Onboarding Questions to Ask New Employees

How the onboarding of a new hire is handled is critical to their success. The quicker a new-hire can get up-to-speed and feel comfortable, the faster they can make meaningful contributions to the company’s growth.  Savvy managers take stress reducing steps to learn about each new employee’s motivations, aspirations, and sensitive areas.  Managers should be asking key onboarding questions to find out how they can improve their new hire’s integration into the company.

To ensure that your employee onboarding process is as engaging as possible, consider the following steps:

Timing for Asking Onboarding Questions

Well timed questions assure an employee is off to a good start. The employee feels secure, realizing that you are interested in their success. Being present with observations and questions aids with gaining trust. That trust in turn means they feel comfortable coming to you for information as needed. To assure right-timing:

  • Check in on the first day and during the orientation phase to assure onboarding expectations are being met.
  • Be present and alert for signs of the need to touch base, such as:
    • The new employee appears doubtful or moody
    • Tardiness or absenteeism
    • Stepping beyond the assigned role

Onboarding Questions to Ask During the First Few Weeks

  • Do you have any questions about the documents and time you spent with human resources?
  • Do you need any job description clarification?
  • What is your initial impression of what it is like to work here?
  • How can I best support you in the coming weeks?
  • How can the company help you become more successful in your position?
  • What is going well? What are the highlights of your experiences so far? Why
  • Do you have sufficient time to get your work done?
  • Is there anything you don’t understand about your job and/or the company?

Conversation that Goes Beyond Questions

Even well framed questions do not always result in the depth of information needed to fully support a new employee. Conversations can reap useful information. And often lead to meaningful inquiry.

  • “Tell me about your first few weeks here. I want to hear your impressions, good and otherwise.” Responses to this opening lead to questions unique to the new employee’s experience.
  • Let’s meet tomorrow—it would help to hear about your experience thus far.
  • We welcome two-way feedback. I want to hear suggestions you have for me, and how you like to have feedback shared with you.



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