Building the right team can feel a little like office manager Jenga. Not only are you spending precious time hunting down the perfect candidate, but the hard part isn’t over once they are hired. The first few months of someone’s employment is the most critical. According to The Wynhurst Group, 22 percent of staff turnovers occur within the first forty-five days of someone’s employment. Poor onboarding may also lead to reduced employee engagement, low productivity, and a deteriorated company reputation. Even if you aren’t directly overseeing their training, you do have reign over how your office onboards new team members. Matt Brown, Renaissance’s Talent Acquisition Manager also shares how employee retention starts on day one.
Know how they tick
Start by assessing your new team member’s learning style. Do they prefer hands-on, taking notes, or shadowing someone? In addition to their learning styles, finding out each new hire’s DISC profile will help you communicate in a way that they learn best. You can easily tailor their onboarding to suit their specific needs if it’s only one person or a small group starting on the same day.
Build your community from the start
Matt Brown oversees all of the new hire onboarding at Renaissance company-wide. Because he is working with everyone from software developers to sales development representatives, all in the same room, Matt made this process into a well-oiled machine. One key element of Renaissance’s onboarding structure is building connections early. Matt ensures that new employees meet all senior leaders in the office. “The more face time with people, the better,” says Matt. “Feeling welcomed and embraced by your team and manager is important to feeling like you belong sooner, which leads to increased productivity and better retention and engagement.”
Relying too heavily on one training method can alienate new hires who need several to succeed. For example, a hygienist will likely need hands-on training to get used to the ebb and flow of your particular practice; office assistants might need various styles of training methods. There are a few common categories like simulation, role-playing, coaching, mentoring, and lectures. Offer all new employees resources that they can continuously return to; most won’t retain the wave of new information within the first day or week. Giving them a place to find answers themselves when they need it shows that your company doesn’t gate-keep information.
Developing an efficient and diverse onboarding process can be challenging, but according to Egon Zehnder International via The Wynhurst Group, “many companies leave executive onboarding to chance, and as a result experience failure rates in excess of 50% when it comes to retaining new executive talent.”
Train longer than you think
Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to keep someone shadowing a mentor for 6 months but consider extending parts of their onboarding to at least that long. Set mile-markers in their training by outlining what the first month, three months, and year of their job will be like. Ensure this is more detailed than an online job description, especially if the person is new to the dental industry. By the time you get to three months and further, simply note any long term goals.
“Anything you can do to make their transition easier, the better,” says Matt. “Changing jobs is one of the most stressful life events (alongside moving, marriage, and having children), so ease that stress for your new employee every chance you get.”