Employee onboarding is a key indicator of a successful team. Sixty-nine percent of people who have a good onboarding experience stay with their company for three years or more. For healthcare employers, that's an enticing statistic. These industries are typically high-stress, high-impact work environments with high turnover. The right onboarding can help healthcare organizations (including dental, optometry, veterinary, etc.) find and keep the best people -- now and for the long term.
So how do you do it? These onboarding tips are a go-to list of how to establish a positive employment relationship.
(1) Start During Recruitment
Onboarding is a prime opportunity to integrate your new employees into the team. That can start while you are still assessing candidates. You can find the best fit by introducing them to your organizational culture during your initial interviews. Tell them a little bit about what you value in your team members, from perspective and attitude to technical and interpersonal skills.
After you make an offer, send over some practice information. That way, the new hire feels like a part of the team, even before their first day.
(2) Make Them Feel Welcome
Apart from learning about your practice, new hires should know they are wanted. Simply being made to feel welcome can have a big impact on employee well-being. The first days and weeks at a new job are always intimidating, so it helps to ease the burden with a few friendly words. Introduce them to team members, invite the new hire for lunch, and check in during the first few days and weeks to make sure they have all they need to succeed.
(3) Involve Senior Leaders
Your practice leadership can set the tone for everyone, and they play a big role in helping to integrate new employees. Collaborative health care teams include technicians, practitioners, and professionals with interdependent roles who work toward a common goal: patient care. When new hires interact with leadership, they can rest assured they are an important part of achieving that goal.
A brief hello from practice leaders may be all that's required, or a group talk if several employees are part of a single onboarding session.
(4) Schedule Interactivity and Engagement
Health care teams are just that -- teams -- so it's essential new hires start building relationships right away. Interaction with other employees, jumping in with a few supervised hands-on tasks, and fun quizzes to help go through the organizational policies are all ways to break the monotony of onboarding.
The new hire should feel supported even in those first few days at the practice. There's no better way to do that than to make the initial stages about people as much as policies and procedures.
(5) Provide Essential Information
Interpersonal relationships should also work alongside the nuts and bolts of what new hires need to know. A key onboarding tip is to give the employee directions to the break room, key cards, logins, locker number, as well as information about scheduling, and practice policies that affect their day-to-day work with others.
Don't forget the essential tidbits your health care team relies upon, like where to find spare scrubs, the best local coffee shop, and where to park for free while on shift.
(6) Establish Clear Expectations
Most new health care employees are highly trained and likely have previous clinical experience. But every practice is different. It helps for new hires to know not only what their job is, but what kind of benchmarks they should aim to achieve. Introducing these benchmarks early on in an inspirational, non-intimidating way can make the new hire aware of how they fit in and how they can best perform in their new role.
(7) Encourage Questions
When someone is new, they don't know what they don't know. That means they won't always feel comfortable asking questions. Be sure to name a point person for any queries that come up during onboarding and in the initial stages of employment. To maximize efficiency, set up an online employee portal with common HR queries, or an electronic "cheat sheet" about the practice. That way the new hires will always have somewhere to go when they find themselves stuck for information. Even senior employees sometimes need reminders! If you have an open door policy, note that in your employee handbook.
Employee onboarding doesn't stop on day one, or even the first week. It's a constant process to keep team members engaged in the organization. Schedule regular check-ins with new staff, on a more frequent basis than you do with more seasoned employees. Create an atmosphere of learning, where people feel comfortable expressing concerns. Offer ongoing support and resources so they can do their best in the new role.
Onboarding tips are just the beginning. When you strive to find success at your practice, your health care team is an essential part of the process. A smooth integration of new staff leads to stable, productive teams that stick together over months and years. By supporting your employees through effective onboarding, you can create a superior experience for your patients. This elevates your practice and your business as a professional health care provider.
HR for Health has the tools you need to optimize your health care practice. Contact us today to learn how we help you manage your HR, so you and your team can devote more time to patient care.
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Quick note: This is not to be taken as legal or HR advice. Since employment laws change over time and can vary by location and industry, consult a lawyer or HR expert for specific guidance. Learn about HR for Health's HR services