate was just how enlightening this process would be. The creation of the survey itself was a learning curve — we spent weeks brainstorming questions that would elicit actionable feedback, piloted the survey with a small sample of recent hires, and revised it accordingly to make sure we were asking the right questions in the right way.

As responses started coming in, it became clear that while our overall onboarding program had its strengths, there were gaps. For example, it surprised us to learn that many new hires felt confident in understanding their day-to-day tasks but were seeking more clarity regarding long-term career development within Tesseon. Additionally, despite our attempts to create a warm and inviting work environment, some feedback pointed towards a need for stronger efforts in fostering a sense of belonging and community amongst new hires.

What did we learn from the survey?

First, that listening is just the starting point — the real work begins with what you do with that information. It affirmed the necessity of maintaining clear communication channels and highlighted areas in our onboarding process that required immediate attention. Secondly, we understood that the nuances of an individual’s role substantially impact their onboarding experience. Therefore, we learned the value of tailoring our approach to cater to specific roles while maintaining the core tenets of our company culture.

The most revealing aspect of this whole experience wasn’t just the data, but the stories behind them. Anonymous comments allowed new hires to freely express their anxieties, hopes, and suggestions. These narratives provided depth to our data and a human perspective that numbers on a spreadsheet could never convey.

The impact of this survey journey was profound. Armed with insights and a renewed resolve, we set forth making improvements: refining our mentorship programs, enhancing career development conversations early on, and integrating cultural immersion into our onboarding process. The feedback loop had become an essential element of our human resources strategy.

Why does it matter?

In sharing this story with other companies, we hope to highlight not only the importance of collecting new hire feedback but also the value of acting on it. It’s an process that has made us not just more receptive employers but also an employer of choice for many aspiring tech professionals. By being vulnerable and open to change, we’ve embarked on a path of growth that has transformed Tesseon into a company where every voice matters and every role is crucial to our collective success.

What is a New Hire Onboarding Survey?

A new hire onboarding survey is a set of questions delivered to new employees at various stages during their initial period of adjustment within your company. The purpose of these surveys is to solicit candid feedback regarding a new employee’s experience, from the application process to initial training and integration into their role and team. This information is invaluable; it shines a light on both strengths and weak links in your onboarding process, providing actionable data to boost retention and overall employee satisfaction.

What Questions Should I Ask in a New Employee Survey?

The questions you ask should capture the full spectrum of the new hire’s experiences and perceptions. Here are some essential queries:

1. How accurately did the job description match your actual duties?

This question can highlight discrepancies between expectations set during recruiting and the reality of the position.

2. How would you rate your pre-employment communication with our company?

Communication is key, and understanding how well-informed the candidate felt can pinpoint areas needing improvement.

3. Did you feel welcomed by your team on your first day?

A sense of belonging from day one can influence an employee’s long-term engagement.

4. How effective was the training you received?

Training lays the groundwork for competence and confidence going forward.

5. Do you have the tools, resources, and support needed to be successful?

Identifying resource gaps early ensures that employees can perform efficiently.

6. How clear are you about opportunities for growth within our company?

Insight into career development paths encourages retention.

7. Would you recommend our company to a friend as a good place to work?

This ultimate question mirrors employee NPS (Net Promoter Score) gauging overall satisfaction.

The 3 Most Important Elements of Successful Onboarding

Successful onboarding touches on multiple facets of the organization, but three elements stand out as fundamentally critical:

1. Structured Process

Onboarding should not be ad-hoc or left up to chance. A structured program ensures consistency, covering all necessary areas of knowledge transfer and skill-building for new hires across all levels or departments.

2. Cultural Integration

Apart from learning job-specific skills, integrating into the company culture greatly affects how comfortable and engaged new hires feel. Facilitating introductions, including them in team events, and communicating company values are vital parts of this integration process.

3. Ongoing Support

Onboarding doesn’t end after the first week or even month. Continued support, check-ins, and opportunities for feedback help new hires transition smoothly into long-term productive employees.

The Long-Term Benefits

By implementing strategic surveys and focusing on these key elements of onboarding, businesses craft an environment that fosters growth and sustains morale. Leveraging these surveys generates direct input from new hires that clearly indicates where improvements can be made for future talent onboarded into the organization.

Effectively executed, a new hire feedback survey becomes more than just a collection of data points; it transforms into a powerful retention tool that encapsulates employee sentiment, informs continuous improvement efforts, and unequivocally demonstrates an investment in the most critical asset any company has – its people.

So, whether you’re refining an existing process or building one from scratch, keep these lessons in mind to ensure that your onboarding process contributes positively to both employee success and organizational health. Feedback-driven change is not just good for business; it’s essential in maintaining a competitive edge in attracting top talent in an ever-evolving marketplace.

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