By Terri Ross, Terri Ross Consulting
Your team is one of the most important assets of your medical aesthetics practice. Each member of your team—from the front office to the clinical team, medical providers and consultants (if you have them)—should be well-trained, be knowledgeable and have a passion for the industry and their position. Building a top-notch team of employees begins with planning and executing an informative, comprehensive and well-conceived new employee orientation. Here are the elements of how to structure a successful new employee orientation—from preparation to on-the-job training—and some key points that will ensure your team is well-trained, informed and prepared.
Ahead of time, make personalized packets of information for every new employee. Make sure all key information is included, from tax information, employee benefits, the employee handbook and all legal documents to the basics of how your office operates. Include system login information, a layout of the office, and detailed job descriptions. It also is a good time to relay etiquette and dress code expectations, so any questions or concerns can be addressed before the new employee’s first full day. You may also choose to include job-specific e-training, so employees can get a head start on preparing for their role before their first day. Preparing personalized folders of information for new employees is the first step to a successful orientation. Not only does it help you build a more productive staff, but it also makes new employees feel welcomed and informed.
Assign a “Peer” or Work Buddy
To help each employee adjust to the systems and protocols of your office, it’s a good idea to assign them a “work buddy.” Preferably, this person will work closely with the new employee in their role. The duties of the work buddy include:
- Making introductions to other employees in the office (front office staff, doctors, clinical personnel and supporting staff);
- Making sure the new employee feels comfortable in their work space; and
- Providing necessary resources and information about their job duties and general office protocols (system logins, meeting schedules, patient care, etc.).
Joining a new office dynamic can be intimidating and overwhelming. By assigning each new employee a go-to person within the office, you will ensure they feel welcome and integrate seamlessly into your team.
Give a Comprehensive Tour
Give each new employee a complete tour of your office, from the front office to the waiting rooms, procedure rooms and consultation rooms. Every employee in your office should know where to direct patients if needed and where to find necessary information, whether administratively or clinically. In order to offer top-notch service, each employee should be an integrated member of your team. This means knowing what types of procedures your office offers, the technology available, and a comprehensive view of the industry and how your office compares to your competition. You want each employee to know their niche in the office so they can excel in their role. The first step is offering a complete narrated tour.
Provide Access to Important Systems
In addition to offering introductory packets and a guided tour, you will want to make sure every new employee has access to your systems. If the employee will need to access patient information in their role, provide information about the patient management software and scheduling system used. Not providing this can negatively affect their productivity. If they can begin familiarizing themselves with the protocols and systems in your office during orientation, they will become productive members of the team much faster. You may also want to provide detailed information on new technology and services your office offers and make sure the employee can log onto vendor websites as needed. This way, they can take the initiative to really learn the technology your office offers, after hours if needed.
Plan a Group Lunch
New employee orientation can be overwhelming. To help make the employee feel relaxed and welcome, plan a group lunch on their first day. Order food from a nearby café or restaurant and gather in a neutral location, such as a staff conference room. Make sure a few people from each part of your office are included—front office staff, supporting staff, nurses and doctors. Not only can the new employee interact with and get to know other members of the team on a personal level, but they will also establish key connections that will help them in their role. The most important part of answering any question is knowing who to ask. This introductory lunch will assist in establishing those connections and help the employee feel more integrated before they begin their first full day on the job.
Offer On-the-job Training
As part of new employee orientation, you will want to introduce the new employee to the general structure of a normal working day. Beginning after lunch on the first day, make sure the employee is settled at their desk or office location and provide a few simple tasks to complete. The “work buddy” will need to be available and ready to assist in the coming days and weeks, if needed. Make sure the employee feels encouraged and supported to ask questions. (Read more about the importance of on-the-job training in this article.) Now is the time to make sure the new employee feels comfortable with the expectations of their role, is equipped with all the necessary tools, and can begin working as a valuable member of the team.
Following up is one of the most critical aspects of new employee orientation. Don’t expect the new employee to know their role completely before they have some experience. Generally, you should have the “work buddy” check in with the employee weekly. After one month, arrange a meeting between the employee and the front office manager or relevant supervisor. This is a dedicated time for the employee to ask unanswered questions. You also can use this time to gather feedback and ask the employee questions about the office, services you offer and technology you use. At this point, the employee should be familiar with their role and responsibilities, know the basics of your services and treatment plans, and have some background knowledge of the industry. Use this opportunity to give an informal quiz and make sure they are up to speed.
Having a knowledgeable staff is absolutely key to the success of your office. This starts with an effective and well-thought-out new employee orientation. Schedule a strategy call with me or download my 10 Point Assessment to learn about how to structure your new employee orientation today.
Terri Ross brings more than 20 years of sales and management experience to the field, having worked with leading-edge medical device companies such as Zeltiq, Medicis, EMD Serono, Merck Schering Plough and Indigo Medical, a surgical division of Johnson.
Ross’ vast knowledge and experience as a sales director managing upwards of $20M in revenue and successful teams has allowed her to become a renowned plastic surgery management consultant helping aesthetic practices thrive.
To optimize revenues and business performance, Ross’ practice management consulting services help physicians evaluate practice processes including, but not limited to, overall-operating efficiencies, staff skill assessment, customer service and operating efficiency strategies. The goal is to develop a comprehensive plan of action to improve productivity, quality, efficiency and return on investment.