You have a set of procedures that you follow when you onboard a new hire. Are those procedures adequate? Are they making the employee comfortable in new surroundings?
“New Hire Surveys” are written to find answers to those exact questions, providing a quantifiable way to ensure that goals set by management are being followed. Depending upon the size of your organization, new hires might also interact with the facilities manager, IT department, etc. That’s why it is important to include questions related to all departments that will interact with the new hire. You are looking to capture the entire on-boarding experience rather than a single snapshot of HR.
Open a new excel workbook. Save it with a name you recognize. E.g. “New Hire Survey yyyymmdd.xlsx”.
Step One – Identify all departments that could possibly interact with any new hire. Limit yourself to departments that a new hire would interact with in the first four weeks. Create a list of services, training, or information sharing that each of these departments is responsible for in new-hire onboarding. List each and every service separately. For example, if a certain department is responsible for providing phone, voicemail and email information, list those individually. Also, since a lot of companies have certain operations outsourced, identify those vendors as another department for this step. Enter all of this information gathered from individual departments in a spreadsheet in the previously created workbook. Name the sheet “Departments”. Enter department names in the first column and a list of services in the second column. Note: It is a good practice to create a list of all services, training or interactions for each department—even if those are not pertinent to a new hire—ssince organizations conduct employee surveys regularly. Having a map that contains details of employee interactions amongst various departments is a tremendous asset when planning a survey or an interdepartmental event.
Step Two – Create employee profiles. E.g., an employee hired to work in sales automation would have a profile, which would be quite different than the profile of an employee hired to work in the call center or facilities management. Give this profile an appropriate name and write a brief description that defines this profile. Pick a name that conveys the type of employee that may be categorized in this profile. The bigger your organization, the more profiles you would have. It is not uncommon for a mid-sized organization to have 20 different profiles. It would be a much higher number for large corporations. Enter these profiles in a new worksheet in your workbook, and name this sheet “Profiles”. List all profiles in the first column and their description in the second column.
Step Three – In the profiles worksheet, add headings to columns 3 through 11, e.g., Department_1, Department_2…and so forth. For each profile, place a checkmark such as an “X” in every column that the profile would interact with during the first four weeks.
Step Four – Add a new worksheet and name it “Questions”. Copy the first two columns from the “Department” worksheet, i.e., the name of the department and services it should provide to the new hire. Then create a question for each specific service/interaction. E.g., if the service is 401k benefits, your questions could be:
Did you receive all the information necessary to make a 401k contribution decision?
Are you happy with the choice of funds available?
Have you made a decision about participating in the company’s 401k benefits program?
Do you have any feedback about our 401k benefits program? (This would be an open-end question).
Keep in mind – your goal here is to ask the least amount of questions that get you the most information necessary to improve services and offerings.
Using this example, craft questions pertaining to every service you have listed across various departments. Enter those questions in Column 3 on the Questions sheet. When you have multiple questions pertaining to a service (which is more common than the other way around), insert additional rows.
Details that matter
The majority of processes and procedures that are in place in your organization are not unique to your company. However, the culture inside your organization is unique. Startups and tech-oriented firms prefer a more direct and no-nonsense style of communication, while stablished firms may be more formal in how they approach inter-organizational communications. Again, these are generalizations, and you may find that your organization doesn’t fit a stereotypical mold. That is why the communication culture unique to your company should be an important consideration when you put together your survey questions. Suggestion: Have two people from different departments (non-HR)—and if possible, different demographics—than you review your questions. Emphasize that your objective is to create a survey that would facilitate the most honest feedback to improve processes.
The trick to writing effective, productive new-hire surveys depends on how organized you are from the beginning of the process. The time you spend organizing the spreadsheets that connect employee profiles to the departments that trained them will save you a lot of headaches in the actual survey-writing process.
At SimpleOpinions, we understand what goes into creating the right questions that will deliver the right results, and are here to help in any way we can.