The transition to a new job is often challenging, especially for workers moving from unemployment or a non-clinical environment. A structured process that provides new employees with training, orientation, assessment, and mentoring is vital. Support mechanisms that help new hires better understand expectations, systems, and workplace culture make for a smooth transition and help reduce turnover.
Savvy employers know that investing in a positive orientation experience yields lasting results. An employee’s experience during the first 90 days is critical to their perception of an organization and long-term retention. An exemplary onboarding process can take up to a full year, with multiple touchpoints beyond the first 90 days. There are a few key characteristics that every successful structured onboarding program will have.
Structure and Variety: Staging the onboarding process over several months helps prevent information overload. A mix of learning modalities, including instruction, interactive activities, and hands-on learning will maximize learning.
Orientation: New hires should learn about the organization’s history, mission and values, long-term goals, and management structure. They should learn about appropriate employee behavior and the organization’s policies regarding discipline, promotions, regulations, vacations, etc.
Institutionalization: When information about career development opportunities and support services is embedded into the onboarding process, new employees know you’re invested in them from the start. A career coach or navigator can connect new staff to tools and resources to help them identify and achieve professional goals.
Assessment: Organizations should assess what skills and knowledge new hires bring to their new position. This allows employers to better understand what they already bring to the table and what they may need to grow and become more effective.
Training: New hires will learn the basics about their position and duties. Shadowing top-performing employees can accelerate the learning process while at the same time develop the mentoring skills of incumbent staff. When and how performance will be evaluated should be transparent.
Mentorship: Having access to a mentor is critical during the first months in a new position. Assign a senior or more experienced individual to act as an advisor or guide to a trainee. The mentor helps new staff members acclimate to the organizational culture and learn new job duties in an environment of structured support and feedback.
Evaluation: Regularly assess the onboarding curriculum and delivery methods to ensure information and content is up-to-date. Conduct interviews with new and established employees to identify ways to improve the new employee onboarding experience.
This report explains why onboarding is so important, where it fits into the larger HR context, how HR managers can proactively manage onboarding and, finally, how new employees can help facilitate their own onboarding process.
PROGRAMMATIC | Healthcare provides one of the greatest opportunities for jobs in today’s economy. However, many people do not know about the array of healthcare jobs that exist and struggle to see how an entry level job can grow into a career.