Onboarding: You’re either doing a good job or a bad job of it. There’s really not a “not doing it,” because no matter what, your employees have to have a first day.

So, how well does your onboarding – existing plan or not – work?

1. Does your company have a formal onboarding program?

a. Not so much…But the people we hire usually show up on their first day.

b. It depends on whose area the new employee is in.

c. Yes, and it’s automated.

2. When does onboarding begin?

a. It begins if the person needs training and we have someone available to train them.

b. On Day 1, when the new employee fills out their paperwork.

c. After the offer letter is accepted. We send them all the nitty-gritty paperwork digitally, so they can complete it wherever they want and be ready on Day 1 to start making connections.

3. When does onboarding wrap up?

a. As soon as training is over or the new hire doesn’t come back; whichever happens first.

b. After a couple weeks we consider them on the right path, and there’s a formal 90-day check-in down the road.

c. Our process is about 12 months, and then the new employee goes into the regular ongoing employee management protocol.

4. Is your onboarding customized (i.e. entry-level employees are on a different track than executives)?

a. Well, if the executives refuse to do it, it is.

b. No, it’s all the same.

c. Yes. We have a strong Performance Management system; we don’t waste time with training overkill.

5. Does your onboarding deliver content by video?

a. This isn’t the Wizarding World; paper pictures don’t move.

b. Sure, if we find a YouTube video that’s helpful, we’ll send it along.

c. Yes, our onboarding includes a video message from a leader or co-worker, and our Learning Management System uses video, too.

6. Are onboarding communications automated?

a. No.

b. We have a workflow process, but it’s not digitized and rarely followed.

c. Yes, when a new employee starts, all the relevant teams – as well as the new employee – are assigned responsibilities. Then automated emails remind them of their roles and deadlines.

7. On their first day, does your new employee know where to go, who to see and what to wear?

a. Probably at least one out of three.

b. Yes.

c. yes, and they also know the best place to park and their lunch plans, because we always try to welcome new employees with a team get together (a.k.a. emotional onboarding).

8. Is your new employee clear of the performance goals for their position?

a. We’ve never established performance goals, so…it’s doubtful.

b. Yes, as long as they read all their onboarding documents.

c. Yes, definitely, because they helped make them.


9. Does a manager or assigned “buddy” check in with the new employee frequently in the first few days and weeks?

a. Maybe, if they already know someone working here.

b. Yes.

c. Yes, and they have scheduled meetings to talk about how things are going and any questions they might have.

When employees possess a deep sense of affiliation with their team members, they are driven to take positive actions that benefit the business — actions they may not otherwise even consider. – Gallup

10. Is there a process in place for support teams (IT, HR, payroll, etc.) to get workspaces and equipment ready on Day 1?

a. No, but that’s a good idea.

b. Yes, but some departments are more responsive than others.

c. Yes, it’s all set up before Day 1; we know because those assignments are part of our collaborative workflow.

Scoring: How Well Are You Onboarding New Employees?

Mostly A’s: Your “Onboarding” Needs an Offboarding

Did you know only 12% of employees say their organization does a great job onboarding new employees? That’s a lot of room to set your company apart and boost your engagement and retention. You can do better, and should do better, so your employees can make a return on your investment.

Recommended Reading: Hiring & Onboarding: The Perfect One-Two Punch

Mostly B’s: Onboarding Level: Your Onboarding Earns a ‘Meh’

Your onboarding practices are just that – practice. You know it matters. You know it should be done. But for whatever reason – time, support, autonomy in your role – you haven’t pulled it together. Looking for a hard-stat that onboarding matters? We’ll deliver:

Organizations with an onboarding process experience 54% greater new hire productivity.

Recommended Reading: Free Onboarding Checklist

Mostly C’s: Your Onboarding is Next-Level

Congratulations! It sounds like your onboarding strategy is well designed and well executed! To do that, it must be:

  • Fully automated
  • Easy to communicate responsibilities
  • Focused on more than paperwork
  • Implemented from pre-day 1 to 12 months of hire
  • Make an impact on retention rates, employee engagement and performance

Want to make sure you’re hitting every best practice?

Recommended Reading: 6 Onboarding Best Practices to Maximize Employee Engagement

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