Every part of your hospice business boils down to people. Hiring right is only half the challenge. Helping new employees become a successful part of your agency is part of the other half. Nothing we do is more important than hiring and developing people.
Imagine starting a new job in a hospice organization. You accept the position, show up for work at the agreed-upon day, and the manager welcomes you, seats you at a table with binder to read… and leaves. That’s it – your introduction to your new position. You’re on your own to learn all the ins and outs of the job and organization. How do you feel about working for this company? It’s typically exciting but stressful to start a new job. New employees are learning names, discovering responsibilities and attempting to become part of your team. The heightened emotional experience of starting a new job can be permanently damaged by minimizing or skipping orientation and sends a message that the new employee is not important to the agency.
Every Employee Impacts Your Bottom Line – For Better or For Worse
You have carefully recruited and screened several applicants for that new position. When the time came to make a hiring decision, you confidently selected the most qualified candidate. But three months later, the new hire resigned, confessing that she never felt part of the company.
Incurring the costs of hiring and training a new employee is just one of the ways you’ll pay when someone leaves your company. Turnover is expensive. Other potential negatives include the loss of that employee’s contribution, damage to customer and vendor relationships, and the loss of organizational knowledge or intellectual property.
The right first impression is everything, and a poor employee orientation can cost you dearly. Your new personnel should see that you take their position and development seriously. To retain new employees, it's critical to have an effective orientation program. Staff members who are properly trained and welcomed at the beginning feel good about their choice of employer, fit in quickly with colleagues, represent the company more confidently and readily contribute to its success.
Orientation accompanies training, but the two are not identical. Training emphasizes the specific details (what and how), while orientation focuses on the big picture (why). Orientation allows employees to understand certain fundamentals of the organization: what it is trying to do, why, and how the employee contributes to these efforts. New employees can contribute more effectively when they know the desired goals. Conversely, in the absence of clearly communicated expectations, new employees will make assumptions that may prove inaccurate, or seek information from sources that are unreliable.
The first day at a new job is memorable and critical to establishing a tone for employment in a new agency. The first few days at a new job deeply influence the employee’s motivation and success. Whether planned or not, orientation begins right away. Building on preexisting perceptions, the new hire immediately starts absorbing information about how things work and what’s important. If left to fend for him- or herself, it is less likely these perceptions (buoyed by assumptions) will be fully informed and accurate. Initial perceptions are hard to change.
The new employee’s first day inevitably falls on a chaotic day, with other meetings, commitments and deadlines. As an agency leader, you know you have several topics that must be covered with new employees before anything else: HIPAA, Abuse & Neglect, safety and infection control are just a few of the subjects you have gone over many, many times. You know that you would like to make these topics more meaningful, but there never seems to be enough time.
With Hospice Advantage Solutions’ Hospice Employee Orientation presentation, you can present the information in a meaningful way, over and over again. This 90-minute presentation covers the mandatory topics, as well as customer service basics and can be used for all employees and volunteers. The presentation is web based (just click on the link) and available to your agency for $300 per year (unlimited views). For an additional fee, it can be personalized for your agency.
Orienting new employees should begin no later than their first day. Your orientation should welcome the new employee, introduce him/her to the “big picture,” cover administrative topics, introduce your hospice agency’s vision, mission and goals, provide focus and bring attention to your expectations. For many new employees, their first day experiences will be carried with them throughout their involvement with the organization.
Hospice leaders who take the time to create and implement an effective onboarding program realize the benefits of integrating employees more meaningfully. Productivity is enhanced and relationships are stronger. The onboarding process is just that – a process – that will unfold over time. Let Hospice Advantage Solutions help you design and develop your onboarding program.