Global HR 8 min

How to measure the effectiveness of an onboarding strategy

Written by Paula Dieli
May 23, 2024
Paula Dieli


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What’s equally as important as an onboarding program for new team members? Quantifying whether your employee enjoys the onboarding experience from day one.

But where do you begin, and what metrics should you measure? 

In this post, we'll take a look at the benefits of measuring onboarding processes. We'll also discuss simple ways to quantify the elements of strong onboarding programs.

How does measuring employee onboarding metrics help your company?

Here are some of the key benefits of measuring onboarding effectiveness.

  • Proves ROI: Demonstrates the tangible value and business impact of onboarding efforts.

  • Identifies gaps: Highlights areas in your onboarding process that need improvement.

  • Tracks progress: Allows you to measure how ‌onboarding supports an employee’s performance.

  • Helps optimize experiences: Lets you refine your onboarding program based on what’s working and the feedback you receive.

  • Informs investment: Helps determine appropriate spending on onboarding resources and tools.

  • Drives engagement rates: Employees feel more connected to the organization when asked for feedback on their onboarding experience.

  • Improves culture fit: Helps determine how well the onboarding process helps employees adopt to company culture.

  • Ensures onboarding objectives are met: Determines how well your onboarding program is achieving goals like job role clarity and skill building.

  • Enhances manager collaboration: Engages managers more closely in onboarding, evaluation, and improvement.

Overall, measuring the effectiveness of employee onboarding processes gives you data and insights that will better your program over time.

8 ways to track your onboarding strategy’s effectiveness 

Wondering how to measure the effectiveness of your onboarding program? Here are eight ways you can test the effectiveness of your onboarding activities in a consistent, actionable manner.

8 ways to track your onboarding strategy’s effectiveness

1. Quizzes

Once your new team member completes their onboarding program, you can ask them to take a quiz to check their knowledge retention. 

Quiz topics can include those that you already covered during the onboarding process. This can be on the company's history, mission, policies, or organizational structure.

Questions can range from simple multiple-choice questions to open-ended questions or problem-solving scenarios. The goal is to evaluate the new team member's understanding, not stump them.

If the test shows that many people struggle to get the correct answer, it can mean that a topic wasn’t sufficiently covered or needs to be taught a different way.  

Plus, at the end of quizzes you can ask for input on the onboarding training itself.

2. New hire turnover

New hire turnover can mean:

  • Voluntary turnover: where the new hire resigns on their own  

  • Involuntary turnover: where the organization asks the new hire to leave

You can use the below formula to calculate new hire turnover.

(Number of new hire departures within a set period (e.g., 1 year) ∕ Average number of new hires in that time frame) ✕ 100

For example, if you have 6 departures in a year, and your average number of new hires is 24, your new hire turnover rate is 25%. 

If you think that you have a high turnover rate among new team members, you can help reduce it by designing a more effective onboarding program. 

One way to do this is to implement an HR management software like Remote. With Remote, you can create a checklist of onboarding items. Once that’s done, you can send an invite to the new team member.

The employee can self-serve to complete the checklist. This checklist makes sure that each new hire receives the same base onboarding experience. New team members also know what to expect from day one, which makes onboarding simple and easy.

3. Onboarding program surveys

You can measure the effectiveness of your onboarding program through surveys. New team members can give you feedback on what is going well and what could be improved.

Be sure to use anonymous surveys, as employees are more likely to give honest answers. Below are sample survey questions to measure the effectiveness your your onboarding program.

  • How well did the onboarding process prepare you for your new role?

  • Do you feel properly trained on company values, processes, tools, and products?

  • How connected do you feel to your team and the company culture?

  • How engaged were your manager and team in welcoming and supporting you?

  • Did you feel overwhelmed with too much information or confused with too little guidance during onboarding?

  • Did onboarding help you build connections within the company?

4. Time to productivity 

Time to productivity (TTP) is the amount of time between a new hire’s start date and when they can independently complete work at full capacity. You can accelerate TTP at all four stages of the onboarding process, which include:  

Pre-boarding: This is the time between the new team member accepting the job offer and their first day. During the pre-onboarding stage, you can greet and prep the new team member for onboarding. This also helps the new team member feel welcome and get excited for the new role.

Orientation: Orientation usually starts on the new team member's first day up to weeks after joining the company. To improve TTP at orientation, you can focus on introductions, company and job overviews, compliance training, granting access to tools, and immersing the new team member into the organizational culture.

Initial ramp-up: This is typically the first 30 days after the new team member begins. Provide training, mentorship, and the necessary tools to help them begin contributing to team goals.

Ongoing ramp-up: This is the post-hiring 60 to 90-day period where the recruit continues their skill development and builds relationships. Managerial feedback is crucial during this time. The goal is for the new hire to feel fully integrated and productive by the end of this period.

5. Training completion

30% of new hires leave within 90 days of joining a business. Training programs can reduce this number and support recruits understand their role more clearly.

One way to measure the effectiveness of your onboarding program is to check the training completion rate. 

A high completion rate likely means that your training is accessible, useful, and reinforced — a real-world impact of your training investments. It also suggests that managers encourage and make time to train new hires. 

In contrast, a lower completion rate may mean that new hires lack enough time, technology access, or support to complete the training. 

6. Job satisfaction survey

New hire satisfaction surveys help you determine whether your onboarding program helps nurture talent, fuel engagement, and increase retention rates. 

To understand how engaged and connected your employees feel to the organization, you can use a Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey. ​​

NPS surveys ask, “How likely are you to recommend this company to a friend or colleague?” Segmenting new hires by NPS score helps identify who had a great versus poor employee onboarding experience. 

You can also have regular check-ins with new team members for a pulse check on employee satisfaction. Based on feedback from new hires, you can adjust your onboarding program for all team members.

Competitive compensation, growth opportunities, work-life balance, clearly defined goals, recognition, and purpose-driven roles also increase job satisfaction. 

New team members can be happier in their new role when they have the proper tools and infrastructure. For example, a self-serve platform to expedite their onboarding gives your employee more control to manage their data and settle into their new role.

7. 360-degree performance feedback

360-degree performance feedback is measuring a new employee’s job performance based on facts from multiple perspectives. It paints a full picture of the new hire’s cultural adoption, skill development, and fit within their team.

This kind of feedback typically consists of confidential surveys or reports completed by the new team member, the hiring manager, and the recruit's coworkers after 30, 60, and 90 days. A 360-degree performance feedback gathers data on strengths and areas for improvement from all angles. 

This data also helps you identify specific onboarding components to refine. For example, if a new team member receives consistent feedback that they lack knowledge in a specific field, you can add training materials on the subject to the onboarding program.

8. Manager survey

Manager performance surveys help you identify managerial behaviors that improve new hire productivity, satisfaction, and retention. The questions help evaluate a manager’s communication style, support level, guidance, inclusion efforts, and overall leadership.

Manager surveys can also help people in managerial roles who may struggle to support a new team member. For example, if you see that a manager is micromanaging a new hire, you can design an onboarding program for new managers and recruits to instill trust and encourage independent work.

Optimize your onboarding processes with Remote 

Creating effective onboarding strategies takes work. Fortunately, different metrics give you valuable data on new hire retention, productivity, and satisfaction. Based on this data, you can know what’s working and what’s not to continuously improve the employee onboarding journey. 

With an HR Management platform like Remote, it’s easy to centralize and track onboarding processes. Your new team members can also self-serve to expedite their onboarding, making it less stressful for both the employee and employer.

Chat with Remote today to discuss how our solutions can optimize your onboarding analysis and outcomes.

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