Employee onboarding surveys: A complete guide with survey questions

Kailash Ganesh
10 min read

Let's dive back into your past, do you remember your first day at your current job? There are more chances of you being nervous than excited, right? What if you hadn't received enough attention and instructions? It would not signify well for your mood or motivation to speed up in your capacity at your new workplace.

This might be a tiny part of why HR Dive states that 28% of employees quit their jobs within the first 3 months. Losing newly hired employees is a significant loss for a company and leads them to repeat a costly hiring process to find a perfect replacement.

These do not count the compensation of new employees during their time with your organization or the resources spent on training them to work with you.

"Pay attention to your culture and your hires from the very beginning."  -Reid Hoffman

This is why an effective orientation program, along with onboarding surveys, can increase your company's employee retention. Let's explore the essence of an onboarding survey and how that is significant in your employee lifecycle, in this brief article!

Table of contents:-

  1. What is onboarding?
  2. Why is proper employee onboarding experience important?
  3. What is an employee onboarding survey?
  4. Why is an onboarding survey important?
  5. Benefits of onboarding survey
  6. Key features of the onboarding process survey
  7. Onboarding survey best practices
  8. Employee onboarding survey questions

What is onboarding?

What is onboarding?

Onboarding is one of the critical stages of the employee lifecycle, as it represents how well your company welcomes new hires and integrates them into their new workplace. The definition itself suggests that the new employees' onboarding process extends beyond the first day—it persists until they have completely adjusted to their team and job description.

According to Zippia, a strong onboarding program can increase retention by 82% and productivity by 70%. So technically, onboarding directly refers to any action that helps the new hires to get the clear understanding on how things work in their new workplace, get trained with your company's culture, and feel more welcomed in their new team.

But people often mistake onboarding for employee orientation; these two are entirely different things. Orientation is something that a company provides to their new hires, typically on the first day. The new hires familiarize themselves with the workplace, the company's policies, job duties, and their new colleagues during their orientation. So, employee orientation acts as the first step in onboarding.

Onboarding during pandemic

As a people leader, you know the challenges during the pandemic were nothing but foreign pre-pandemic. According to a survey by Workable, more than 37% faced significant problems with the remote onboarding process during the pandemic.

More than ever, the dynamics of recruitment experience, the environment, and the employee experience require more effectiveness; many are throwing out the rule book and re-envisioning a well-structured company's onboarding process that includes the new hire's job description, schedule, training, work environment, and development. And introducing the new hire's mentors, Human Resources, training staff, hiring managers, and their colleagues.

Why is proper employee onboarding experience important?

Why is proper employee onboarding experience important?

The first 90 days of the employee lifecycle are more crucial to both employer and employee engagement; from finance to oversight, the following are the top reasons you should start optimizing your company's onboarding experience.

Reduce employee turnover

Turnovers are more expensive than you think. According to Business News Daily's estimate, poor onboarding experience is the primary cause of employee turnover, costing a company 100–300% of an employee's actual salary.

Not just the job ads, or recruiter's salary, when a new employee quits, others need to pick up the pace, which can drain the organization's energy, time, and resources. According to SHRM, companies that invest in standardized onboarding procedures can lead to 50% great productivity.

Competitive edge

When there are fewer vacant jobs, there will be higher rates of productivity. When employees scramble and juggle multiple roles at once, they can't focus entirely on their job role. According to the University of Oxford, employees are 13% more productive when they are happy and well-engaged.

These stats will help you look at new hire's perspective. Let's take you as an example—will you work for a company that takes excellent care of its employees or its competitor downtown, where everyone seems overwhelmed all the time?

Compliance from day one

Compliance from day one

In human resources team, compliance training is something every employee undergoes during their initial stage to adapt well to the tone of the organization’s necessary skillsets.

According to IBM, 80% of employees agree that their engagement increases when the work is consistent with the organization's core values.

So, that's where your compliance and training program helps your business be more secure and should also be the first step of onboarding. The employees will know what kind of conduct to expect, how to interact with team members and customers, and so forth. By doing so, the company can elevate the chances of employee retention in the longer run.

Clarity about the role and organization

Not everyone enters a new job knowing what to do exactly and how to proceed further. Having no standard orientation process in the workplace can lead to multiple negative impacts for both employer and employee.

According to Business New Daily, 16% of HR managers stated that poor or lack of onboarding led to lower company productivity and 12% said it led to higher employee turnover. A well structured, smooth onboarding process can be very efficient for your organization to educate the fundamental expectations and address uncertain questions before they develop into productivity killers or safety issues.

Apart from that, it will also ensure your employees have proper access to all the right equipment or tools to set up their framework.

Workplace culture

An effective onboarding strategy demonstrates your organization's values, mission, and unique characteristics to the new hires; this is where they learn more about your workplace culture.

Lower employee engagement, less confidence among workers, and lack of trust within the organization are the direct impacts of not having a company culture.

Currently, employees are more receptive; as per TeamStage, 88% of job seekers consider a healthy culture essential for success. So, the proper onboarding process would show the new employees how they can learn and positively influence work.

Cultivate teamwork

Managers often cultivate mentorship, teamwork, and leadership through the onboarding process. It forges powerful, lasting connections among employees and uses the human element to connect the existing employees to new hires on a personal, emotional level.

According to Bit.Ai, 75% of employers rate collaboration and teamwork as "very important." So managers must develop their teams, pass institutional knowledge, and aim for future organizational values and leaders from day 1.

What is an employee onboarding survey?

What is an employee onboarding survey?

As a decision-maker or a business owner, you put a lot of effort, time, and money into recruiting an employee, so you want to ensure these investments pay off, but how can you reliably measure the effectiveness and impact of your new hire?

The answer is not complex; it's the one-stop solution—conducting well-planned employee onboarding surveys.

Imagine you are joining an organization, and within a few days or weeks, you have feedback on the workplace, but you won't come out and say it since you are the new employee.

But what you want to say out loud is persistent and pushes you to exit the company or develop bad reviews within yourself, leading to poor work engagement.

Now back to reality; according to Gallup, only 20% of employees are engaged at work globally. So an employee onboarding survey could help you to push at least the next  30%, to be more engaged in the workplace and could reduce your early attrition rate.

The onboarding survey is a systematic way for measuring the satisfaction levels among the new hires towards the onboarding process. The onboarding survey displays their overall experience and helps you, as an employer, to manage employees to adjust to the social aspect of their new workplace.

The onboarding survey also allows new employees to quickly and effectively adapt to their new job responsibilities while learning the knowledge, attitude, skills, and more.

Why is an onboarding survey important?

Why is an onboarding survey important?

The onboarding survey questions help you, as an employer in a critical stage of the employee lifecycle, to set a foundation for how successful the new hire can be in your organization.

A good onboarding survey also helps the employees to adjust to their new workplace and thrive in their new responsibilities.

The onboarding survey with relevant and engaging survey questions will provide valuable information about your recruitment process strategy and make the new employees feel like their feelings and opinions about the workplace are being listened to.

Onboarding risks alienating new hires by making them unwelcome; according to Forbes, 20% of new employees leave the company within 45 days, and the Harvard Business Review states that 33% of newly joined employees quit within the first 6 months of their job. There might be multiple reasons why newly hired decides to cut short their time; those include:

  • Unmet expectations developed during the recruitment process
  • Overbearing or poor management
  • Lack of clarity about the role
  • Less opportunity for self-development
  • Other reasons that lead to dissatisfaction or discomfort with the workplace

Benefits of onboarding survey

Benefits of onboarding survey

Simply put, by conducting an onboarding survey, you can figure out what's working and what isn't. You will know why you need to improve your onboarding and possible things you can make to have a big difference in employee engagement at your workplace.

The onboarding survey is associated with a number of crucial important employee engagement and experience, including:

  • Tenure: Employees will stay longer at a company where they have a positive onboarding experience
  • Ramp time: The better the onboarding process, the quicker the new employee delivers valuable work for the company
  • Advocacy: A perfect onboarding process will increase the chances of new hires recommending you as a great workplace and potentially referring more top talents to your organization, thereby increasing your eNPS score.

Key features of the onboarding process survey

Key features of the onboarding process survey

The right onboarding process survey can help you exponentially increase the employees' engagement, the productivity of the team, and companies growth because it takes the best aspects of new hires and helps you. The onboarding feedback from the survey acts as paramount for further causes like:

  • To understand what the new employees think about your onboarding process and their general thoughts about the workplace
  • Evaluate whether the new employees understand their job responsibilities and are well-equipped to complete the task
  • To know what are the new employees' up-to-date expectations
  • To conduct further training or map additional information if required so that employees can perform well in their roles
  • The employees can also use the onboarding survey to troubleshoot any issues that they are facing at the workplace
  • The onboarding survey is one of the critical tools that help to gather feedback on the onboarding program to fill in any gaps.

Onboarding survey best practices

While deploying employee onboarding survey questions, make sure the resulting data is actionable to make employees feel comfortable and provide you with honest and meaningful feedback. Here are some best practices for an onboarding survey that help you to receive better, accurate results.

Onboarding survey at the right time

What is the right time to conduct an onboarding survey? A week? A month? or right after new hires join? Irrespective of the time you decide, remember that if you keep skipping the onboarding survey date, you're breaking the sole purpose of sending the survey.

Waiting too long can also cost you valuable insights or even top employees.

Keep it real and simple

The last thing you want is to make your employees feel that onboarding surveys are like daily chores. Keep the onboarding survey short, simple, engaging, and absolutely to the point. Just remember, it's not a high-school essay they are working on; it's onboarding feedback. Because, the shorter, the merrier and easy to answer.

Don't lose sight of the purpose

Make sure you are sticking with the real reason for deploying the onboarding survey to your new hires. Asking too many irrelevant questions could make the survey longer and hence will affect the participation rates. Take action through the employee anonymous feedback immediately and efficiently.

Direct approach

Ask direct questions through the onboarding survey, allow your employees to rate their experience, and shape their career path with your organization. Stop beating around the bush; ask them relevant survey questions that can evaluate their performance and think ahead.

Employee onboarding survey questions

Employee onboarding survey questions

Random tools and irrelevant questions to ask new employees will lead you nowhere. So, as a decision-maker, understand how to enable the best tool in the market for your employees' effective onboarding survey.

Here is where CultureMonkey's research-oriented employee onboarding survey questions are second to none.

CultureMonkey's employee engagement platform, enables you to send relevant employee surveys and also allows you to have personalized pulse survey questions per your specific, individual requirement.

Now, let's dig into the onboarding survey questions that you are looking for:

Onboarding survey questions:

  1. Are you provided with accurate information about [Company] during your recruitment process?  [Free-response]
  2. Did you feel unclear during any stage of onboarding? [Free-response]
  3. Do you feel something was missing from the onboarding programs? If yes, kindly let us know. [Free-response]
  4. Kindly indicate the reasons why you joined [Company]. [Free-response]
  5. How well your role in our organization matches your job expectations and description? [rating scale]
  6. How can we help you do your new job even better? [Free-response]
  7. Was the orientation engaging and helpful? [rating scale]
  8. Does our organization motivate you to go beyond your previous role? [rating scale]
  9. Did you have the proper training for your new role? [rating scale]
  10. Are you confident enough in using tools to fulfill your role? [rating scale]
  11. Are you aware of what you must learn to excel in your career? [rating scale]
  12. How do you feel about our organization's values? [rating scale]
  13. Do the organization's values align well with your core values? [rating scale]
  14. Do you understand the ways your role contributes to our organizational goals? [rating scale]
  15. Did you feel welcome throughout your onboarding process? [rating scale]

Kailash Ganesh

Kailash Ganesh

Kailash is a Product Marketer with 5+ years of experience. He loves story-telling in the simplest way possible and he is an avid reader, movie buff, and likes to travel new places to meet new people.