Do you know how long it takes your new hires to get up to speed? Calculating this HR metric, time-to-productivity, can give you the answer. Once calculated, understanding what that number means and the factors that influence it can make a difference in retaining top talent.

Calculating Time-to-Productivity

Unfortunately, this metric is not an exact science, like calculating turnover or time-to-fill. You’ll first determine what the key performance indicators (KPIs) are for each role. This will give you definitive and consistent methods for determining if a new hire has achieved productivity. Once you have the deadline, calculate the total number of days it takes for a new hire to achieve those KPIs from their start date. To find the average, total the number of days for all new hires over a given time frame and divide it by the total number of new hires.

Keep in mind this number is going to differ greatly between positions within the company. Your lower, entry-level roles will have a different time-to-productivity than people-manager roles or even higher level executive roles. Additionally, your expectations will be different. You will allow additional time for new hires with less experience to get up to speed vs top executives who have the experience to hit the ground running. The new entry-level employee will need skills training in addition to learning the company specifics. While someone with a decade of experience may only need to learn the company’s way of doing things.

A short time-to-productivity can be an indication of a few things. A good onboarding program, effective training for new hires, and effective hiring practices.

The best onboarding programs get your employees acclimated to the company’s culture and practices quickly. It should give employees a roadmap for navigating the company. Not only for the physical office but also with key important people to help navigate the politics. They should meet with key stakeholders and business partners.

Effective onboarding programs have check-ins at regular intervals. Most recommend at the 30-, 60-, and 90-day tenure marks. This will allow you the opportunity to proactively address any issues and ensure the employee is integrating well. Matching an employee with a mentor, navigator, or buddy can make this process a lot more successful as well.

New hire training is the most important aspect of getting your new hire to expected productivity levels quickly. A training plan with achievable goals will give employees a roadmap and help set expectations. Additionally, a plan will help managers give consistent training for new hires. Consider establishing a 30-, 60-, 90- day plan with check-in’s scheduled at the end.

Lastly, a low time-to-productivity is a good sign that your hiring practices are working. Your talent acquisition team are sourcing the right candidates. Then the interviews are identifying the right fit for the job. The hiring process is also not just about making sure the person can do the job, it’s also about if the candidate is the right fit into the culture. Even if the new hire has all the skills and capabilities to excel in the role, they will still struggle if they can not acclimate into the culture.

Time-to-productivity is not an exact science but can be an indicator of how your new hires are doing. If you start seeing a problem retaining new hires, you may want to look at this metric to see what’s going on.

An HR dashboard is an effective tool for organizing, tracking, and managing your workforce data. It will automatically run the calculations based on the metrics you want. Once calculated, it creates intuitive visualizations that your business leaders at any level of the organization will be able to understand. Sign up today for a free demo of our automated HR dashboard.