What steps should you take before, during, and after your new hire’s first day at work? Here are some of our best tips for getting off to a running start.
We originally created this list for the benefit of our members — and as our own company grows, we’re constantly being reminded of how important it is to go through all twelve of these steps with each and every new hire.
You may be stunned at the difference this will make in how well your new employees acclimate, and at the impact it will have on your team as a whole.
- Create or designate a workstation or workspace ahead of time (whenever applicable), and clean it up in advance. Even when your new hire will be working in shared spaces, know where their orientation and training will occur, and make sure you are set up.
- Consider how much training will be needed, on what topics, and who will administer or oversee it, before your employee starts. (Will they need training to use your software system? How about HIPAA training before they are exposed to patients and patient data? Safety and emergency procedures? Patient procedures or your office’s routines? Any specialized diagnostic or treatment instruments that they may not have used before?)
- Know what needs to happen first. You want to get your new employee doing useful work as soon as possible, so they can feel productive. However, it is essential not to skip HR and training steps that may be required first.
- Designate a mentor in advance. Choose one of your most positive, capable, approachable employees. Make sure that mentor has the extra time and energy needed to help the new employee find their footing.
- Schedule your new hire to start on a day and at a time convenient for your office manager (and/or anyone else who needs to explain your HR policies or help with initial training). Avoid scheduling a new employee to start when those who will be most closely training and working with them will be on vacation or too busy.
- Introduce your new employee to the team! It’s tough to find the right time to introduce yourself when everyone is in the middle of work.
- Clarify the new employee’s place within the team, and how their job and work fits in with everyone else’s. Your new hire should know who they report to, and where they go for problems, issues or complaints.
- See that your new employee isn’t abandoned at lunch time. Whether your staff eats in small groups in the break room or wanders off for lunch, it’s best if new team members don’t eat a lonely sandwich at the reception desk on their first day.
- Set expectations, and be clear about assignments and goals. Consider a welcome letter (without making any promises of long-term employment).
- Provide time and quiet space for your new hire to read through and sign acknowledgement of your office policies, as well as completing all necessary forms and agreements.
- If there are specific acronyms or buzzwords in use by your staff, or FAQs that new team members always need the answer to, provide a glossary and/or the key information they’ll need.
- Finally, cover your bases! Use a New Hire Checklist like the one we’ve provided HERE to verify that you have distributed all required forms and notifications, obtained all signed forms you need back from the employee, completed required training, etc.
Remember, nobody ever gets a do-over at making a first impression. Your employee’s first few days are your chance to solidify their relationship with your organization and set expectations of what is to come.
Ultimately, you’re hoping to inspire loyalty and a desire to succeed and thrive at your practice—so it’s important to make as positive an impression on them as you want them to make on you.
Friendly Disclaimer: This information is general in nature, and is not intended to replace good counsel about a specific issue with either your attorney or your favorite HR expert.