Feedback is an essential step required for the employees’ ongoing development. It helps them learn from their mistakes, build confidence, and clarify expectations. This article shares methods you can use to get and provide new hire feedback, its benefits, and ways to improve the employee experience.
New hire feedback: Acquisition and importance
Before moving forward, let us talk about what feedback is. Feedback, in its most basic form, refers to information a person gives to another regarding their behaviour, performance, or task with the thought of helping them improve.
Positive feedback is often associated with praise and is usually easier to provide. However, giving and receiving constructive feedback is also equally important. New hires especially are a good source of feedback since they can offer a fresh perspective on how work is conducted in the company.
Constructive feedback often refers to negative feedback designed to highlight areas in need of improvement in a way that does not involve pressuring the employee and results in an overall positive experience.
Successful onboarding & new hires
New hires often receive much attention, have limitless growth potential, and develop new relationships in the workplace. So, since employee engagement is the highest for them, their feedback, in particular, is considered especially important.
New hires are like a set of fresh eyes. Receiving feedback from them can help you identify and resolve any gaps, concerns, and questions you may not have seen before. However, in order to receive helpful, constructive feedback from new employees, they would first need to be comfortable sharing their thoughts on the subject.
If a newcomer feels out of place, has not been told about the company’s expectations, or even does not know simple information like where people eat lunch, their experience at the company is likely to start on the wrong foot.
So, having a good onboarding roadmap can help elongate the “new hire honeymoon” period and set these employees up for success. Even with many years of experience, it is still difficult to predict the needs of each new employee, which is why feedback is a good method of learning what is working and which parts need to be improved.
Methods to improve onboarding
Before discussing how you can gain feedback from new employees, let’s see how you can improve the onboarding process.
Encourage team spirit
The sooner the new employee gets used to the team and feels comfortable with the other members, the sooner their work will improve. Some methods you can use are having the option of playing games during breaks, or small events within the office, like national holidays or birthday celebrations.
Spending time with the team aside from work will also help your team grow closer and become more open with each other. People are often more receptive to constructive feedback from people they respect or trust. So, you can also organise team outings, like field trips or team picnics.
Showcase how much you appreciate your employees
Seeing early on that employees are appreciated can have a positive impact on a new hire’s experience. Such gestures can be simply recognising good work and even providing free lunch or other office comforts. For other methods of appreciation, check out this article on that subject.
Set clear expectations & assign responsibilities
Assign projects to your new workers early on to give them a sense of responsibility and the opportunity to showcase their skills. Often mention to them what expectations the company has for them so they have a clear understanding of how to navigate each learning milestone.
Have a structured plan to eliminate stress
New employees often feel nervous when starting a new job, so if a company seems to lack a plan when they arrive, it can increase their anxiety. So, having a structured plan for the first few days and even preparing a small welcome gift can leave a great impression on the new worker.
Give the onboarding process ample time
The more time a person has to study their job, the better equipped they become when it comes time to execute it on their own. So, it is important to spread out the onboarding procedure to give the new hires enough time to absorb the material, as well as ask questions without feeling overwhelmed.
New hire feedback guidelines
A good onboarding roadmap is often divided into a few periods: the first week, after one month, after three months, and sometimes even six months. These are considered key times where you need to check the level of engagement and comfort your new employees feel.
The first week is considered to be the orientation period. During this time, you should help your new employees understand what is expected of them, make them feel comfortable asking questions to their other coworkers, as well as explain to them the organisations’ mission, values, policies, and benefits.
Collecting feedback on these areas can assist you in identifying any gaps in your orientation process and any special needs your new employees may have. Additionally, you can improve your new workers’ initial impressions and solve minor issues before they become significant problems by discussing these difficulties early on.
Collecting data: The first week
So, let’s look at some methods you can use to acquire feedback from newly joined employees.
Introduce your company’s feedback culture
Explaining how your organisation collects and provides employee feedback from the start will make it easier for them to get used to your office culture. The feedback you acquire can be both formal (through surveys, quarterly one-on-ones between employees and managers, etc.) and informal (like asking peers for feedback whenever needed). If you have any feedback software, now would be a good time to introduce it as well.
In addition, to show that employee feedback is valued, you can go over your most recent surveys together with the new employees and show what the organisation and team are focusing on based on the results. Some companies also employ “pulse surveys,” which are designed to be quick and frequent, and have the goal of giving insight into the health of a company.
During orientation week, new workers should have plenty of opportunities to ask questions. So, managers can set aside time once a day with each new employee to answer questions, give direction, and assist them in continuing to get used to the norms.
Integrate peer shadowing
Peer shadowing can help new employees become familiar with your team’s operations while also asking questions and receiving feedback.
Collecting data: After one month
As the new hires get used to the environment, they should:
- Slowly become confident in their ability to perform their duties;
- Have learned what is necessary to meet expectations;
- Feel more comfortable sharing work-related concerns with their group managers.
Formalise one-on-one meetings
Check-ins between the new hires and employees should become regular in order to address any misunderstandings or hurdles as soon as possible.
Collect and provide feedback
To promote feedback culture in the company, managers and leaders should ask for feedback from new hires often and preferably early on. However, feedback should also be regularly provided to the new employees, so there is no miscommunication.
It can also enable the company to determine whether the new employees are keeping up with their learning, prioritising the right things throughout onboarding, and aligning with the organisation’s and team’s goals and values. By emphasising what happens after feedback is given, the new employees will begin to better understand expectations and accountability.
Introduce peer feedback
Other employees should feel comfortable providing constructive feedback to the new employees. However, that is not an easy task, which is why it would be beneficial to teach your team about effective methods to give feedback that result in all parties feeling comfortable. As team members support each other’s efforts to succeed, a culture of trust will start to foster.
Collecting data: After three months
As more time passes, the new employees should start feeling comfortable enough to discuss topics unrelated to work with their coworkers, recognise how their performance is evaluated, and feel that they are fit for their roles. To make sure your new employees are reaching these goals, provide them with timely and appropriate feedback on their work contributions. An increase in the amount of input they get from their colleagues can also be a plus.
Regular feedback and recognition
The new hires should be able to perform their day-to-day duties, albeit with some mistakes. So, giving regular constructive feedback can help them become more efficient. However, it is also essential to encourage them and recognise their efforts in implementing the feedback they received.
Encourage peer feedback
Coworkers should continue coaching the new hires, especially since they should be closest to them and can provide in-the-moment feedback at the most appropriate time.
How does effective new hire feedback produce lasting dividends
Now that you know how to collect the feedback you need, let’s look at some dividends that effective new hire feedback can produce for your company.
New hire feedback has several benefits, including the opportunity to identify any gaps you may have overlooked. Other advantages include:
Understanding the needs of your employees
Knowing what your employers desire, both new ones and those who have been with the company for some time, will create a better experience for them, which will eventually lead to both their and the company’s success.
Solving issues brought up by new employees
Solving the issues brought up through new hire feedback will ensure that the next new employees that join your company will get used to the work sooner.
Solving minor problems early on
Continuing from the previous point, if the problems are solved sooner, the new workers are more likely to feel appreciated and consider a long future with the company as they can directly see that their existence can have an impact.
Feedback, as discussed above, can be both positive and negative, and knowing how to balance it is the key to creating a healthy work environment that will lead to the prosperity of those involved.
Receiving timely constructive feedback from new employees is an opportunity to step back and look at the different policies or your workplace structure from a new perspective.
On the other hand, providing the new employees with much-needed feedback, especially at the start of their career with the company, will help them get used to their work sooner.
To make the onboarding process smoother, employers can use various methods such as encouraging teamwork through various indoor and outdoor activities and showing appreciation to employees.
About the Author
Lilit Zakaryan is a content writer and an SEO specialist at Triune Digitals. She writes digital marketing related articles, including search engine optimization, content and email marketing, social media marketing, etc. She is keen on conducting broad research to write comprehensive posts not merely on digital marketing specific topics but many more.