Effective Employee Onboarding Improves Satisfaction and Retention

Last update on Jun, 16, 2021

When hiring someone new at your practice, the goal is to get them up to speed and to full productivity as quickly as possible. It's important to implement a formal onboarding process to ensure consistency across the business and guarantee nothing falls through the cracks. Every employee you hire should know the same information and processes will be conducted the same way across the board.

What is employee onboarding?

Onboarding is a new hire’s initial training experience at your practice. It involves the basics of filling out lots of paperwork, introductions to team members, and learning all the tools and processes that keep the practice operational from day to day. Employee onboarding integrates the employee within the business on a deeper level, familiarizing them with the internal culture and values.

The goal of onboarding is to ramp up your new employee to full productivity as quickly – yet effectively and efficiently – as possible. This means you must provide robust learning materials surrounding the hearing industry, your unique practice, and the specific responsibilities of your new hire’s role. 

Why onboarding is important to employee satisfaction and retention

Imagine you are starting a job at a new company. The first day you arrive, no one is there to show you around the office, tell you what to do or how to do it – you are left to your own devices. It would be immensely difficult to accomplish your responsibilities, much less efficiently or productively! Onboarding ensures every team member knows the same information and has the knowledge and skillset necessary to perform at their best.

Aside from arming staff with the information they need, onboarding also serves as a first impression of your practice, office, culture, and more. A poor first impression could turn off a new hire immediately and contribute to high turnover. In fact, nearly 90% of employees choose whether they will stay or leave a company within their first six months on the job. Creating a positive introduction and supporting new employees with the information and tools they need to do their jobs will improve your retention rate – and save you time and money in the long run.

Best practices for employee onboarding

How can you make sure the first days, weeks, and months of an employee’s tenure are impactful? Rather than winging it, be strategic in your approach, utilizing these tactics:

Implement pre-boarding

To maximize your new hire’s time spent during onboarding, check some things off the to-do list ahead of time. Send an email about a week before your new employee’s start date that welcomes them and includes the following:

  • Details about their first day: start time, what to wear and bring, schedule of activities
  • New hire paperwork (tax documents, benefits selections, etc.) to be completed prior to their first day
  • Introduction to the rest of the team
  • Overview of your practice, its history, and your employee culture

Be sure to communicate that you are open and available for any questions your employee may have. Not only will you avoid spending hours on these administrative tasks on the first day but sending these items in advance will also help your new hire feel prepared and put them at ease ahead of their first day on the job. 

Plan ahead

Create a robust onboarding agenda mapped out day by day. This agenda should include a tour of the office, one-on-ones with you and other key staff members, product training, and team lunches. Have some backup activities ready for any unforeseen free time. With a well-though-out plan, your new employee won’t end up sitting alone, feeling isolated and wondering what they should be doing.

Involve other team members

Each one of your current employees was a new hire at one point, and they can offer effective, first-hand input about what information and activities they found helpful during their own onboarding experience, as well as ways you can improve. 

Reinforce learnings over time

Don’t expect your new hires to remember every detail after their initial training. You are throwing a lot at them in a short period of time, so it’s important to support and bolster skills and knowledge over the following months. Offer regular learning materials or even formal re-training sessions with your entire staff every month or quarter (whatever cadence you find works best for your team) to review information and make sure it sticks. 

Get feedback

No matter how much time and energy you put into your onboarding strategy, there will always be room for improvement. After the formal onboarding process is done, provide a survey to your new hire or sit down with them one-on-one to get feedback on their experience. You can do this again 90 days into their employment to get a better idea of how the training has prepared them for their role. 
How to have critical conversations with employees Learn more

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