I was reminded again today how important data is to improving your company’s new employee onboarding.
We preach to our clients that the best way to determine how to improve your company’s onboarding is not by your “gut” or what leaders may tell you is needed, but by the data you collect using various quantitative and qualitative methods (such as the surveys we implement and interviews we conduct as part of our onboarding development process for clients).
Think about it… Why not get the answers right from your new employees’ mouths! They, after all, are your customers (at least one of them, they are not the only customer, by the way – but that’s the topic for another post).
For example, when we started working with this one particular client, they were convinced that their company performed well in aspect “A” (I’ll just use letters for confidentiality reasons) and their company performed poorly in aspect “B”. So they were ready to throw money at improving aspect “B”.
But the data proved otherwise. It turns out that yes, the company indeed performed well in aspect “A”; and even in aspect “B”, but they scored horribly in aspect “C”! If it were not for the data, not only would this company have wasted money fixing something that didn’t need fixing, but they would have ignored the true problem – at least one them; there is never just one, but that’s a topic for another, much longer, post! :)
So use data! And use GOOD data. What do I mean by good data? Well, again that’s a whole other topic. We have perfected our analysis methods through years or continuous improvement, but it comes down to knowing what information you’re going after (and sometimes not knowing until you find it) and figuring ways to extract the data from your audience. Start small, go beyond the smile sheets and think about ways you can not just collect data but mine it as well.