7 Onboarding Ideas to Keep Your Pediatric Practice

Maybe you have seen this in your practice: A new hire comes to work on their first day. They have an errand to run during lunch. They never come back. After all that time and energy you put into finding them and interviewing them, now you have to start over.

As the CEO of a pediatric billing company, I attend a lot of conferences and help pediatricians with the biggest problems facing their practices. Increasingly, the problem is employee retention, but here’s a great guide to help you make sure every new team member feels valued as soon as they start in your office and how to onboard them for job success.

7 Onboarding Ideas for New Team Members

Holding on to employees doesn’t have to be so hard, but you need to put yourself in their shoes and remember what it is like to start a new job. It’s overwhelming. Even if they have years of experience, they now work with new systems, new people, and a new boss. Everyone wants to perform well, so how well you plan for their arrival will significantly impact their success.

Here are some ways to make a great first impression so people can’t wait to tell their friends and family about their fantastic new job.

  1. Get their space ready for them. This will go a long way toward making them feel welcome. Make sure they have an area that is neat and tidy, has room for their things so they can make it their own, and has the supplies and equipment they need to do their job effectively. A small gift is a nice touch and doesn’t have to be expensive. It can be as simple as a water bottle and a granola bar.
  2. Have a big welcome! Ensure the person’s direct supervisor will be there when they arrive for their first day and, at some point during their first week, order pizza for lunch or treats for the office in honor of the new team member.
  3. Allow two weeks for job shadowing. This is a time for your new team member to watch someone you trust in action. It can be very tempting to let them do more manageable tasks like scanning paperwork into charts or rooming patients, but that takes away from the time they have to really learn the role.Before you know it, the new person has been in your office for two months and can still only handle the simplest of tasks because they didn’t get that critical time to train in the beginning. You will be left wondering if you made a bad hire, and your team member will be frustrated that they cannot fully perform their role.
  4. Spend a few minutes planning the first few weeks of training, detailing what day specific topics will be covered and by whom. Examples include how labs are handled, the EMR software your office uses, and how patients are scheduled. Having a plan will ease your new team member’s concerns as they shadow someone because they know they will have dedicated time to learn each topic later. Keep this list simple – completing this plan should only take 10-15 minutes.
  5. Be honest about things going on in the office that may be unsettling. I once helped a practice start over with an all-new front desk staff, and I was frank about how hard it would be. I explained there would be chaos, but if they stuck with it, they would have a voice in creating the necessary systems and processes.This helped the new team members realize that the stressful days were numbered and that they would be empowered to help solve the problems they were facing. Thankfully, this meant no one bolted at the first lunch break.
  6. Set early expectations and make sure the team member knows the first 90 days is a trial period. Share specific job descriptions and be vocal any time you see something that does not meet your expectations.This new team member likely just needs a little guidance to be able to meet those expectations. Also, mark your calendar 60 days out from the start date. This is the time to make a decision on if the new team member will work out. This gives you time to replace them before the 90 days are up, and it gives you the opportunity to let them know they are struggling and may need to start looking for another job.
  7. Check-in with the new person often.
    Set aside 15 minutes each week for at least the first four weeks to meet with them and see how they are doing. It will make them feel welcome and help build the relationship so they feel they can come talk to you whenever they have a concern.

Setting Up Your New Team Members for Success

By welcoming new team members with a clean space, a clear plan, and giving them the room to learn, you no longer have to worry if your new team member will take a long lunch and never return.

Staff retention is a major concern right now, but this will help. Remember that it’s the people who make your practice what it is, and if you can put yourself in their shoes, you will be able to make the transition easier for all of your new hires. They will feel valued and will be able to make meaningful contributions to the success of your practice.

Are you interested in personalized ideas for your practice? Book a 15-min discovery call to see how we can help.