As healthcare work environments become increasingly fast-paced, it’s important to improve your onboarding process and better prepare new employees for their positions. The first 90 days of employment is critical to building rapport between recent hires, their coworkers, and management. Effective onboarding requires time and planning to ensure your team’s training aligns with your organization’s mission and culture.
Here are some ways you can improve the onboarding process of your new allied healthcare employees.
Establish an orientation program for new employees.
All new employees should be given the information they need about your organization’s protocols and practices. This should include an employee handbook with a complete guide to your organization’s policies. It’s also important to educate your new allied healthcare employees about your facility and patient population, as well as job responsibilities. Set up a standard orientation process where you introduce all of this information. You can provide it in a PowerPoint presentation, an online course, or a few sections at a time during the first week. Whatever way you build your new orientation program, be sure your new employees feel comfortable learning, asking questions, and engaging in the material. It’s also helpful to make this information available electronically, such as on your organization’s internal website, or intranet, so employees can access the information easily, and so you can update as-needed.
Develop a mentorship program.
Ideally, every new employee should be assigned a mentor so they can ask questions and gather all the necessary information associated with their role in the organization. A mentorship program can be impactful for several reasons. First, assigning a mentor to a new employee will give them access to someone within the organization they can immediately trust. Your new employees can also rely on their mentors as a source of ongoing guidance and support, helping them adjust to their new work environments. Additionally, a mentorship program helps promote a culture of teamwork and comradery, which can have an impact on employee morale and retention. Mentoring could be as informal as shadowing another staff member as they complete their daily tasks—or as formal as following a checklist of established goals, meetings, and evaluations.
Measure onboarding outcomes.
Make a habit of measuring your onboarding program’s outcomes. You can only adjust and improve once you understand what’s working and what’s not. One way to measure effectiveness is by gathering feedback from internal surveys. For example, survey results may reveal that participants want more content on relationship-building with coworkers. Being able to constantly adjust and adapt to the needs of your new employees is important for building a team aligned with your facility’s goals. Implementing short surveys of all new hires at critical milestones will help you collect timely feedback and adjust your onboarding practices as you identify opportunities for improvement.
Remember, your employees are your greatest asset, and it’s important to treat them well from the very beginning. Giving employees the foundational tools and training they need to succeed can set them up for long-term success and allow them to reach their greatest potential.