Tips for an effective onboarding process for new employees
Hiring a new team member? Here are some simple tips for creating an effective onboarding process in your practice.
First impressions really do count, especially when it comes to introducing a new employee to your team. An effective onboarding process will help your new starter feel welcomed, and give them the knowledge and tools to hit the ground running from Day 1. A poor onboarding experience, on the other hand, can have a detrimental effect on your practice’s ability to engage and retain staff.
Onboarding refers to the process of integrating a new employee with a company and its culture. It’s about making them feel valued and set up for success in their new role. While the first few days of an employee’s onboarding are critical, a good onboarding process can run for several months, incorporating check-ins and feedback opportunities along the way.
To provide an effective onboarding experience in your practice, follow these simple tips:
Onboarding: Before Day 1
- Announce the new recruit: Let your current staff know that a new employee will be joining the team. Outline their role, responsibilities and work days, if part-time. Encourage your team to introduce themselves to the new starter, so they experience a welcoming reception in their first week.
- Prepare the paperwork: Starting a new job means lots of paperwork, such as employment contracts, superannuation forms, emergency contacts and bank account details. Have your new starter complete what they can ahead of time, and, where possible, use digital forms that can be filled out and signed online.
- Organise a work area: A clean, tidy and functional workstation is an important part of creating a positive first impression. Consider any tools, software, stationery or access passes they might need, and order them ahead of time. Set up their email address, and add them to any relevant email distribution lists and team groups.
Onboarding: On Day 1
- Have a point of contact: If you’re not available to greet your new starter on their first day, let them know who to ask for when they arrive. Let your receptionist know to expect them and where to direct them.
- Take them on a tour: Help your new team member orient themselves in their new workplace by showing them key areas such as their workstation, emergency exits, kitchen, toilets and places where they can grab food and coffee. A welcome pack, filled with useful information about the practice, is also a great idea. Even better – include a personalised, hand-written welcome note.
- Plan their first day and week: Schedule in various sessions and meet and greets to structure their first week. This could include one on ones with other team members, learning how to use the software, and an overview of company policies and procedures.
- Set expectations: A clear outline of what you expect from your new recruit in terms of their role and performance is crucial. Ensure they understand their responsibilities and objectives, as well as how you’ll be measuring their performance.
- Arrange a social outing: A coffee, morning or afternoon tea, or lunch is a great opportunity for your team and the new employee to get to know each other outside the office or clinic environment.
Onboarding: After Day 1
- Check-in regularly: Maintaining regular communication and rapport with your new employee is important in helping them feel like part of the team, and gives them a safe space to ask questions or raise concerns. This can be a combination of informal conversations or more structured performance appraisals.
Everyone remembers a negative onboarding experience, whether it’s being left to work things out on your own, or not feeling particularly welcomed by the team. With these simple tips, you can create a good onboarding process that empowers new employees to quickly become productive and happy team members.