Onboarding questions to ask new hires over 30/60/90 days

When it comes to effective onboarding practices, many companies fail by a wide margin. They spend significant amounts of time sourcing and attracting candidates, interviewing and reference checking, background checking and drug screening, but once the person shows up for the job on day one, companies often underwhelm them. Few organizations dedicate appropriate resources to the overall onboarding experience, which unlike NEO (new employee orientation, which takes place on day one), should occur over a 30-, 60-, and 90-day period with a one-year look-back for good measure.

Transitioning new hires into your company involves multiple cascading events that take place over time, both for the leader, the new hire, and the organization. Much more than simply enrolling people in benefits and setting up their payroll, it’s your first chance to make a good impression and truly integrate the individual into your culture. Onboarding starts with meet & greets. It can include specific training. But it thrives under dedicated human follow-up at 30-, 60-, and 90-day intervals, led by immediate supervisors, business owners, or—you guessed it—HR. Here are some suggested questions for these types of follow-up meetings. Rest assured that the care you demonstrate in meeting one-on-one with a new hire over this extended onboarding period will be very much appreciated.

30-Day one-on-one follow-up questions

What do you like about the job and the organization so far?

What’s been going well? What are the highlights of your experiences so far? Why?

Tell me what you don’t understand about your job and about our organization now that you’ve had a month to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty.

Have you faced any unforeseen surprises since joining us that you weren’t expecting?

60-Day one-on-one follow-up questions

Do you have access to the appropriate tools and resources? Do you feel you haven’t been sufficiently trained in any aspects of your job to perform at a high level?

How do you see your job relating to the organization’s mission and vision?

What do you need to learn to improve? What can we do to help you become more successful in your role?

Compare the organization to what we explained it would be like when you initially interviewed with us. Have you experienced any surprises, disappointments, or other “ah-ha” moments that you’re comfortable sharing?

How does it go when your supervisor offers constructive criticism or corrects your work?

90-Day one-on-one follow-up questions

Which co-workers have been helpful since you arrived? (Goal: Pinpoint which employees can be influential in retaining new hires.)

Who do you talk to when you have questions about your work? Do you feel comfortable asking?

Have you had any uncomfortable situations or conflicts with supervisors, co-workers, or customers?

Does your supervisor clearly explain what the organization expects of you? How would you rate leadership communication overall on s scale from 1 to 10 (with 10 being highest)?

Do you believe your ideas and suggestions are valued? Give examples.

In retrospect, what could we have done differently in terms of setting your expectations appropriately for working in our company overall and for your job specifically?

What insights can you glean?

The end result: better performance, improved engagement, and stronger retention. After all, it only stands to reason that employees who are engaged in these types of activities from the first day will feel a stronger connection to your organization over time. They’ll feel acknowledged, included, and more excited about their prospects for long-term success and long-term commitment so they’ll likely demonstrate greater loyalty and productivity. What a great investment of 20 to 30 minutes of your time each month!

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