Blog Post

    ELEVATE onboarding: Leveraging data for future success

    Good onboarding can transform new hires into confident, empowered team members and ambassadors. But here’s the problem, only 45% of organizations actually track the impact of their onboarding.

    By identifying exactly what to measure, creating systems to accurately capture that data, and applying your insights, you can elevate your onboarding and set your business up for future success.

    What does ‘elevate your onboarding’ mean?

    Elevation is about capturing learnings and key measurements, both positive and negative, from your new hire journey and applying them for increased business performance.

    We’re looking for accuracy here. There’s a big difference between knowing that something is important, and understanding precisely how it is influencing your organization.


    33% of HR managers agree that reducing ‘time to productivity’ is an important goal for their employee onboarding programme, yet only 7% measure it.

    Why elevate?

    Currently, most organizations know that they need to measure their onboarding. But they struggle with what they need to measure, and have no clear systems in place to capture and evaluate data.

    The implication of this is stagnation. There’s no concrete evidence of where onboarding is creating a positive impact, or why the system may be breaking down. Which means there’s no opportunity for improvement.

    Having hard-data puts HR in the driver's seat, allowing them to pinpoint the highs and lows of their new hire journey and make informed decisions.

    Question mark How do we elevate?

    Step 1: Decide what you need to measure

    Organizations with
    best-in-class onboarding measure, at a minimum, engagement, time-to-productivity and retention. 

    There is no ‘catch-all’ definition of what a good or bad result is when measuring these key metrics - there are a number of variables specific to your organization to take into account.


    Identify exactly what you want to measure with our free infographic outlining 15 effective indicators for measuring onboarding success

    Download the infographic

    It is important to identify your industry standards.

    This is especially relevant when measuring retention. The average turnover rate across the modern workforce sits at around 10.8% - but when you dive beneath the surface the reality is a little different; high average turnover of around 13.8% within the tech industry drives this average up. So if you’re not in the tech business, measuring your own performance against this number isn’t realistic.

    Engagement and time-to-productivity are harder to measure than retention - so it’s necessary to create your own definition of success and identify metrics that will best inform this definition.

    ways to measure engagement

    2 ways to measure time-to-productivity


    Keep track of how many new hires, on average, interact with your onboarding content


    Have managers declare a ‘full productivity’ date for every new hire.

    More complex

    Monitor job satisfaction, alignment and sense of future with a new hire survey.

    More complex
    Create an in-depth quiz and deliver it to all new hires at the end of each of their first 3 months.

    Step 2: OBSERVATION - Identify problems | Recognize wins

    Once you’ve defined which metrics are relevant to your organization and mapped how you will track them, you can build a base-line to grow from.

    Whether you have an existing journey, or you’ve recently reinvented your entire experience, be sure to give yourself sufficient time to let your new initiatives take effect. You need a strong data set to draw from before you start analyzing the results.

    We want to identify trends, both positive and negative, across your key metrics. The first layer of a trend is the ‘where’. Where in the onboarding lifecycle is the impact happening? Secondly, you need to discover the ‘why’. Why is the impact happening?

    #1 EXAMPLE

    Chosen metric

    New hire engagement

    Measure of success

    New hires open 75% of all onboarding emails

    Currently, employees are only opening 60% of all onboarding emails

    The ‘Where’
    The number of email opens drops dramatically after new hires have been sent ‘Email 2’ in your ‘Second Week’ email workflow.

    The ‘Why’
    ‘Email 2’ is twice the length of all of your other emails. Is the length putting onboardees off opening future emails? Maybe they assume all future emails will be this long.

    You’ve identified a trend and uncovered the where and potential why behind it, putting you in a good position to apply your insights, create a solution and test its impact.

    Step 3: ELEVATION - Solve problems | Replicate wins

    Here we’re looking for practical solutions to poor performance and ways that we can reproduce any positive trends.

    Some things will be easy to solve with small tweaks, others will require longer-term solutions involving testing and feedback.

    [Read] BNP Paribas Fortis utilize Talmundo to continuously collect and evaluate critical new hire feedback, and apply those insights to strengthen their onboarding program.

    As we know, improvement is an ongoing process, so this step is something you should be coming back to again and again.

    #2 EXAMPLE

    Starting point

    You think ‘Email 2’ is one reason you’re not hitting your new hire engagement goal.

    Step 1
    Replace your original email with a shortened, more succinct version.

    Step 2
    Compare open rates and see if either of the changes you’ve made have had an impact.

    Step 3
    If the new email performs well, permanently implement the change to your email workflow. If it performs poorly, you know that length is not the problem, so back to the drawing board for more testing!

    Pro Tip
    If you test two new ideas in one solution, you won’t know which one was the change-maker, so try not to test more than one factor at once.

    The takeaway?

    Elevation is about reaping the rewards of your hard work. But you can’t do it without understanding what it is you need to measure, or before putting the right systems in place to capture your findings.

    Done well, leveraging data to pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses of your onboarding journey will allow you to improve and fine-tune your process for future business success.

    But it's only one piece of the puzzle.

    First, you REINVENT your journey.
    Then you AUTOMATE your process and finally,
    you gather insights to ELEVATE your business.

    Remember, best in class looks like this: 
    An experience-based, content-driven journey that is personalized to the onboardee and consistent throughout your company.

    We’ve spent over 8 years helping the world's leading enterprise companies elevate their business through onboarding. And we’re here to help you too.

    Register for our free webinar and let our onboarding specialist, Steve Stoop, show you how to set your business up for future wins with data and insights!

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    Topics: Onboarding
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