Unfortunately, at 44%, Australia has the highest percentage of employees who have experienced a poor induction (on boarding) experience. In the US it’s just over 40% of workers that have suffered problems with on boarding in their new job, followed by 37% in New Zealand and 34% in the UK.
In our previous articles we explored the importance of using validated Job Fit assessments to ensure you hire the right person that fits your culture. However, once you make your selection and send the offer of employment to your new team member your responsibilities don’t end there, in fact they’ve only just begun.
Poor induction leads to a high turnover rate, low productivity, and reduced employee engagement, not to mention the damage to your practice’s reputation as an employer. There have been numerous studies that have measured the financial impact of these outcomes, and each study consistently measures the cost to a business at between half and three times the failed new starter’s base salary! The truly regrettable part is that this substantial cost largely goes unchecked as it does not appear as a line item in your Profit & Loss Statement or your Balance sheet.
Most dental practices cannot afford to suffer from one of these, much less all of them. Some of the reasons that contribute to new staff experiencing a poor on boarding experience include:
- No mentor assigned to introduce or show the new person around
- No on boarding plan developed
- Adopting a “she’ll be right mate” philosophy
- Vague or no job description
- No workstation available or prepared for your new team member
- No expectation that your new starter can make a productive contribution on the first day
" Culture in an organisation has been described in its simplest form as “the way we do things around here” and as we all like to know the “rules” it’s a good idea to put some planning behind preparing for your new team members arrival "
A robust process may look something like this:
- Before the new person starts use your morning “scrum” to let your existing team members know you have a new employee joining the business and tell them a little about them
- Make sure you’ve told your new employee before their first day where, when and who they should report to and whether they need to bring any tools or equipment
- Set performance expectations in your letter of offer and attach a detailed job description. Request that they sign and return to you before commencement
- Organise building and IT access as well as any uniforms
- Make sure their resources and workstation are ready and available on day one.
- Assign a mentor or buddy to your new arrival and make sure you plan some meaningful work as of day one.
- Provide and share with them your induction plan and give them a payroll pack (Bank Details, Superannuation forms etc.) so they get paid!
- Give your new employee copies of relevant business policies or procedures, codes of conduct and work health and safety policies or procedures.
- Within the first few weeks share with them the results of their Job Fit assessment and use your coaching report to help you support their growth and development
- Conduct a workplace health and safety induction
- If practical, an introductory lunch with the team is often helpful. Remember, these are the people that will be working with the new team member.
- Develop a training schedule and a plan to deliver it, don’t dump it on them all at once
- Monitor performance, correct inappropriate behaviours immediately in private, and acknowledge contributions in public.
- Set goals for future contributions.
- Schedule a timely performance review
Welcoming a new employee successfully ensures a smooth transition and helps them become an effective contributor to your business quickly. Usually the practice manager, or in the absence of a practice manager, the dentist, is charged with making new employees settle in, establishing their responsibilities, and orienting them in their new position.
It may seem overwhelming but a planned and structured process will save you substantial heartache and costs.
About Directions Unlimited: We are a specialist provider of customised people solutions and services to local and international clients. We provide state of the art assessment and development solutions to help you select, match, on-board, manage, develop, engage and retain top talent.