More often than not, we tend to focus on the challenges managers face when it comes to employee development and retention. Some of the contributing factors to employee retention range from the all too familiar professional burnout, understaffing, and bullying that can be all too common in the world of healthcare.
However, one aspect of employee retention that we often fail to mention is just how crucial it is to provide new hires with the resources they need to be successful when transitioning into a new role. After all, “research has shown that being systematic in onboarding brings new employees up to speed 50% faster, which means they’re more quickly and efficiently able to contribute to achieving desired goals”1.
When done right, onboarding can and should help new hires feel engaged and energized as they transition into their new positions rather than confused and doomed to fail. Below are 5 steps every manager can take to help set their new hires up for both early and sustained successes in their roles:
1. Make sure they have access to the resources they need to be successful. For any new hire, regardless of rank, title, or specialty, the first week on the job can be very challenging as new employees aim to navigate their surroundings. From establishing relationships, understanding organizational culture and just getting a general lay of the land, new hires have a lot to navigate during the onboarding process.
For these reasons, healthcare leaders can start setting new hires up for success in their roles by providing them with the resources they need to successfully navigate the challenges of their new role.
2. Clearly identify the critical areas of understanding they need to be successful. For anyone to be successful, they must first identify and any knowledge gaps between what they need to know in order to be effective in the role and what they actually know.
For managers “to accelerate the learning process, managers must first focus on what focus on what they need to learn in three areas. Technical learning is insight into the fundamentals of the business, such as products, customers, technologies, and systems. Cultural learning is about the attitudes, behavioral norms, and values that contribute to the unique character of the organization. Political learning focuses on understanding how decisions are made, how power and influence work, and figuring out whose support they will need most. Bosses should also think about how they can help new employees. This means not only personally providing, as early as possible, the best available information but also thinking about who else is best placed to impart those important lessons”1.
3. Provide new hires with the guidance they need to be successful. After all, in order to be successful in a role- it is crucial to understand what how success is defined within the organization and what the specific expectations for any new hire look like. Below are three questions to help guide new hires in the right direction:
- What do I need to do? This means defining their goals and the timeframes for accomplishing them, as well as the measures that will be used to evaluate their progress.
- How should I go about doing it? This means being specific about what strategies they should use to accomplish the goals, including what activities they should and should not prioritize.
- Why should I feel motivated to accomplish it? This means communicating a vision for what the organization is striving to accomplish and helping new hires see the part they play in realizing it1.
4. Support them with getting the early wins they need to be successful. Early wins are a great way for new hires to build credibility and momentum as they establish themselves in a new role. Clinical leaders can help promote early wins by pointing new hires in the right direction so that they can prioritize that is most likely to yield ‘wins’ and recognition early on.
5. Provide the mentorship they need to be successful. Some leaders approach new hires with a “sink or swim” mentality. However, given the financial cost of employee turnover, there is a business case for providing new hires with the mentorship they need to be successful in their roles, especially early on.
In other words, “when managers see new hires struggling, they should intervene. It’s a common mistake to treat new hires too gently, thinking it’s best to give them time to adjust and that early issues with, say, peer relationships and cultural fit, will resolve themselves. But this can easily create vicious cycles in which employees unknowingly dig themselves into holes from which they can’t climb out. The longer a negative dynamic persists, the more difficult it is to reverse”.
In case you missed it:
- The Future Of Nursing Report: 4 Key Insights For Clinical Leaders
- Competency-Based Interviewing: A How-To Guide Using SBAR
- Want To Keep Your Nurses Happy? Here’s How
1Watkins, M. (May 10th, 2019)7 Ways to Set Up a New Hire for Success