New hire surveys are an important tool for modern day businesses. Companies need to make sure that their hiring techniques and training strategies are working, and new hire surveys (surveys that are sent out to those that have just started working for the company) are the only effective way to evaluate those processes.
Ideally, a new hire survey is something that the employee will gladly fill out in order to help the company succeed. But this tends to not be the case. The reality is that new employees are often extremely hesitant to provide honest answers, because there is simply no incentive to answer honestly when negative answers could be traced back to them, leading to mistreatment in the workplace.
Many of these new employees waited months to find a new job, and want to do anything they can to keep it. If they had a bad experience with the hiring and training process, it’s highly unlikely that they’ll share those negative experiences and risk upsetting those in a position to make their jobs very difficult.
Promoting Honesty in the New Hire Survey
Your company needs to have processes in place that promote honesty from new hires, otherwise the data you collect will be useless. Analysis depends on the ability to track honest answers over time, so dishonesty from these new employees makes correct analyses impossible.
While there is no guaranteed way to get honesty, there are things you can do to improve the likelihood that a new employee is willing to give real answers to these surveys. These include:
- Significant Financial Incentive – In general, most employee surveys are considered a part of that employee’s job, and little (if any) incentive is provided to fill out these surveys. But new hires are likely in need of some type of income anyway, and so a significant financial incentive may be a great motivator. It not only gives these individuals extra spending money that they could no doubt use – it also shows them that this survey is something you take very seriously as a company, because you’re willing to commit a great deal of money to receiving valuable answers.
- Anonymity Processes – You should also consider putting processes in place (that you verbalize with the new employee) that essentially guarantee anonymity. For example, use a survey platform that provides no timestamps, and only evaluate responses every six months so that it becomes impossible to trace when or who answered any specific survey. Having these processes in place and verbalizing them to the new hire staff is a valuable way to improve honestly.
- Limit Open Text Boxes – Finally, it’s easier to prove that you can’t trace a new employee’s answers if you limit answers that are traceable. For that, you need to limit open answers and text boxes. Text boxes allow the employee to tell a story that is specific to them, thus creating the potential to be identified. Avoid open ended questions whenever possible, and let the employee know that the limitation is for their anonymity.
Honesty in New Hire Surveys
Some degree of sycophancy should be expected from new hires, simply because they’re happy they have a new job. But the more you can limit the dishonest answers, the more valuable your dataset will be for analysis. Use the above tips, and always look for new ways to help encourage honest answers in your new hire surveys.
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