New employees may face a difficult learning curve when they become part of a small business. However, this doesn’t have to be the case for your vision clinic. So, what’s the best way to conquer this? Integrate a structured employee onboarding program.
What is Structured Employee Onboarding?
A structured onboarding program is simply a formalized way employees acquire the necessary knowledge, skills, and behaviors to be effective at their jobs.
Here are seven steps to help you rock at onboarding new employees.
Step 1 - Start by Setting Clear, Reachable Goals
It’s very difficult to integrate an effective structured employee onboarding program for your vision clinic if you don’t first start with goals.
Write down clear, reachable goals you and your staff can accomplish together. A structured employee onboarding program doesn’t need to be complicated, so don’t make it that way. Go for simple, yet effective.
Step 2 - Prepare an Effective Employee Handbook
Create an employee handbook that is engaging and memorable. Handbooks aren’t always the most exciting thing to read and it’s not uncommon for new employees to skim over them without understanding them. Make it right the first time and don’t just make a handbook because you have to. Instead, look at your handbook as a means to train employees effectively so you do not have to re-train them in the future. Make handbooks fun, easy to read, and memorable.
Step 3 - Have the Employee's Workstation Set Up
If you have your employee’s workstation all ready to go, not only does it look good on your part, but it helps the employee feel welcomed and that they can do their job from day one.
If you don’t have a workstation, locker, or cubby at your vision clinic for employees, consider offering a small gift basket. You can include sticky-notes, pens, the employee handbook, and maybe a few treats. Remember, the goal is to make your new employee feel welcome and help them be proficient earlier.
Step 4 - Engage Quickly to Reach Proficiency Faster
As part of your employee onboarding program, get your employees started quickly. If you have a good employee handbook made and their workstation set up, what are you waiting for? Once you have shown them the office and introduced them to your team, sit down with your employee and tell them what you’ll be doing for the day. Have a list ready for both you and them to check off.
Step 5 - Build a Leader-Employee Relationship
In a vision clinic, there generally aren’t too many employees, so relationships are important for new employees. As you structure your employee onboarding program, include opportunities for them to meet and interact with current staff, including leadership team members. This will help them feel connected to the clinic, see an example of your mission and worth ethic, and set the stage for engagement and positive relationships.
Step 6 - Make It a Game
Friendly, fun games foster camaraderie. As such, one way to make your structured onboarding process fun and memorable is to make it a game - literally. Make a large game board that your new hire moves along through with each step of the program. Don’t worry, it doesn’t need to be competitive, rather, it’s simply a way for a new hire to see their start and finish line in the process and have a good time along the way.
Step 7 - Have Some Fun
Happy employees result in higher productivity. As such, have some fun! Starting at a new job can be intimidating and stressful, so make onboarding something your new hire will remember and can benefit from. Here are a few ideas:
Incorporate company mission, values, and vision into an engaging activity
Use humor to engage your new hire
Make onboarding interactive with games
Use what your new hire already knows and build upon it - make them feel good
Take the employee out to a working lunch with the team
Tip: Read more onboarding ideas here.
A structured employee onboarding program doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive. Just remember, start off with your hiring and staffing goals then remember these tips:
Structured employee onboarding results in higher productivity
Prepare a handbook that’s easy, fun, and informative
Make your new employee feel welcome by having things ready, then get them started
Establish a professional relationship that lasts
Make employee onboarding fun!
How do you think structured employee onboarding can benefit your vision clinic? Leave a comment and let us know, along with any questions you may have.