Onboarding & Integration - What to Do on Their First Day
Your new hire is about to start their FIRST day at your practice! They are feeling excited but nervous - they don’t know anyone or are familiar with your systems or preferences yet. Nevertheless, they are excited to start the first day of what could be many loyal years working in your practice. That is the way you need to view their first day as well; the beginning of a long-lasting working relationship.
This individual will be with you for 80% of their day! They will be taking care of YOUR patients and building YOUR practice. You want and NEED them to be successful because the reputation and success of your practice is dependent on it. Why not take the right steps and set them up for success — it benefits EVERYONE involved; your team, patients and practice's reputation. There are a few key things you can do to ensure your new hires success.
Get the Welcome Wagon Ready!
You know the drill during the first few minutes on the job, your tendency may be to parade your new hire around the office so quickly they will barely be able to manage a few handshakes as you announce, “Everyone, this is Samantha; Samantha, this is the team.” Before you know it, the team will jump back into what they were doing and the new hire is left standing around feeling alone and overwhelmed!
As a manager/owner, you can speed up the acclimation process for your new employees by spending a little more time on the introductions and—here’s the important part—making some connections from the start.
Instead of simply introducing your new hire by name, give a little background: “This is Samantha, our new Administrator. She’s amazing with Dentrix reports, so she’ll be a huge help with analyzing our current recall strategy and getting pending treatment back into our chairs and keep us all busy! In the meantime, she’ll be available to help show us how to pull up these reports for—so touch base with her to let her know what you need.”
With this, you have acknowledged your new employee’s strengths (and made him or her feel valuable from day one) and given current employees an opening to make the first contact and get the new hire immediately involved.
Have a Plan
This scenario is all too common and extremely ineffective…
“The minute I arrived on my worst first day, I felt like an afterthought. My boss ushered me to my desk, handed me their procedure manual and training videos to watch on their practice software program, and, after logging in, they told me to “play around and get comfortable” with the system. They said they had their own work to get done— so I was on my own. At the end of the almost unbearable day, I left the office doubting my decision to accept the offer. This isn’t what I expected at all!” This is what a candidate said asking for help to find her another office after this experience! NOT GOOD!
Is this how you want them to feel? I am sure you want them to be excited about their new position, eager to tackle their own projects, and striving to make an impact in your practice. And that doesn’t usually come from a thrown-together training plan that makes your new employee feel like you couldn’t care less that he or she actually showed up!
I know (from experience) that everyday responsibilities are always waiting to get in the way. But taking the time to plan out a variety of assignments or training tasks for the new hire—ideally, for at least the first week on the job—will not only help them get up to speed quicker but assure him that you’re truly invested in their success. Meaning: they will be much likelier to show up on day two confident that they are in the right place.
Assign a Mentor
Find one or two employees who are your top-notch, A-type, go-getters who can take your new hire under their wing! They can show them the ropes and teach them the RIGHT skill sets and habits to make them successful. Your new employee will also feel much more at ease knowing there are a few people who “have their back” and can ask any questions they may have along the process.
While it’ll still take plenty of time, training, and coaching to get your new employee up to speed, these small steps will lay the groundwork to get them familiar with the team and make sure they feel like an important, valued member of your practice. And that will make day two (and onward!) a whole lot more successful!
We just covered a few small steps on what you can do to make their first day a success! But there is much more involved so make sure to grab our checklist and you can see what else should be on your to-do list for that first day.
Onboarding and Integrating your new hire: Step 1- Prepare
Onboarding and integrating a new hire is a VERY CRUCIAL STEP and involves much more than having an orientation day. While orientation might be necessary (paperwork and other routine tasks must be completed), onboarding is a comprehensive process involving management and other employees that can last up to 12 months. Think of it as a mentoring program and you are investing in this new employee’s personal growth and development. This is key to long-term and loyal team members. What office doesn’t want that!?!? Want to learn how to do this? Then this mini-series is for you!! But first you need to download this guide and we will work on each of these categories throughout the series.
Always be prepared
Tune into your inner Boy Scout and be prepared! Have all of your documentation ready ahead of time. Meaning you need to have employment contracts, job descriptions, policy manuals, new hire forms and several key policies for your office. This ensures that your team always knows what’s expected of them right from day one! Simply telling your employees about your business practices and the requirements you have for them is not enough. You need to establish clear policies and guidelines. When you have such key documents in place. You are setting your new employee up for success and you are protecting your business and reputation that you worked so hard to build!
Let’s review a few of these items and their importance:
1. Employment Contract
Employment contracts are meant to protect not only the rights of you as an employer but also the rights (or powers) of your employees. It also helps ensure expectations and responsibilities of both the employee and employer are clearly defined and outlined right from day #1!
2. Job Descriptions
A job description typically outlines the necessary skills, training, and education needed by a potential employee. It will spell out duties and responsibilities of the job.
Once a job description is prepared, it can serve a basis for interviewing candidates, orienting a new employee and finally, in the job performance evaluation.
3. Policy Manual
A policy manual helps you communicate your expectations to your employees by developing a clear and thorough policy manual. These will be your workplace guidelines that cover a wide range of workplace activities, including hiring, training, resolving conflicts, maintaining a safe and healthy workplace, use of company property, business expenses, and MUCH more.
4. New Hire Forms & More
Other key items to have is their Employee Information Record which includes their emergency contact information. You also need to have information to process their payroll including tax forms and banking information. Having a copy of their license and/or certifications will ensure there are up to date and active to prove their education/training. Other policies like confidentiality agreement, overtime agreement, and salary confidentiality agreement is something that should be included in their new employee bundle when they are hired!
Did you notice what all of these have in common? They serve as a great way to open the lines of communication between yourself and your new employee. You are telling them—this is what your job entails and I will be holding you to this BUT I am going to give you all of the tools you need to be successful at it!
Don’t have these tools in your new hire toolkit yet? We do! In fact, we can help develop a comprehensive HR library that includes policies, forms, employee handbooks and guides that are easily accessible and available to support all aspects of your Dental Practice!
Tune in next week to learn what Step 2 is and how to make sure the first day is a successful and productive one!
How to retain TOP talent for your Dental Practice: Proper Onboarding and Integration
Congrats! You found an amazing candidate for your practice. But… finding the best candidates is only part of building an effective team. The process of onboarding new employees can be one of the most critical factors in ensuring your new talent will be productive and a valuable member of your team. This next blog series will discuss the best way to keep top talent!
Onboarding: the process of integrating a new employee into the office – is particularly challenging because it can be complicated, and it involves potential negative legal repercussions if it isn't handled properly. Most people confuse onboarding with an orientation, which is done on your new employees first day. While orientation might be necessary -- paperwork and other routine tasks must be completed -- onboarding is a comprehensive process involving management and other employees that can last up to 12 months.
What is Onboarding and Why do I need it?
Here is a simple answer: If you want to retain the top talent, good employee onboarding is essential. First impressions are everything! Here are some compelling stats on why you need to have proper systems and protocols for the onboarding and integration of your new hire:
- 22% of employee turnover happens within the first 45 days of employment.
- Onboarding and integration protocols can increase retention by 25% and improve employee performance by 11%.
- Employees who participate in a structured onboarding program are 69% more likely to stay with an organization for 3 years.
- 15% of employees said the lack of an effective onboarding program aided in their decision to quit.
Now I know you do not want to find yourself in the same position again= a vacant position! Successful onboarding is the first step to eliminating this problem. I am afraid there is no fail-safe way to keep all your new employees on board, but you can certainly improve your chances of success by following these guidelines.
Goals of an Effective Onboarding Process
Overall, effective onboarding should acclimate the new employee to allow them to become a contributing member of office in the briefest period possible, increase productivity, plus it makes the new hire happier and it saves you money! I say that’s a win-win, WIN for everyone! Here are some tips to make that happen:
Acclimate -- Acclimating a new employee is far more than just pointing out the location of the break room or explaining the parking situation. Every workplace has its own personality, and every Dental Practice has its own goals and philosophies. Your new employee needs to understand what YOU expect from them and the specific role they will play in achieving those goals. At the same time, new hires need to be made aware of what they can expect from the office, such as management support, availability of resources or performance reviews.
Engage -- A Gallup study showed a correlation between engaged employees and a company's profitability, turnover rate, safety record, absenteeism, product quality and customer ratings. An effective onboarding plan offers an ideal opportunity to boost employee engagement, such as fostering a supportive relationship between a new hire and management, reinforcing the company's commitment to helping employees' professional growth or proving that management recognizes the employee's talent.
Give me the 101 for onboarding
As it turns out, the most commonly used strategy in the new employee onboarding process is creating a checklist and we have done just that to help you out! DOWNLOAD YOUR CHECKLIST
Next week we will get into the nitty-gritty on what documents, policies, and contracts you should have ready and prepared for your new hires first day!