How to use onboarding data to predict employee performance

Onboarding employees is a huge task. You only get one opportunity to make a good first impression and help set your new employee’s choice to join your organization.
It’s difficult to have everything in order for day one when new hires are coming to your office, but what if they’re all starting from their own workplace?
For companies that operate with a fully remote workforce or the various who embrace remote hiring in addition to offices, onboarding employees becomes even tougher. Not only do you need to make sure they’re set up logistically from afar, but you need to make sure that they start to feel part of the team without meeting in person.
With 800 employees working remotely from more than 28 countries, Creative Social Intranet is no stranger to remote employee onboarding.
There’s a different kind of rapport and belonging created on a team of remote people. How onboarding plays out is an important role in setting up their first success, and as Creative Social Intranet learned their employees’ long-term presentation of work.

The role of employee feedback at a remote organization

In any organization, employee surveys are the start of the conversation with your people. They will not replace in-person conversations, but in an organization where employees are spread out across the world, they become an even more essential part of driving people-based decisions.
We take what is often implicitly understood in an in-person environment, and makes it directly available to us remotely. While we can’t depend on luck to connect with each other or understand what’s going across the organization, we can deliberately design opportunities to truly see and hear each other—and our employee feedback platform is an important way in which we do that.
At Creative Social Intranet, we talk about the task of collect, understand and act when it comes to employee feedback. Helping us understand those data points and how they work together is the job of a high-performing platform.
Then, we can take action where it’s required and most effective.
At a faraway organization, when employees know they have more than one medium through which to provide feedback, and they see action being taken because of their feedback, they’re more apt to buy into the system, creating a trustworthy cycle.

Knowing when employee performance is at risk

At Creative Social Intranet, the HR team wanted to know how the Onboarding program influence employee’s performance later on. With this knowledge, we could then take action to drive vast levels of success earlier in the employee journey.
Using Performance and Engagement, Creative Social Intranet was able to access special insights.

By connecting the employee onboarding data with the performance data, we found three key risk factors:

1. Are employees feeling productive?

New hires who reacted favourably to the onboarding survey question, “I am feeling productive” were 4.2 times more likely to be high performing (vs. low performing) at their 1-year mark.
Creative Social Intranet’s one of the members recalls having a conversation with a new hire who had mentioned not feeling productive in her first few weeks. While generally an action item to follow up on, the new insights from the employee feedback programme expanded the need to address it fast. The member knew that setting up a meeting with them to get to know the ways to capture quick wins could help enhance employee involvement and speed up the likelihood of employee’s success at Creative Social Intranet.

2. Is employee induction thorough and effectual?

New hires who responded favourably to the question, “My induction program was thorough and successful,” are 3.8 times more likely to be high performing (vs. low performing) at their 1-year mark. Onboarding at Creative Social Intranet is a week-long program designed to give new hires a solid foundation on an organization’s culture, community, faraway life, and design. New hires are welcomed as whole human beings and are invited to break through the screen as their most authentic selves.
We get out of training what we put into it. In order to get a lot out of training, we have to be fully mixed up and committed. If we are disengaged, that carries through to our success over time. We want to make sure we understand when and where new hires aren’t connecting well with the training methods the onboarding survey helps us do that.”

3. Does the new hire’s experience keep up to their expectations?

New hires who responded favourably to the question, “My experience of the organization has matched my expectations” are 3.1 times more likely to be high performing at their 1-year mark.

Working far away can sometimes look like the only option – you can work from anywhere, likely have flexible hours, and you lose the commute! However, there are real problems that can come along with faraway working, and it’s not the correct fit for everybody. After seeing unexpected levels of turnover 6-12 months in, Creative Social Intranet needed to check data from this survey question and others highlighted that there was a not a match between expectations and reality (i.e., that faraway life can sometimes feel not connected and isolating). We’ve since clarified employees’ hiring messaging to provide a more realistic preview of faraway life.

The value of connecting performance and engagement data

Collecting, understanding, and acting on employee feedback is not a “one-and-done” initiative. At Creative Social Intranet, we know there will be more insights to come from our engagement and work data.
We are sure that we will find that there are more examples of these unfavourable moments along the employee journey. Where we can see how putting efforts into changing something that’s really special for each team member has a really huge payoff. That’s what we are really looking forward to diving into next.

Designing Employee Onboarding Programs

Onboarding sometimes known as organizational entry which is a process that an organization use to socialize and bring a new employee into the culture and work life of an organization. Orientation can be a part of onboarding but it is not the same thing. Onboarding programs are lengthy process which helps in integrating employees into new organization. It is more like a strategic approach then a conventional orientation.

Employee onboarding program
Employee onboarding program

There are some best practices for designing onboarding programs which shares a series of strategies and guidelines for designing employee onboarding programs:

a) Align the messaging:

Design any program which determines the onboarding goals first. Make an impression you want to leave with new hires about the culture and work environment. Make sure that your messages conveyed to them is consistent throughout and that is aligned with your goals.

b) Plan the first day:

New employees want to do something meaningful from the first day of their job. They also want to feel comfortable. They need a place to work where they can able to identify their roles and responsibilities. A positive first day with some interesting work can leave a lasting impression.

c) Ensure a meeting with manager in the first week:

It is benefit for new employees to meet personally with their manager during the first week of employment. Due to this the new employees also participates in higher quality meetings and spent more time collaborating with their teams than those who did not have the manager meeting within the first week.

d) Use gamification to engage employees:

Gamifying the onboarding process helps to engage and motivate new employees and provide a more thorough experience. They even try to incorporate digital and physical leaderboards, challenges and bonus prizes. The initial results shows that the approached was well received and had a positive impact on customer satisfaction.

e) Focus on social relationship:

An organization should design a onboarding program which is fun and participative rather than boring and top-down. The new hires should be brought together on their first day to let them work together in small groups and identify what they need to know.These social connections make the experience relevant and fun and probably improve retention.

f) Provide mentors to new hires:

Mentors should be assigned to the new hires to help them with ease in their role and work culture. Simultaneously, the new employee becomes more knowledgeable about the organization and thus they were more invested in the values of the organization than those without a mentor.

g) Gather Feedback:

An organization should provide multiple ways for the new hires to give feedback. It should also help to find out ways for improvement of onboarding program by using online surveys and discussions with participants. Gather retention and job satisfaction data to see if the improvements are having an effect.

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Onboarding Mistakes to Avoid

It is found that one-third of new employees quit their job after six months as the first days, weeks and months are very crucial to their success in their new role. In fact they also knew whether to stay in the company or not  for long-term after the first week in the organization. This means having an effective onboarding software with perfect strategy in the organization is important. Without a standard onboarding process, new employees may not get the clarity and direction they need to succeed which can ultimately lead to costly mistakes, high turnover, and low levels of productivity.

Creative an Indian company provides modern approach of investing in employee onboarding software for new hires training purpose. Below mentioned are some common mistakes to avoid when creating an employee onboarding strategy.

a)Failing to prepare for new employees arrival:

Failing to prepare for the arrival of your new employees is one of the biggest mistakes an organization can do. Without a systematic onboarding process, employees can leave with a bad perception of the company. You have to be sure with all the logins, phones, access to various platforms, computers and applications that they are all available and ready to go on the first day. In addition you also have to prepare a detailed schedule for their first week so that they can also feel like a valued member of the team in the organization.

b)Not setting clear expectations from the beginning:

An important point of onboarding program is getting to understand an employee’s goals, explaining the company’s goals, and then working to align the two. A study found that only 50% of new employees knew that what was expected from them at work. Without clear expectations, it is not possible to measure achievements, which can lead an employee feel unmotivated.

c)Failing to deliver feedback early and often:

Employee Onboarding is a process of creating successful habits and expectations. Feedback helps to ensure that new hires are forming the right habits and even anything that needs to be changed.

d)Not having an ongoing process in place:

Employee Onboarding program should be an ongoing process. It is impossible for employees to learn all the responsibilities in a day or a week. An organization should aim to show employees what they need to know right away and then slowly adapt them to their new workplace and expectations.

e)Missing Measurability:

The employee on-boarding process is difficult to measure in terms of efficiency and success. Especially when individual employee onboarding activities are mapped to specific teams or departments. Extensive employee onboarding program is of course also associated with costs. As a company, you should keep an eye on the ROI and regularly review how it is changing.


If you manage to try to avoid the above-mentioned mistakes, it will immediately help to give a positive impact on the experience of your new employees and pave the way for successful collaboration.