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The Essentials of New Employee Orientation: Day 1

In the healthcare industry, the concept of employee orientation is commonly regarded as showing new hires where they sit, having them fill out their payroll paperwork and then haphazardly exposing them to their daily responsibilities until they come to work and don’t have anymore questions. Not only can this method discourage new employees about opportunities within your practice, it causes lost revenue in the form of productivity. Over my next two blogs, I will detail some of the essential to-dos of on-boarding new employees. Here are the suggestions for Day 1:

Know the Start Date

This is not referring to the new employee’s start date but the date in which orientation should begin. New hire orientation commences once the applicant accepts the offer for employment. Think of orientation as a process rather than an event. The process begins prior to the first day and can last beyond the first six months of employment.

Have a Plan

First six months, you say? Yes, the process of orienting a new employee can absolutely last well into the new hire’s first year and the easiest way to approach this is to have a plan. Once the applicant has accepted your offer, there should be a well-defined process that immediately initiates in preparation for the first day.

Some of those first steps might include:

  1. Alert the necessary staff members of the new employee’s start date
  2. Email the new hire a welcome email with paperwork and/or an employee handbook to review
  3. Prepare the new employee’s workspace

Remember that you don’t have to go it alone. Involve your current employees in the planning process. What things did they wish they knew when they were brought on board? What information do they want to impart on the new hire about shared responsibilities or tasks? This process does not need to be owned by HR. While HR will likely lead the on-boarding process, supervisors and peers are a big part of welcoming new employees.

First Day 101

Now that you have a timeline for orientation, there are a few things that are important on the first day…

  • Be prepared. Whoever is designated to orient the new hire should not have a large project or deadline in progress. That person should be able to devote his/her full attention to the new employee for the duration of the first day.
  • Be inclusive. Invite the new employee to lunch on the first day (or ensure that someone does). This is a great way to introduce the new employee to your company culture and make them him/her comfortable right away.
  • The Big 3. Be sure that the HR manager or the supervisor say the following on Day 1: Welcome to the team, Thank you for accepting the position, and We need experience like yours.
  • Get going. Give the new hire at least one job-related task on the first day. It sets the tone and expectations of your practice, and will break up a day full of paperwork and frantically trying to remember names.
  • Chart it out. Speaking of remembering names, give the new hire an organizational chart with the names and titles of the people within his/her own group as well as other groups.

Now that you have the groundwork for on-boarding up to the first day of employment, stay tuned for the next installment: Day 2 of Employment and Beyond. For more information about Points Group LLC and our consulting services, visit our website.