What are employee onboarding surveys? Everything you need to know

Do you want to know what an employee onboarding survey is or how to put together an effective onboarding survey? In this blog post, we explain what employee onboarding surveys are, their benefits, potential downsides, and we provide guidance on formulating effective employee onboarding survey questions.

The process of welcoming new employees into an organisation is crucial for their long-term success and job satisfaction.

Employee onboarding, when done right, can significantly impact retention rates and foster a positive work environment.

What are Employee Onboarding Surveys?

Employee Onboarding Surveys are online surveys designed to collect feedback from new hires regarding their onboarding experience. These surveys are typically administered shortly after the onboarding process or during the initial few weeks of employment. They aim to gauge the effectiveness of the onboarding program, identify areas for improvement, and assess the new employees’ overall satisfaction and engagement levels.

What are the benefits of Employee Onboarding Surveys?

Employee onboarding surveys provide insightful feedback

Onboarding surveys are crucial for providing organisations with valuable feedback from new employees, offering unique insights into their experiences and perceptions.

Employee onboarding surveys enable continuous improvement

By identifying areas where the onboarding process could be enhanced, companies can continuously improve their onboarding and induction programmes.

Employee onboarding surveys enhance employee engagement

Our onboarding survey data shows that employee engagement can dip within the first four weeks if new starters do not have a favourable early employee experience.

Engaging new hires through surveys shows that their opinions are valued, fostering a sense of belonging and engagement from the outset.

Employee onboarding surveys enhance retention and productivity

An effective onboarding process leads to higher retention rates and faster integration, enabling new employees to contribute to their roles more quickly.

Employee onboarding surveys ensure alignment with new starters’ expectations

Onboarding surveys help ensure that the promises made during the recruitment process align with the actual experiences of new employees.

Employee onboarding surveys help identify onboarding challenges

Onboarding surveys can pinpoint challenges or bottlenecks in the onboarding process, enabling organisations to address them promptly.

Employee onboarding surveys enhance the employer brand

Organisations that prioritise and act on feedback from onboarding surveys are likely to develop a positive reputation as an employer that cares about employee experiences.

What are the downsides of Employee Onboarding Surveys?

Employee onboarding surveys can result in survey fatigue

New employees might already be overwhelmed with the onboarding process, leading to survey fatigue and potentially affecting response rates.

Employee onboarding surveys can result in bias

New employees might hesitate to provide honest feedback, fearing that their responses could be traced back to them and impact their relationship with managers or colleagues. As such, new starters may appear to be overly positive in their survey responses.

However, our onboarding survey data shows this not to be the case – most new starters will provide an honest appraisal of their onboarding experience.

Employee onboarding surveys do not provide the whole picture

Onboarding surveys only focus on the initial phase of employment, which might not provide a complete picture of the long-term employee experience.

We recommend that you use onboarding surveys to complement your other employee experience surveys, such as engagement surveys, pulse surveys and exit surveys.

When should you use an employee onboarding survey?

There are two main differences between employee onboarding surveys and other employee experience surveys:

  1. onboarding surveys tend to run continuously, rather than for defined periods of time. As such, they continuously gather data from new starters.
  2. onboarding surveys tend to be sent out at multiple points in time to each new employee.

As such, we recommend that your employee onboarding surveys be used strategically at specific points during the onboarding process to gather feedback from new hires and improve the overall onboarding experience.

Here are the key instances when an employee onboarding survey should be used:


Conduct the first onboarding survey shortly after the initial orientation session. This survey can gather feedback on the overall effectiveness of the orientation, the clarity of information provided, and the new hires’ initial impressions.

After the first week or two

Administer a follow-up survey after the new hires have been with the organisation for about a week or two. This survey can capture their experiences during the early days of work, their level of comfort in the new environment, and any immediate concerns.

Following induction training

If formal induction training is included in the onboarding process you can send out your onboarding suurvey after these sessions to gauge their effectiveness and relevance to the new hires’ roles.

End of onboarding

Towards the end of the onboarding process (usually within the first month), conduct a comprehensive survey to gather overall feedback on the onboarding experience.

This survey can cover various aspects of the onboarding process, including training, mentorship, team integration, and resources provided.

Periodic check-ins

In addition to the initial onboarding process, you may want to consider conducting periodic check-in surveys during the first few months of employment.

These surveys can track the ongoing experiences of new hires, address any emerging challenges, and provide continuous support.

What should an employee onboarding survey measure?

An effective employee onboarding survey should measure various aspects of the onboarding process to gain comprehensive insights into the new hires’ experiences and perceptions.

Here are the key areas that your employee onboarding survey should measure:

By measuring these areas, your employee onboarding survey can provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of your onboarding program and help identify areas for improvement. The survey responses will guide you in making data-driven decisions to create a positive and engaging onboarding experience for new hires, setting them up for success within the organisation.

Example Onboarding Survey Questions

These are some example onboarding survey questions covering various aspects of the onboarding process. They will provide valuable insights into the new hires’ experiences and help your organisation make data-driven decisions to improve their onboarding process and create a positive and supportive work environment for new employees.

How to maximise the effectiveness of your employee onboarding survey?

Running an onboarding survey is just the first step in the process of gathering feedback from new employees. To make the most of the survey results and drive positive change within the organisation, companies can take various actions, including:

Analyse your onboarding survey results thoroughly

There are several ways we suggest you can analyse your pulse survey data to identify trends, patterns, and areas of concern.

Share your onboarding survey results

Being transparent with employees by sharing the survey results and key findings is a powerful way to demonstrate openness and signal that feedback from employees was valued.

We recommend you communicate a summary of the survey findings and ideally what actions will be taken based on the feedback received.

Address immediate concerns

If your onboarding survey reveals urgent issues or concerns, we recommend prioritising and addressing them promptly.

Showing employees that their feedback is valued and taken seriously is a powerful way to build engagement. It also encourages employees to participate in future surveys as they feel that their feedback is taken seriously.

Involve employees in defining actions and solutions

We recommend that you include employees in the process of finding solutions to identified problems. Focus groups are a powerful way to encourage open discussion and gather further input from teams to foster a sense of ownership and engagement in the improvement process.

Recognise and celebrate success

Acknowledging areas where the company is doing well and celebrating successes with the employees is a great way to boost morale and engagement.

Define action plans

Your onboarding survey should point towards specific changes that could be made to improve satisfaction and engagement.

We recommend you create actionable and measurable plans to address the identified issues. Assign responsibilities, set timelines, and establish clear objectives to track progress.

Implement changes

Executing your action plans is critical if you are to build credibility in the process. You should ensure that the changes are implemented consistently and effectively across the organisation.

Integrate your onboarding survey feedback into decision-making

We recommend you encourage leaders to consider employee feedback when making strategic decisions. Inclusion of employee perspectives in decision-making fosters a sense of ownership and commitment.

By taking these actions, companies can demonstrate their commitment to creating a supportive and engaging workplace and foster a culture of continuous improvement based on the feedback received from their new employees.

In Conclusion

Employee Onboarding Surveys play a pivotal role in shaping the initial experiences of new hires within an organisation.

Using employee onboarding surveys at strategic points during the onboarding process is essential to gain insights into the new hires’ experiences and identify areas for improvement

By collecting feedback and acting upon it, organisations can enhance the onboarding process, improve employee retention, and create a positive and engaging work environment for new employees.

By using effective survey questions and promptly acting upon the feedback received, organisations can set a strong foundation for employee success and cultivate a workforce that feels valued and supported from day one.