Archive for the ‘HR Training’ Category

Promotion From Within

April 1st, 2013

Q: I have an opening for a Dental Assistant. My receptionist has told me that she wants this job. I am not crazy about moving my receptionist out and training her as a dental assistant. I would be dealing with training a new assistant and a new receptionist. I would rather just hire an experienced assistant. She does a great job at the front desk, my patients love her, the staff love her, I want to keep her where she is. How should I handle this situation? I want to tell my receptionist no, that I want her to stay at receptionist, without her getting upset with me?

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Not Willing To Train

April 1st, 2013

Q. I have a great staff. They work hard, come to work on time, act as a team and get along well with each other. My problem is they do not want to advance their knowledge. They are resistant to any training that I want to send them to. I need my staff to have these additional skills, what can I do to get my employees to attend this training, without upsetting the apple cart?

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New Employee Orientation

April 1st, 2013

Q: Whenever I hire a new staff member, it seems to take so long to get them up to speed and productive. Is there anything I can to help the employee learn the ways of the practice quicker and become productive sooner?

A: No matter how much experience an individual has, there will always be a learning curve before an employee is fully functioning and productive. The goal should be to expedite the learning process, bringing them into the fold of your practice and a part of the group as soon as possible. This improves productivity and significantly reduces turnover.

This can be done through the establishment and consistent implementation of a new employee orientation program. Studies have shown when an employee is put through an orientation program there is a significant improvement to retention, keeping productive employees.

Essentially an orientation consists of formal aspects and informal, relationship building, aspects. The orientation should accomplish three goals:
1) The completion of paperwork, reviewing policies, enrolling in benefits, and learning the formal rules of the practice.
2) Providing a guideline to train the employee on the “ways” of your practice, the phone system, the computer system, how you want things handled on a day-to-day basis, etc.
3) Teaching the new employee the history and culture of your practice and help her become a successful part of the team.

Start with checklists. A pre-hire check list – what needs to be done prior to the first day and a post-hire check list – what needs to taught during the first few weeks (or even months) of employment.

The pre-hire check list should include items such as:
• Sending a offer confirmation letter
• Preparing her work area
• Compiling the first day forms such as, W-4, I9, benefit enrollment, employee handbook, etc.
• Developing a training plan

Plan for the employee’s arrival to make sure her transition to this new job goes smoothly.

The post-hire check list is to use as a guide for the training plan that you have established. This includes the training you give all new employees such as phone and computer; it should include training specific to the job, the training for an assistant will be different then the training for a receptionist. Finally, it needs to include training necessary to address her skill level. If you hire an inexperienced assistant, you will need to put her through a more thorough training program then an experienced assistant. Nonetheless, everyone who comes into the practice will need a level of specific training. When you have this training identified and make the new employee and your present staff responsible and accountable for completing this training within a reasonable time frame, the new employee will be productive sooner. Understand, it is imperative that your present staff be held accountable to provide the training. Often, present employees tend to “hoard” knowledge and are resistant to passing on this knowledge to your new staff…thus setting them up for failure. You must make sure all applicable employees are accountable for the training.

The informal aspect of the orientation is as important, if not more important then the formal. It is the celebration and welcoming of this new employee. It is doing things that make the employee succeed. It is making the employee feel good that she choose to come to work at your practice such as, flowers at her work station, a notice to patients announcing her arrival, a lunch in her honor. These are inexpensive acts that go a long way.

One of the most important aspects of the informal orientation is establishing a “buddy or mentor” (someone other than her boss she can go to for questions and help her feel comfortable). This person is important to provide the new employee with important cultural and political information that will help her succeed.

It is important to take the time to orient new employees. I improve productivity and retention. You spend a lot of time on the hiring; now make sure your hire is a success.