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The Value of Onboarding Measured

I’ve written about a new and improved orientation program for incoming employees at my organization but didn’t have much at the time to share in terms of how we were measuring the value of onboarding. I’m happy to share our experience from our first session in two parts.

Part 1: Value of Onboarding Shown in Pictures

I could describe the experience that it seemed that our participants were having, but in this case, I don’t think words could do it justice. Following are a few photos from the program. I’ll let you decide whether the new staff members seem engaged.

Exploring partner relations through card game

Practicing recovery using board game

Donor operations discussion


Playing the board game in new hire orientation

Part 2: Value of Onboarding: Early Data

Engagement, of course, is only part of the battle. We certainly wanted people to have a positive, fun experience. We also wanted attendees to walk away with an understanding of each department and how they would impact and be impacted by other teams and departments.

Initial Data

With 10 initial participants (9 of whom completed an evaluation form), the net promoter score was 78 and 100% of participants walked away feeling they had a basic familiarity or a solid understanding of what every team across the organization does. Seven of nine people mentioned that the biggest highlight of this program was a greater appreciation for what other departments do and/or a greater appreciation for specific ways in which various departments impact every other team.

Not Done Yet?

Feedback also pointed out that this was not a perfect program. For a number of components, including the activities to introduce new staff to my beloved Learning and Development team, we received feedback from a handful of participants indicating that there were times in which they felt bored or uninterested in the session. So, we have some adjustments to make.

In the end, this may have been the coolest learning and development project I’ve ever worked on. From here on out, new staff will come into the organization and be exposed to two days’ worth of fun, engaging activities that help them empathize with the responsibilities of their colleagues across the organization. There is already buzz among current staff, some of whom have approached me to ask if they could attend this program.

On a personal level, this project has completely changed the way I look at every other project I have on the horizon, and what’s possible when it comes to designing other learning experiences.

There is more work to be done to explore the full value of onboarding programs like this. How are you measuring the value of onboarding programs at your company?

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