Zoe Close looks at what you need to include in induction programmes to give your new staff the best chance of succeeding in their new role…
It can be quite daunting for a new employee coming into a workplace – however, ensuring they go through a proper induction programme can help them settle in and feel supported.
In the past I’ve spoken with many employees who have had a three-day induction, which often makes me giggle a little because to me, until a new member of the team is comfortable in their role, then the induction is very much an ongoing process.
It is hard to teach a new employee everything they need to know and get them fully up to speed inside three days – in fact, in most cases, it is near enough impossible.
Putting in place a thorough induction process is key, not just for the development of the employee – but also for the practice. So, here are a few pointers that will help you out when you take on staff members.
Induction ‘programme’ and putting together the right pack
Firstly, let’s go right to the very start. If you call it an ‘induction’ then people will see it as a two or three day thing, or in some cases even less. Whereas, referring to it as an ‘induction programme’ makes it sound like a longer process and will automatically make the new employee feel very supported.
It will also make you feel like you’ve got more control over those first few months of employment. You’ll be satisfied that the person is actually feeling able and comfortable with what they’ve read and what they’ve been shown.
So, put time and effort into creating an induction programme and make sure you’ve got time to commit to support that person, because you will both reap the rewards.
And that brings us nicely onto one of the main parts of the induction programme process, and that is putting a pack together.
People often say to me, what pack shall I use? What should it look like? I wouldn’t sit here and say that you have to have this and that in it, because it needs to be unique to your business and one that works for you.
If you are a BDA member then they have a lot of resources available, including ideas and pointers on what you feel will work in a pack for your practice.
Health and safety procedures, where things are…the simple things
Although your full process and pack should be tailored to your own practice, there are a few key things that you need to go through early on in the programme.
One of the first and most vital things to do is explain all the health and safety procedures and simply just making sure the employee knows where everything is, is familiar with the building, and all the procedures and policies they need to adhere to.
The policies and procedures side of the induction will come in the pack, and it’s it important the new person is given time to study and learn it. And that goes for a lot of the other information, because there is a lot for them to take on board through an induction. A new role, with so much coming at you, can be daunting, so make them feel supported and give them the time they need to take everything in.
Then other things to add to your check list, such as what is expected of the employee, where things are and how to get certain things, are all simple points but some of them can sometimes be missed if you don’t put time into putting a thorough programme together.
By putting a good induction programme in place, you are giving the new employee the best chance of succeeding. One thing that can make it quite difficult for new employees, especially if they haven’t worked in a practice setting before, is when things are presented in a confusing way.
So, go at a pace that allows the employee to take everything in and make everything you’re showing them crystal clear, so there is no confusion.
Because, if they are confused and are not understanding things, it can lengthen the programme and, ultimately, it won’t help them perform at their best.
Many of you reading this will be BDA members and, like I’ve explained, they have a lot of beneficial material that will help when putting together guidance and packs.
Another good place to go for induction tips are HR companies. They can give you real guidance on putting programmes together, and, if you know any other business owners, even outside of dentistry, then get in contact with them to see how they put their inductions together and see if you can use any of their tips.
Zoe Close is Head of Sales at Practice Plan.