Hiring is difficult enough, but what about employee onboarding? HR experts say orientation is the key to success. After all, an effective onboarding experience can set new hires up for long-term success and employee satisfaction.
New employees that don't have a good onboarding experience are more likely to seek new employment within the first year. Even if they don't look for a new job, inevitably, a person’s confidence affects their mental state and in turn, can negatively affect performance.
A positive new hire onboarding experience can be the difference between a successful relationship with a new employee and an unsuccessful one.
What kind of orientation should a new employee receive?
An orientation should do more than just give new employees the logistics of their job. It should also introduce them to the organization's culture, support systems, and what is expected of them. A good orientation will leave new hires feeling like they have a clear understanding of their role within the company.
Orientation is also the perfect time to set expectations for your new hire's performance. By setting these expectations early on, you can avoid any confusion or frustration down the road.
For employee onboarding to be successful, you want your new hire to feel supported and valued as they go through the onboarding process.
Here are some tips to help bring out the best qualities of new employees from day one at your agency through the right onboarding process:
Plan the onboarding process.
To be successful, every learning and development initiative needs to begin with a plan. New hires need to know with whom they are training, when they are training, and what they will learn so they don’t feel lost at work each day. That alone will destroy confidence. With a plan and learning path in place, new hires will know what is expected of them, and where they need to end up. There is a clear finish line for them to cross.
Define a clear training plan for each new hire to follow based on the position, job responsibilities, current level of knowledge, and subject matter expertise. New hires will feel bored or like their time is being wasted when they’re already familiar with the material, so be sure to customize the training plan to their needs.
Provide comprehensive on-the-job training.
No matter the clarity of job duties or tasks, new hires still face unexpected challenges in the workplace.
Especially with healthcare, there are bound to be experiences that employees have not encountered before. New hires will need to know where they can get answers for a smooth learning experience. Instead of referring them to one person, use the collective knowledge of the entire team to help them out. Create a space where they can seek advice from everyone, such as a Q&A forum. Crowdsourcing answers will ensure they are getting a variety of opinions for a more complete picture of a process with plenty of tips.
Give new employees the tools to contact someone for immediate help.
We’re beginning to see workplaces harness the power of social tools for communication, especially with the sprouting of such apps over the last few years.
I can’t think of a time when an instant messaging tool wouldn’t come in handy. Trainers and supervisors aren’t always around when new hires encounter problems, and there will be times when they need an immediate answer. Employees need access to other employees for immediate help. Just knowing they can contact someone for help will allow them to feel more comfortable and confident navigating the unexpected bumps in the road. Because those bumps are inevitable regardless if we are speaking about the healthcare industry or any other industry, immediate responsiveness is crucial.
Schedule one-on-one meetups between new employees and experienced co-workers.
When set up properly, mentoring can be a frontrunner for more confident, competent employees. In my experience and research, the most successful mentorships occur when both people have knowledge to share. This leads to “reverse mentoring.” This form of mentorship is when the less experienced employee mentors the more experienced employee for a session or two on a skill they possess that is beneficial to the home care agency that they have learned along the way.
Business strategist and benefits consultant Deana Calvelli stated in her January 2013 article published in the Philadelphia Business Journal: “Reverse mentoring is an inexpensive way for your organization to make younger employees feel more confident and valued.” Quite simply, younger employees don’t just want to be taught, they also want to teach. They want to feel like they can give and not just get.
Calvelli continues with an example of how a two-way mentoring relationship can help close the knowledge gap. “Millennials have the highest level of utilization of social media, while Boomers can share the business savvy they have attained over many years,” she stated.
Help new hires identify team members with experience in the various home care areas they need to learn. Encourage one or two meetings or calls, and if the mentorship is a good fit, let it continue until either one feels the need to move on.
Don't forget about organizational socialization.
Organizational socialization is the process by which individuals learn about and adapt to their new work environment. It begins on an employee’s first day with orientation, when they are introduced to the agency’s culture, values, and norms.
Facilitate ongoing training and development.
Finally, once orientation is complete and the new employee is settling into their role, it is important to provide ongoing training and development opportunities.
This could include anything from online courses and webinars to in-person workshops and conferences. It is important to keep a new employee engaged in their learning and industry best practices so that they can continue to grow and develop in their careers.
By offering ongoing training and development opportunities, employees receive the support they need to be successful in their roles and contribute to the success of the agency.
After hiring, new employees should feel like they are part of a team and better equipped to do their job. If an agency’s orientation program is effective, new hires will understand the agency’s expectations and how their role contributes to the agency’s overall success.
One of the greatest challenges when onboarding new hires is the lack of confidence that comes from the minimal know-how when starting a new role. With your company culture, history, departments, procedures, and case-by-case situations, there’s a lot for a new hire to take in on the first day. Connect your new employees with other employees, and be sure to provide a robust training program so they can learn and soar.
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