10 Steps to Onboarding a New Employee in Your Private Practice
By Nancy Mura, Senior VP Public Relations
No matter what type of private practice you have, proper onboarding of new employees is essential. Each new employee is an investment of both time and money. If you are to get an excellent return on your investment and achieve the full potential of each employee, the onboarding period of their employment takes on a high importance.
We have defined the ten steps you should take with each new employee. These steps, well done, ensure that if you have a potentially good employee, they get the support they need to become fully functional in their new job. On the other hand, if you haven’t hired the right person for the job, these steps enable you to discover this fact before much time goes by.
The 10 Steps
- Start by getting all the legally required documents filled out. Present the new employee with a copy of your practice’s written pay plan. Explain to them how to submit pay requests, as applicable, and how pay is distributed.
- Introduce the new employee to the whole team and tour your entire premises, pointing out all the therapy facilities and any amenities for the staff.
- Explain the purpose of the new employee’s job and show them how the duties of that job contribute to the practice’s overall objectives and success. Inform them of performance goals you expect them to meet within their first 30 days and explain that this 30-day period constitutes a probationary period, as applicable. Let them know there will be a performance review at the 30-day mark. (If you feel more time is needed, set a longer probationary period.)
- Introduce the new employee to each staff member they will work closely with or need to coordinate their job functions with. Point out who they can go to for answers to their questions or to get help. Assign the person a buddy who will show them the ropes.
- Set up the new employee’s workspace. Show them where they can store their personal belongings. Tell them about any guidelines on what they can keep on or in their desk.
- Provide the employee with a copy of your employee handbook and tell them they are expected to study it and that they will be responsible for following its policies. If you don’t have a formal handbook, have them study whatever written practice policies and rules you do have. Also, provide a writeup of the daily activities and responsibilities of their job. Keep it as short as possible to help them get started. Once they get these duties implemented on a regular basis, add further instructions or duties. Recommend to them that they refer to these policies and this writeup often as they get familiar with their new job.
- Have the person’s buddy assist them with learning any software in use in the practice (if it’s new to them). Ensure the buddy monitors the new employee’s learning curve until the new employee has mastered the basics of the program and can use it easily.
- If not already done, establish and monitor one or more key performance indicators (KPIs) for the employee’s position. KPIs are used by successful private practice owners to manage their practices. Example: A front desk KPI could be “number of scheduled patients.” Educate the new employee on the specific KPIs of their position and ask the new employee to track the totals daily and weekly. This information will be used to evaluate the person’s productivity at their 30-day performance review. If you have a computerized system to track these statistics, have the buddy show the employee how to enter their statistics at the proper intervals. Also, ask the buddy to check in with the new employee often on how it’s going and how much is getting done.
- When you get to the 30-day mark, conduct a review of the new employee’s performance and go over the review with the new employee. Praise their positive aspects and address any negative points. If the employee is a good fit, type up a list of actions needed to correct negative review points, give the employee the list and schedule the next review. If the employee is not a good fit, start the termination process in accordance with your state’s labor laws. When in doubt, consult your attorney.
- This last step is the way you grow truly stellar employees. Continue training this new employee and all other employees. Provide training to improve their technical skills, coordination with others in the practice, efficiency, communication with patients and staff, productivity and so on. By investing in this training, which creates a more dedicated, skilled team, you gradually build your own personal Dream Team.
If this seems awfully daunting or you’ve tried to implement these steps but have struggled, contact Survival Strategies at 833-221-8002. We can help you streamline this process so you get more value from each new hire.