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HR Managers Top Employee Onboarding Metrics to Measure in 2022

January 21, 2021
min read
Employee onboarding is crucial for impacting the success of an organization. Therefore, collaboration insight into your company’s onboarding process is critical for creating a productive, effective, and engaged workforce.

Part 2: Onboarding

This is a part of a series that briefly introduces different HR metrics that are based on collaboration data extracted from digital communication and collaboration platforms.

What is employee onboarding? 

Employee onboarding is typically a standardized process in which new employees transition from an “outsider” to “insider”. More specifically, it is a collection of practices that equip new employees with the knowledge, skills, and behaviors necessary for them to become effective members of the organization, helping to achieve its business and strategic goals. Companies usually intend to make this process as fast and as effective as possible. The sooner an employee is properly onboarded, the sooner he/she becomes a productive, valuable contributor to an organizations’ bottom line. A critical element to employee onboardsing is building new relationships between new employees and their colleagues along with, external partners and/or clients. 

How can you measure employee onboarding through collaboration data? 

Given that many of today’s work relationships are enabled by digital communication and collaboration tools like email Slack, Zoom. Therefore, Time is Ltd. leverages  onboarding data from these tools to track the progress new hires make at building relationships. 

For example, Fig. 1 shows how quickly new hires build their networks through meetings during their first months at the company. New hires are divided into quarters to show how the network growth tempo differs depending on when they joined the company. The consistency of an organization’s onboarding process is analyzed by, using  data points of different new employees’ first quarters over a 12-month span.

Fig. 1: Screenshot from Time is Ltd.’s analytics platform, showing the tempo of building a network through meetings by new hires during the first few months after they joined the company, in each of four quarters of 2020. The network size of an individual employee consists only of those people who paid at least 30 minutes of their attention to a given employee during a given month. For accuracy, attention is calculated to take into account both the meeting length and the number of attendees at each meeting.

Another way to look at the data is by segmenting network size by tenure cohorts, defined by the number of months employees have worked in the company.  In Fig. 2 we can see how meeting network size differs across four tenure cohorts (0-3 months, 4-6 months, 7-12 months, and 12+ months) over time. The aim is to have the network sizes for the first three cohorts to be as close as possible to that of the last cohort. This would indicate that new hires are quickly integrated into the company's communication and collaboration networks. The visualization below is thus also useful for assessing onboarding effectiveness.

Fig. 2: Screenshot from Time is Ltd.’s analytics platform showing comparison of meeting network size for employees belonging into one of four tenure cohorts (defined by the number of months employees have spent in the company). The network size of an individual employee consists only of those people who paid at least 30 minutes of their attention to a given employee during a given month. For accuracy, attention is calculated to take into account both the meeting length and the number of attendees at each meeting.

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Why should HR pay attention to employee onboarding? 

There is solid evidence that well-conducted onboarding is related to improvements in new hires’ performance, commitment, job satisfaction and inclination to stay in the company. Despite its relative simplicity, the onboarding process can thus have a pretty broad spectrum impact on organizational prosperity. Measuring and analyzing onboarding data can empower HR the ability to consistently improve their processes.

Research suggests that successful onboarding usually has three key ingredients:

  • Clarification – understanding the job requirements and responsibilities, the norms for quality and quantity of work to be delivered, rules for using various digital tools, used terminology, etc. 
  • Confidence – acquiring job-related knowledge, skills and behaviors.
  • Connection – establishing key interpersonal relationships, building information networks and having access to some support mechanisms.

To support these key aspects of onboarding, Talya N. Bauer, the recognized leader in the scientific understanding of the socialization and onboarding of new employees, published a series of white papers recommending the following organizational practices:

  • Sharing realistic job previews for new employees, during both recruitment and the onboarding processes.
  • Creating seamless transitions between recruitment processes, individuals, and messaging to the onboarding process; technology can be an invaluable aspect of this transition.
  • Determining in advance who will be responsible for making sure each new employee is welcomed on her first day.
  • Implementing one or more connection mechanisms (e.g. buddies, mentors, coaches, stakeholder check-ins, effective use of technology, etc.).
  • Facilitating and encouraging ongoing networking, both inside the company and towards external partners and clients. 
  • Prompting new hires to play an active role in their onboarding process.
  • Organizing orientation programs focused on clarification and confidence building.
  • Providing job training, both formal and informal.
  • Leveraging technology to make it easier for new employees to access all necessary information. 
  • Integrating the onboarding processes with long-term development processes to create a seamless transition from one to the other.

Some additional considerations

As with other HR metrics, expectations regarding the speed of onboarding may differ for individual departments, teams and/or job roles. This should always be taken into account when assessing the effectiveness of onboarding and considering possible interventions.

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At Time is Ltd., we measure digital collaboration and productivity across teams, departments. By leveraging collaboration data, we offer company’s a 360 degree view of their employee onboarding programs. Employee engagement analytics SaaS platform delivers a holistic view of an organization collaboration patterns. We measure your team’s digital footprint to improve communication, productivity as well as save precious time. Armed with our insight, leaders, see how your teams work with collaboration tools and what adjustments can be made to create a happier, more engaged, and productive workforce.

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Article by
Time is Ltd. team
Article by
Time is Ltd. team

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