Starting on the Right Foot
Make new employees’ first day a success with these five steps.
TRUDI CHAREST, RO, ABO
Do you remember your first day of a new job? You, like the majority of new employees, probably recall that day as being exciting, terrifying and nerve-wracking.
Finding ways to help new employees relax and feel comfortable on their first day allows them to learn new skills fast, thus increasing your office’s overall productivity.
To ease your new employees’ first-day anxiety, follow these five steps:
1 Plan the first day.
You might get busy or short staffed, so you don’t want to “wing it.” Have a plan in place comprised of:
▶ An orientation checklist of everything you want to cover with the new employees.
▶ A tour of the office (exam rooms, lunch room, bathroom, staff room, etc.).
▶ A complete office policy manual.
▶ An action plan for training based on the new employee’s experience level.
▶ A job description and a list of the position’s responsibilities.
2 Give basic information.
To ensure they arrive prepared and ready to start, provide:
▶ Arrival time.
▶ Directions to the practice (if they did not interview there).
▶ Who to ask for upon arrival.
▶ Dress code.
▶ Work hours and lunch break.
▶ Required payroll documents and identification, such as a voided check.
Make the new staff member feel like part of the team.
3 Arrange training with staff.
Schedule one or two hours of training with each employee in the practice to develop a rapport between the employee and your staff while distributing training evenly.
Prior to training, ask current staff members to:
▶ List their responsibilities. This should include an explanation of all tasks, as well as how to use any equipment or technology in their control. This way, new employees know who to approach with questions.
▶ Welcome them to the practice. Remind your current employees to make the new staff member feel like a part of the team.
▶ Relay where manuals and instructions can be found. The new employee may need to look up how to do something, such as operate an instrument.
4 Take time to connect.
You may be very busy, but personally connecting with new employees lets them know you’re happy to have them working for you, which translates to the new employees wanting to do a great job for you. To make them feel relaxed:
▶ Take them out for lunch.
▶ Give them an eye exam, and explain all procedures.
▶ Tell them your vision and mission for the practice, so they understand your practice culture and their role in it.
5 Say “thank you!”
At the end of the day, shake their hand, thank them for learning so much the first day and tell them you are excited for their second day. New employees might feel overloaded with information, so let them know this is normal and that each day gets easier.
The second day, and beyond
The more organized and prepared you are for new employees, the faster they will become productive, happy members of your team. OM
TRUDI CHAREST IS THE PRESIDENT AND TRAINER FOR TOTAL FOCUS TRAINING & CONSULTING AS WELL AS PRESIDENT AND FOUNDER OF JOBS4ECPS, AN ONLINE EYECARE JOBSITE. SEND COMMENTS TO OPTOMETR ICMANAGEMENT@GMAIL.COM.