The first day, the first week, and even the first few months are so vital to the success of new employees—not just their personal success on the job, but success in making the new person a great fit for your office.
Let’s start with the first-day orientation for employees. There's a lot more to it than showing them where to place their personal items and then putting them on the phones to “try them out.” Let's step out of the world of dentistry for a minute and look at this from the perspective of any business. Studies have shown that the initial orientation can have quite an impact on the long-term success of new employees with your team.
“New employees who attended a well-structured onboarding orientation program were 69% more likely to remain at a company up to three years. Losing employees due to their experiences of confusion, alienation, or lack of confidence is a sign of poor onboard programming.”(1)
As an office manager myself, I get it. You have the best of intentions when it comes to that first day of orientation for your new employee, but then real life in a dental practice happens. I strongly believe that you must make new employee orientation a priority. Making sure that new employees get the necessary overview of and orientation to your practice will help them become acclimated quickly, which will start them off on the right foot.
What can you do that will help this process? I suggest putting the orientation in the hands of each new employee. It sounds good to say that you plan to address all that new employees will need to know on their first day, but with everything else going on things inevitably get missed or overlooked. The problem is that moving forward, team members assume a new employee was shown something. But chances are it was overlooked that first day, so then problems arise when the employee is not following what is expected of him or her.
To solve this problem, provide new employees with a list of things that each and every employee should learn by the end of the first day. Then task them with making sure they check off every item by the time they leave at the end of the first day. This will ensure that nothing is missed. What’s more, it will serve as employees' first assignment, which provides a concrete tool to build their confidence immediately. It’s also an assessment tool for you so that you can measure their ability to follow through on assigned tasks.
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