A lot of time and effort goes into finding and hiring Dental Assistants, Hygienists, and Front office Dental Personnel, but (from what I hear) it doesn’t seem like much time goes into onboarding your new hire. That is why I asked Marco Gonzalez to write up a post about Onboarding to Retain your Dental Professionals.
Marco Gonzalez is from Denver, CO, and has over 15 years of experience as a recruiter in for-profit and non-profit organizations. Most notably, he has built recruiting departments for large DSOs and group practices. H has helped connect hundreds of people with their ideal opportunities through a very disciplined, structured, and transparent recruiting process that provides candidates as much information about their prospective employer as is asked of them. You can read more of Marco’s work at https://www.talentlegacy.com/.
Why is onboarding so important?
So, why should we care about onboarding?
If we need a reason better than “BECAUSE IT’S THE RIGHT THING TO DO,” studies show that new hires who go through a structured onboarding process are 58% more likely to stay with the company for three or more years.
Three or more years!
Imagine that. . . invest one to two weeks into a new hire and get a return of three-plus years!
Additionally, a structured onboarding process helps to improve “Time to Contribution.” That is,
the time it takes for a new hire to have a measurable positive impact on the business is greatly
First – A Cautionary Tale
I recall my first day at a company that didn’t go as planned. Aft r going through the interview, getting an offer, giving notice to my current employer, day one was upon me. The night before, I had made all the preparations to make sure I would get off to a good start. I m de sure to wake up early that morning; I anxiously went through my typical morning routine and headed out the door.
The commute was brief, but thoughts flooded my mind as I tried to think through what my first day would look like. Finally, I walked in and quickly came to the sobering realization that no one remembered I was coming! The receptionist escorted me to my manager, who, with wide-eyed embarrassment, informed me that they had forgotten that I was starting and that I didn’t have a phone, email, computer, or desk. Not quite the welcome I had imagined!
Unfortunately, these situations aren’t rare. The good news is that putting together a good onboarding plan presents an opportunity to differentiate your business by doing simple, thoughtful things that will create a memorable first day and increase the likelihood of retaining your new employee.
What should an onboarding program look like?
There are some key components with onboarding that should be taken into consideration as the
first day and the first week are built out:
Let’s face it. No one likes paperwork. The best thing that can be done to ease this burden is to use an online onboarding (paperwork) platform where new hires fill out all the necessary new hire forms from home (they can even do it prior to their first day). This way, they can do it on the weekend, in their pajamas, while watching their favorite show, rather than spending their entire first day in an office or cubicle, filling out paperwork by hand!
Company branded swag is an important part of the first day. Put together a care package of useful and consistent items with the environment and culture. This will help your new teammate identify with your business.
Time with the Boss:
Ask any new hire what they want more of during their orientation, and the answer inevitably will be that they want to spend more time with their manager so that they can get to know him or her, make a connection with them, and understand what their manager expects of them.
Time with the team:
Remember your first day in a new school? Remember the anxiety you felt around that first day? Who would you have lunch with? Who would you hang with during breaks? Etc Fir t days in a new job can evoke similar feelings. A great way to further indoctrinate a new hire is to make sure we afford them structured time with the new team they are a part of. One great way to accomplish this is to assign them a
“Buddy.” A b-day is a peer who is the “go-to” person for your new hire. Additionally, schedule a casual team lunch so that your new hire gets to know his or her team in a non-work setting.
Teach them the business:
I have always believed that confidence is a byproduct of experience. Providing new hires with the information they need to be productive and contribute quickly is an effective way to help them quickly feel that they are a part of the team. Use the first week to schedule meetings with department heads of different areas of the business. It’s also essential to ensure those managers expect and prepare for the new employee (perhaps provide them with a bio). As a result, your new hire will
gain confidence in how to go about doing their job and who to go to for help.
Talk about culture:
Discussions around culture should be a major topic of conversation during your interview process. Conversations around culture during the onboarding process should build upon those initial conversations you had during your interview process. Now more than ever, candidates are looking to culture as a major factor in their decision to join an organization. Culture conversations include acceptable times to arrive, acceptable times to leave, meeting etiquette, and other nuances about working in your business.
Ask for feedback:
One of my favorite Maya Angelou quotes is: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”. There is so much emotion tied into first, days, weeks, months, and any new challenge. Make sure that you are considering onboarding from your new hire’s perspective and acknowledging this emotional impact rather than trying to pack in
all the things you feel you need them to get through and know in as short an amount of time as possible. A great way to do this is to simply ask them what they need how they are feeling and make sure to allow them time to “breathe” and take it all in (schedule some “downtime” into the onboarding schedule).
With all the work that goes into attracting and selecting the right hire, it is important to make sure they get off to the right start. As he saying goes: “you never get a second chance to make a first impression.” A simple, aligned onboarding process will go a long way to ensuring that your newest employee is happy and is prepared to contribute to the organization.
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