Content Dam Diq Online Articles 2016 09 New Dental Employee 1
Content Dam Diq Online Articles 2016 09 New Dental Employee 1
Content Dam Diq Online Articles 2016 09 New Dental Employee 1
Content Dam Diq Online Articles 2016 09 New Dental Employee 1
Content Dam Diq Online Articles 2016 09 New Dental Employee 1

How important is the first day for your new dental employee?

Sept. 22, 2016
Dental teams want new employees to succeed. Chances of that happening increase when proper employee orientation is in place.
Laura Nelson, BS, MS, FAADOM, Founder of Front Office Rocks
For many offices, finding and hiring good team members is a difficult process. It can really take a long time to find the right fit. Once the potential great new employee is hired, office managers and doctors think that the hiring process is over, but I'm here to tell you that it's not.

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.

For an example of the first day New Employee Orientation list, email Front Office Rocks with a request at [email protected] or place a request at the Ask Laura section on

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Laura Hatch is the founder of Front Office Rocks, a leader in online front office training. Laura has worked with her husband, Dr. Hatch, to start and grow two extremely successful dental practices (one in Baltimore and a current office in San Diego) to million dollar, fee-for-services offices that focus on exceptional customer service and average 80 new patients per month. As the leading authority on dental front office training, Laura has developed training methods that consist of established ideas and practical training that can be easily implemented into any office. She can be reached at [email protected].