Want to find out what new employees think of your IT department? Just ask them, says Toronto-based Kumud Kalia, CIO of Direct Energy.

Kalia takes 20 minutes to meet with all the people he’s hired in the past 90 days to ask them for their observations while they’re still fresh. It’s a trick he picked up from executives at a previous company and implemented once he entered the C suite.

Kalia likes to use this informal group meeting to get real-time feedback on the company’s on-boarding process, to find out what the newest employees think of the work environment, and ask them how they’ve interacted thus far with colleagues, business partners and customers. He also likes to pick their brains about how Direct Energy compares to other companies.

“This is good for breaking down old myths that support grass-is-greener kind of views,” says Kalia. “We can also get some insight into best practices we haven’t considered.”

New employees obviously won’t want to be too harsh, “but it is possible to get at the truth without overt criticism of coworkers or the company,” says Kalia.