onboarding

The 7 C’s of Onboarding: How to integrate 'Checkback'?

Appical Team
Jessica Heijmans
December 29, 2022
11
min read
Table of Contents
You’ve created a powerful onboarding program and started the onboarding process of your new hires. How do you find out if your onboarding program actually works? Simple: ask your new hires! Feedback from new hires provides valuable insights into how the onboarding process can be improved. And how to better engage and support new employees. In this blog we will help you to implement ‘Checkback’ in your onboarding program.

The 7 C’s of Onboarding

Checkback is the latest addition to the 6 C’s of Employee Onboarding. This is a framework Talya Bauer developed a couple of years ago. Each of the 6 C’s is an essential component of the employee onboarding process. Appical added one extra C to the mix: Creativity.

Curious to hear more about the other 7 C’s of Onboarding? Check out our blogs about:

Let’s take a look at Checkback!

What is the meaning of ‘Checkback’?

In our latest blog about ‘Confidence’, we talked about giving feedback to your new hire. But feedback is a two way street. As the name already suggests, ‘checkback’ refers to employees’ feedback on the onboarding process. The feedback new employees give about their experience is extremely helpful. This is the only way to understand if your onboarding program is effective. 

Why is ‘Checkback’ important?

There are a lot of reasons why checking in with your new hires and asking for their feedback is important. We will highlight 3 of them:

  1. Improve your onboarding program
  2. Spot and solve problems early on
  3. Boost employee engagement

1. Improve your onboarding program

The only way of knowing if your onboarding program delivers the results you want, is by checking in with your new employees. 

Understand the needs of your employees

No matter how much planning you have done, you cannot anticipate what each new employee will need or goes through when they first come on board. Feedback is incredibly beneficial: it helps us understand whether we are on the right track or not, especially when it comes to helping new hires with finding their way. Find out what questions, concerns, or confusion new employees have and answer them.

Identify the gaps in your onboarding process

Employers can learn from new hires what needs to be improved in their onboarding process. For example: is additional training necessary or is there enough support throughout the process? With this information, employers can make changes to better accommodate the needs of their new employees and ensure they are comfortable in their new role.

Make onboarding better for future employees

With this information, you can improve the onboarding process right away! By gathering feedback from new employees, you can make changes that will help make onboarding smoother and more effective for future hires. This can include things like providing more detailed job descriptions, ensuring that the onboarding materials are comprehensive, or providing more detailed training sessions.

2. Spot and solve problems early on

Employers should give new hires the chance to provide feedback on a regular basis. Check in on how they are doing, how they are adjusting to their role and if they are mastering the topics they need to know. This will help to identify and address any issues that may arise, so that new employees don't head in the wrong direction. 

Feedback is a great way for them to express their concerns and get the support they need to succeed in the role and become a valued team member. When problems are solved quickly, new workers feel appreciated and are more likely to stay with the company longer, as they can see their input makes a difference.

3. Boost Employee Engagement

If you want employees to be engaged, listening is key. But, according to research, only 26 percent of new employees recall being asked for feedback on their candidate journey and the hiring process before their start date.

Showing that you value your employees' opinions by listening to them is a great way to create a positive work environment. Doing this can make them feel respected and involved. It also shows that you care about their experience and are willing to make changes for the better. 

Soliciting new hire feedback improves a company’s relationship with an employee by 91% - Candidate Experience Global Research Report

Improve the whole employee experience

Finally, gathering feedback from new hires can also help you identify any areas of the employee experience. Your new employee brings a new perspective to your company, including its culture, organization and traditions. 

What is so obvious and ordinary to current colleagues may stand out to a new employee - in a good or bad way. You can learn from that and improve the employee experience for every employee.

How do you apply ‘Checkback’ in your onboarding program?

Now that you know how important asking feedback is, we will give you some advice on how to implement this into your onboarding program. 

Start asking feedback before day one

There’s no better source of insight about your hiring process than a recent participant, and those insights could have a significant effect on your bottom line. Not only on your onboarding process, but also on your hiring process.

By asking for your new hire's feedback during preboarding, you're demonstrating that their opinion matters and fostering an environment where they can make a difference. This sets a precedent for ongoing communication and engagement, which is important for successful retention.

"New team members who were asked to provide feedback prior to their start date, had a 79 percent increase in willingness to refer others" - Kallidus

Check if your message is clear

It is important to check with new hires if the information you are giving them, is clear to them. Because it ensures that they understand the information and can properly act on it. This can help to avoid costly mistakes, wasted resources, and miscommunication.

Use activities to confirm that new hires are fully grasping the knowledge and abilities learned during the onboarding process. Think of small quizzes to check if they understood the information you gave them. 

Tip: don’t overload your new hire with information, break it down into smaller pieces. Also, be sure to think about what your new hire really needs instead of what you want tot tell them.

Sent out an onboarding survey

Employers should provide new hires an easy way to give feedback. One of the most effective ways to gather feedback from new hires is to use surveys. Surveys are a good way to find out how well new hires are doing and what they think of the onboarding process.

What to include in your onboarding survey?

The type of questions to include in the onboarding survey will depend on the information you want to collect from your new hire. You can ask questions about the onboarding process, the company culture, and the support they receive. 

A good place to start are the 7 C’s of onboarding. Some questions you can ask:

  • Do you have enough materials and equipment to do your job well?
  • Have you been given enough training to perform the job well?
  • Were the goals of the onboarding made clear to you?
  • Do the job duties match your experience and expectations?
  • Do you feel welcome in the organization so far?

More general questions:

  • What do you like the most about our onboarding process?
  • What did you like least about the onboarding process?
  • What can we change or add to improve our onboarding process?
  • How likely would you recommend our company to your friends or family (on a scale of 1-10)?

Host one-on-one meetings

In addition to collecting feedback from surveys, employers can also hold one-on-one meetings with new hires. This allows employers to get a more in-depth understanding of their new hire’s experience. You can ask questions about onboarding, company culture, support, expectations for the role, and the new hire's overall experience.

Collect feedback from other stakeholders

The onboarding process is not limited to new employees only. Therefore, it’s crucial to also collect feedback from other stakeholders such as HR staff, buddies, managers, and team members is critical. Ask about their experience and how you can better support them in their roles.

Additionally, HR should periodically check in with managers and colleagues. For example to measure how the new employee is doing and how to improve their understanding of their job responsibilities. These measures will help the new hire to adapt quickly to their new workplace and improve their performance.

Create an open communication culture

Creating an open culture based on trust is essential to receive honest feedback. When employees feel safe and supported, they are more likely to share their thoughts, ideas, and opinions. An open and trusting environment encourages employees to be candid and honest about their experiences

Also ensure all voices are heard. Companies should strive for a diverse and inclusive work environment in which their employees' voices are truly heard. According to a Salesforce study, employees who feel their voice is heard are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to perform their best work.

Check-in frequently 

Onboarding surveys aren't a one-time thing. New employees should have constant opportunities to ask questions. 

  • On a daily basis with team members 
  • Via surveys that are sent out during different stages of the onboarding process
  • And/or via scheduled 1-1’s with the team manager

You can make it a fixed component of your -30-30-60-90 day onboarding plan (check out our e-book!

Be sure to keep tracking employee engagement via surveys and in-depth interviews with your new hires and all of the other employees to ensure you’re on the right track!

Incorporate feedback into the onboarding process 

Once you have gathered feedback from new hires, use it to update your onboarding program. Track the results: collect data and track the results of your changes. This will help you determine if the changes you have implemented have been effective and make adjustments as needed. 

Don’t forget to communicate back how you used the feedback. Make sure to clearly communicate to new hires any changes you have made based on their feedback. Also, keep in mind: gathering and processing feedback is an ongoing process. You will need to continuously improve your onboarding program to meet the needs of your changing workforce.

Best practice: Giving feedback at Appical

At Appical, we offer a lot of ways to give feedback. We do this via our onboarding app, in most meetings and via employee engagement surveys. Think about a likert scale in the app, rating meetings with a word or a number and sending out surveys to our employees via email. 

On top of that, we have an open culture at Appical. Meaning that you can give feedback whenever you like. We support and emphasize that from the very first meetings with (potential) employees. And we ensure that every meeting - including yearly reviews - is a two way street. 

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