Start Your FREE Membership NOW
 Discover Proven Ways to Be a Better Medical Office Manager
 Get Our Daily eNewsletter, MOMAlert, and MUCH MORE
 Absolutely NO Risk or Obligation on Your Part -- It's FREE!

Upgrade to Premium Membership NOW for Just $90!
Get 3 Months of Full Premium Membership Access
Includes Our Monthly Newsletter, Office Toolbox, Policy Center, and Archives
Plus, You Get FREE Webinars, and MUCH MORE!

Adopt these four best practices for successful staff onboarding

A structured onboarding process can lead to a better start for your employees, resulting in better retention and productivity.

That’s the word from Paul Edwards, CEO and founder of Cedr Solutions, a provider of custom employee handbooks, management software and HR support. He suggests these four best practices to add to your process.

1. Begin onboarding before your employee’s first day.

After you provide your employee with an offer letter stating the basic terms of at-will employment at your business and explaining that their employment is contingent upon passing a background check, you should start making sure you and your team are prepared for the employee’s first day at the office. This includes:

  • Entering their information and paperwork into your HR management system.
  • Preparing all new-hire documentation
  • Setting up their work station
  • Discussing the employee’s role and expectations with the practice owner and/or manager
  • Calling or emailing the employee with important logistical information (when to arrive, where to park, what to wear, who to ask for when they arrive, etc.)

2. Assign a buddy/mentor to work with the new hire.

Working directly with a peer can help your new employee get more comfortable in their new workplace quicker and can help alleviate some of the social jitters that come with starting a new job.

Assigning a mentor can not only help make the onboarding process smoother and more personal for new hires, it can also help you fill in any gaps in case something unexpected happens that pulls you away from an employee on their first day.

Make sure the mentor you choose is friendly, enthusiastic, and up for the role beforehand so they are prepared for the responsibility and know what to expect from the task. This can include being a point-person for answering the new hire’s questions, showing them around the office, introducing them to the rest of the team, and even taking the new hire out to lunch (on the company dime, of course). This frees up your time and is also a nice bit of responsibility for the mentor.

3. Make space for cultural integration.

Though you’ll no doubt be anxious for your new employee to get their hands dirty and start pulling their weight for your business, resist the temptation to thrust them into “work mode” right away. Give them space to get oriented with your company culture first.

Send out a welcome message to your entire team before they arrive and copy the new employee on that thread. You might also want to hold a brief introductory meeting early on their first day so that nobody is left wondering who the new person is.

Think about other ways you can make their first impression of your business a positive one. Suggestions include, but are not limited to:

  • Providing a swag bag of company-branded goodies
  • Providing them with an org chart and/or describing employee work styles
  • Explaining how decisions are made at the business
  • Providing lunch for the employee (bonus points for making it a social team lunch so your new hire can get to know everyone in a casual setting)

Be super clear and set up expectations for the coming weeks:

“By the end of the week you will know what every department does. You’ll be well trained on the main software we use. By the end of week two you will be able to start to work independently. Soon after that we will start to introduce our quarterly goals system and explain where you fit into that and how your role and work helps us all reach our goals.”

4. Check in at regular intervals.

Employees want to know how they are performing in their role. And keeping them engaged in their work requires constant feedback from you as a manager. Make sure they know where to go with any questions and do your best to make them feel comfortable reaching out when they need to.

Schedule regular check-ins for the end of their first week, after 30 days, and at the end of their 90-day getting acquainted period (or even more frequently, if you feel so inclined). If you perform  regular one-on-ones with your team, get your new hire into the rotation.

Use your time together to ask your new hire how they are settling in, as well as if there is anything you can do to make them more comfortable and effective in their role. Providing this direct access to you as a supervisor not only makes it easier for you to give regular input and coaching about the employee’s performance, but it will also help them feel more comfortable sharing any obstacles they are facing that you might be able to remove for them. And, if nothing else, keeping your finger on the pulse of your new hire’s experience will help prevent you from being blind-sided by an abrupt resignation if things aren’t working out.









Try Premium Membership