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Onboarding Surveys: What You Need To Include

In — by Noel Diem

When you think about designing onboarding surveys, you might be inclined to use the same questions over and over again. However, as the world changes and evolves, you need to revamp them and include new questions and material. If you don’t have onboarding surveys at all, you need to get them ASAP – they can be one of the most powerful weapons in your onboarding arsenal. Not only that, it helps you get feedback on how you are doing, giving you the opportunity to make changes where needed and keep what works.

Your new hire is going to be overwhelmed, anxious, and confused when they join your company – that is just part of the process. Onboarding surveys give you a chance to learn more about new hires and ensure they are doing okay. You will gain valuable insights into the process so that you can refine it and make it better. After all, we know that a good onboarding process is one of the most important determinants to employee retention.

With so much resting on a few simple questions, knowing the right way to ask them (and the right way to present them) is imperative. Here are some of our suggestions – and we know about onboarding surveys.

Onboarding Surveys: The Questions To Include

If you are writing onboarding survey questions, you need to not only think about the questions you want to ask, but how you want to ask them. There are a few different approaches you can take, some that will give you better insights because they have concrete answers, but others that will be more detailed and comprehensive. 

What you need to learn from these surveys will largely dictate what questions you ask and how you ask them.

Open Onboarding Survey Questions

When you ask open questions, you can get longer form feedback or just a few words, it really depends on the employee. Be sure to specify what you are looking for in each question so you can get more insight. 

Some sample open onboarding survey questions include:

  • Do you know what is expected of you in your position?
    • Is there anything that surprised you about your job description?
    • Is there anything you wanted to do, but we haven’t touched on yet?
    • Do you think you are prepared to handle all responsibilities of this job?
    • Where do you feel like you need more training?
  • What challenges do you foresee in this job?
  • How can we help you be a success at our company?
  • What should we add to our onboarding process?
  • What should we take out of our onboarding process?

These questions can get you some great information about how your process is going and make the employee feel like they are being heard.

Scaled Employee Onboarding Survey Questions

Another way to get information is to use a scale question. This will help you to get numerical information that you can use to present information about your onboarding process, track progress, and more. 

Some scale questions you can ask include:

  • How would you rate your onboarding experience?
  • How well do you think you fit in at our company?
  • How welcomed do you feel?
  • How does our onboarding process compare to your other jobs?
  • How prepared do you feel for your job?

You can take this information and track the changes you make. Compare the onboarding process now to the way it was before you made changes to see if those changes are working.

Likert Onboarding Survey Questions

You have likely seen or used Likert questions before, but you didn’t know the name for them. They use five answers for questions that are then assigned a numeric value. They are preferred by some people, but they require you to pay attention to how you are phrasing the questions, so it can take a bit longer to set them up – and some employees won’t understand them.

Often, you will set up the onboarding survey to say something like: “Choose one of the answers from the scale (1 – Strongly Disagree, 2 – Somewhat Disagree, 3 – Neither Agree Nor Disagree, 4 – Somewhat Agree, 5 – Strongly Agree).”

Then, you can go on to ask questions like:

  • I know what is expected of me at my job.
  • I know what tools and resources are available to me.
  • I have a clear understanding of the rules and procedures at the company.
  • I know what my goals are in this position.
  • I feel welcomed by the company and my team.
  • I am satisfied with my onboarding process.

These questions are often followed by an open box to allow people to explain and express their feelings if they have an answer that is “strong.”

Onboarding Surveys: How To Present Them

Onboarding surveys can be given in one big form at the end of the onboarding process or they can be delivered in smaller increments throughout the onboarding process. You can use them to dictate the trajectory of the current onboarding process or you can use them to change future onboarding – it all depends on what your personal style is.

Having an online survey is the best way to ensure the data is collected and that you have some anonymity, if that is what you want in a large group onboarding. It can also keep the data for you: you won’t have to worry about a pile of papers getting thrown away, misplaced, or destroyed. It’s also a great way to keep surveys to look back on when planning future onboarding.

You want to tell your new hires that these are serious and that they should answer them truthfully and as fully as possible.

But onboarding surveys aren’t only for new hires. You can send engagement surveys to employees at a regular cadence to help gauge how they feel about onboarding now. Did it truly prepare them?

Onboarding Surveys: What Action To Take

Once your surveys are done and you have the data, you need to think about what action to take with them. Do you have things that you need to improve? Things you need to keep? What you do next depends on what matters to you, what the surveys say, and what action your employees give you.

Remember that even if you have great results the first time, onboarding materials are going to get old. Don’t feel bad if you start to see your scores fall. Instead, pay attention to your materials and update them when you can, try to connect the dots between onboarding and employee success, and do what feels right to you.

For more information about onboarding, employee engagement software, and more, you can contact Trakstar today for a personalized demo to see what this would all look like for you.

Trakstar Hire is considered the most user friendly hiring software on the market. If you’re ready to take your recruiting and hiring to the next level, request a Trakstar Hire demo today.