Key trend in On-boarding: data driven programme improvement

Posted by Quinten van Es on Thu, Oct 6, 2016
metric-cm.jpgAs On-boarding processes evolve, it is increasingly important to track key metrics and measure the impact and effectiveness of the programme, particularly if the aim is to assimilate new employees quickly, smoothly and effectively, helping them become productive and aligned with business values and goals.

Measurement is one area in which all certified Top Employers are consistently improving their efforts, with all aspects showing higher usage than previous years (see table below). There are two main areas to look at. The first area is a check on the progress of employees, ensuring that the On-boarding process is effective, and the second is to reflect on the process itself, looking at areas for improvement or refinement. The most popular measures cover both of these areas.

83% of the organisations in our research consistently have meetings with new employees at the end of a probationary period or after a fixed period of time, whilst 74% ask employees to evaluate their own On-boarding experience against expectations. Evaluation by HR is also a popular measure, used by 71% of participants in our research, whilst evaluation by management is increasing in popularity, but still only occurs in half of participants.


Perhaps surprisingly, reporting on KPIs is not yet a common practice amongst the Top Employers community, with only 70% adopting this, although with an increase of 10% over last year, it is clearly an upcoming measure. Where KPIs are used it is often mostly to measure operational effectiveness, such as the proportion of induction training completed on time, although we are beginning to see measures related to programme effectiveness. These measures include a look at first year retention, the percentage of employees leaving within the first two years and how many external recruits become regarded as ‘high potential’ within that timeframe.


We see few attempts though, to relate the outcomes of On-boarding to business results, whilst the more structured tracking of progress and performance of new hires during their first year is not yet a common practice amongst participants in the Top Employers research. Improving both of these measures could help establish how developed On-boarding can positively impact traditional HR concerns such as performance management and employee engagement. The insights gained from more regular check-ins could also be used to both improve the effectiveness of the process, and allow for corrective measures at an early stage.

There are some participants using insights from regular check-ins. One example involves the use of a tracker to measure performance and development after 3, 6 and 12 months for senior leadership positions, with cultural integration also being taken into account. Meanwhile a global manufacturing business measures the average performance appraisal ratings of first year joiners and then compares to those of promoted employees.

Another organisation has their managers conduct face-to-face conversations with new starters at the end of their first day, week, month and quarter, with a survey after 6 months. Any problems, difficulties or mismatch of expectations can be quickly identified and corrected.

Five key trends
'Data driven programme improvement' is one of the five key trends we have identified in the On-boarding report. These five key practices that should be included in today’s On-boarding processes.

Download the full On-boarding report to learn all about the current trends in On-boarding and how organisations deal with these trends in their business processes.

Topics: On-boarding