Tips for Successful New Employee Orientation
The number one reason employees leave within the first 90 days is they don’t feel like they were properly trained to do the job they were hired for.
When it comes to onboarding new employees and structuring your new employee orientation, you only get one chance to make a first impression.
Your team is one of the most important assets of your medical aesthetic practice. Building a top-notch team of well trained, skilled, competent, and solution-oriented employees with a passion for the industry and their job doesn’t happen by winging it. It begins with carefully planning and executing an informative, comprehensive, and well-conceived new employee orientation.
According to APX Platform’s Director of Client Success Dana Hatch, “Having a consistent pre-boarding and onboarding process in place and a structured new employee orientation sets the tone for the entire employee experience. You cannot expect your employees to do what they never are shown how to do . If you throw them into chaos, then that is how they are going to operate because it is what they’ve come to expect your company to look like. If you want things to run smoothly, you must have a smooth and methodical process. If you want your employees to go further faster, you must have a system and structure in place, be able to communicate the plan, and have all the materials to support them, so that they can be up and running in 30 days vs, 90 days.”
When a new employee is hired, they are usually eager to become a successful part of your team. Their initial impression and experience with onboarding and orientation can make or break their future success and get them started on the right foot, which in turn helps with employee retention rates.
According to the Society of Human Resources Management, organizations with successful orientation programs retain 69% of their employees for three years and experience 50% more productivity.
So, let’s break down the onboarding process into several phases:
#1 – Pre-Boarding
Pre-Boarding is the process of developing a bond with a new employee prior to their official start date. This is a great way to start building the relationship and setting the tone for the culture of your practice. Here are some ideas for Pre-Boarding:
- Invite the employee (and, perhaps, his or her family) to dinner. This is a great way to build rapport and get to know them on a personal level.
- Mail, e-mail or meet in person to review company information regarding the practice, such as but not limited to:
- Employee Handbook
- Job Description and Expectations
- Organizational Chart
- Company Culture
- Menu of Services
- What forms to bring on their first day, where to park, etc.
- Send a care package to the new employee. Care packages might include cookies, coffee, a coffee mug with the company logo or some other logo wear.
- Have them study the website.
- Have them make a list of features and benefits of all procedures, so they understand what it is, what it does, and who it’s for (especially for the front office team).
- Have them pair up with an employee in the same position that will be training them–someone they can lean on, ask questions, and go to for support.
#2 – New-Hire Orientation Process
Welcoming new employees is a collaborative effort. New-hire orientation is a formal process to introduce the new employee to the practice’s structure, vision, mission, and values; review the employee handbook and highlight major policies; complete required employee paperwork; review pertinent administrative procedures; and provide mandatory training. This process can overload a new employee with information and is usually best done over the span of a few days or a week, if possible.
On the First Day…
Meet with the new hire at the start of his or her first day of work to complete new-hire paperwork, prepare keys and ID cards, and review benefits and payroll information. Preparations should be made in advance so that the new team member:
- Has a workstation set up with appropriate equipment/supplies
- Gets Introduced to co-workers and has a tour of the practice
- Is assigned a mentor to coordinate onboarding activities
- Has a welcome lunch
- Gets an overview of the practice’s mission, values, and key policies
Within the First Week…
Schedule an orientation meeting. Typically, these are one full day and include training in the following areas:
- Introduction to the practice, its mission, functions, and culture.
- Review of company organizational chart.
- Employee handbook review.
- Benefits plan information, discussion, and preliminary enrollment.
- Safety and health policies reviews—safety, fire, emergency evacuation, job-related safety issues.
Key Administrative Policies
- Anti-harassment policy review and discussion.
- Policy reviews—pay periods, travel, time-off and training requests.
- Administrative procedures—security, computer systems and logins, telephone systems, supplies and equipment.
- Job shadowing of each key role when possible is a great way to build pride and appreciation for every role in a practice. More importantly, understand the key function of that role and how it contributes to the success of the practice.
Sales – Finance – Operations
- Depending on their respective responsibilities, everyone in the practice must have the proper training in these areas to be effective in their roles and to have the practice set up for long term success.
Time spent completing new-hire paperwork and time spent in the orientation meeting are considered hours worked. Each employee’s timecard should reflect the time engaged in the orientation program as paid hours and should be coded appropriately.
#3 – Follow Up
“Employee orientation and onboarding is not a ‘one and done’ task. For any orientation program to be effective, follow up is an essential component. New team members often feel vulnerable and uncertain during the first 30 days of a new role and are aware of how much they don’t know yet. Consistently meeting with new employees and giving them regular feedback as well as letting them know you are available to help them along the way is critical. We recommend a 30-day post-hire check-in meeting to make sure expectations are being met on both the employer and employee side of things,” says Dana.
Here are some tips for following up:
- Schedule a formal 30-day, check-in meeting.
- Take the time to prepare an agenda for the meeting.
- Meet privately in an appropriate setting so the employee feels comfortable, and the meeting won’t be interrupted.
- Focus on a conversation, where both you and the employee have a chance to speak and listen. Let them speak first and really listen to what feedback they are providing.
- Give them support, encouragement and assurance that you are there to help them meet their goals and objectives.
- Don’t leave the meeting without setting up your next follow up check in time.
- Ensure expectations of their role are clear and test them on those expectations.
#4 – Reboarding
Whether employees have been in their position for a long time, are returning from an extended leave or or receive a promotion, “reboarding” refers to updating the employee on current policies and procedures, acclimating him or her to company goals, new equipment, procedures, products, or anything that has a direct effect on their role and their success. Investing in reboarding can lead to increased productivity in a shorter time frame and allow employees the time to reconnect socially and emotionally to their teams and work–resulting in stronger engagement and job satisfaction.
Reboarded employees already have knowledge of the practice’s culture, benefits, and administrative processes. So, the success of reboarding relies mainly on the manager. The Reboarding process is often overlooked and can result in an employee not feeling valued or part of a growing team.
If this blog resonated with you and you know this is an area you can improve or want to improve to uplevel your team, then we invite you to visit www.apxplatform.com. APX Platform contains robust training courses and masterclasses in Sales and Finance, and soon we will be adding Operations and so much more.