Employee Onboarding: Does It Matter?


Life is a full of defining moments. Moments that impact and shape and our development. Onboarding is one of the most defining moments in an employee’s tenure with a company – it truly is a make or break moment.  A 2010 Human Resources study by SHRM Foundation found that 69 percent of employees are more likely to stay with a company for at least three years after a great onboarding experience.

What Are Defining Moments: During the 1996 Olympic Games, Kerri Strug, a U.S. women’s gymnastics athlete created one of the most memorable moments in American Olympic history.

The U.S. women’s gymnastics team was just edging ahead of their Russian counterparts, which were quickly narrowing the gap. In the final event of the competition, Strug injured her left ankle on her very first vault attempt. Fighting through the pain, Strug went through with the second vault attempt despite her injury (watch here). Pressing through the pain and agony she performed beautifully, earning a 9.712 and securing the gold for the Americans.

Legendary U.S. coach Bela Karolyi said, “In my 35 years of coaching, I have never seen such a moment. People think these girls are fragile dolls. They’re not. They’re courageous!”

An Employee Defining Moment: Onboarding

The Human Capital Institute (HCI, 2018) studied 350 companies to assess the effectiveness of onboarding practices in place. Some key findings, from the study:

  • 75% of respondents said that onboarding practices are underutilized in their organization.
  • 60% of HR professionals stated the top purpose for onboarding is to integrate employees into the culture, however, ‘people and culture’ make up less than 30% of the onboarding focus.
  • More than half of companies do not measure the effectiveness of their onboarding.

These results illustrate large experience gaps that are occurring throughout the onboarding process. Moreover, many companies don’t have mechanisms to effectively measure the employee experience during this critical phase. In terms of employee investment, the time and resources involved in hiring employees, both from the company’s and employee’s perspective is arguably the most rational place to invest and measure employee experiences. But how?

Here’s some examples of what Rob Lahammer and his friends at Presbyterian Homes & Services do to help improve their employee onboarding process.

Rob: “At PHS and our almost 7000 employees and 50 locations we needed a system that scaled but could also be specific to help identify high-risk employees within the onboarding process. With the help of ServiceTrac we put together a survey system that employees are asked questions about onboarding, culture, welcoming, and specific questions about our mission.”

<How does this process work?>

Rob: “Once an employee has completed our onboarding process they are asked to complete a survey within our learning management portal. Since ServiceTrac hosts the survey within our learning management system, they were able to set up an alert email that notifies us about any new employee who expresses concerns or issues within our onboarding process. The ability to have leadership follow-up with new employees immediately has led to several employee saves. We are very excited at the early results and hope to see more significant employee engagement from this process.”

Here’s what one of the PHS center leaders had to say about the onboarding survey with alert notifications:

I had a wonderful conversation with <employee name removed>.  She was grateful to be able to discuss her initial concerns with me. The issues she identified will be a focus at our next staff meeting.  Shift to shift issues that are easily addressed. The New Hire survey helps provide additional opportunities to address concerns early and improve our center’s onboarding process.

To learn more about creating an onboarding survey process for your organization, click the “Let’s Talk” button below and a member of our team will contact you.