Taking a leadership role in bringing a new hire up to speed, by setting proper expectations, and making sure they are met, is a big part of effective dental marketing.
In a recent article, I made an attempt to make you aware of the things you need to consider when hiring someone new to work at your dental practice. Good new hires are the fruit of following a good hiring process.
However, the hiring process is just the beginning. Once on board, the job at hand is to get your new hire off on the right foot. If you apply the very common sink or swim method to training your new hire, you will cost yourself time, money and most likely, lose the new hire.
This is a critical phase in developing your staff, and ultimately building the foundation needed to deploy a comprehensive dental marketing plan.
Get the New Hire Off on the Right Foot
New hires, regardless of their past experience, need guidance. The responsibility to put processes in place to properly initiate new hires is entirely yours. You are the leader of your practice and therefore carry the burden of making sure that a new hire gets brought up to speed properly.
A productive, postive and motivated new hire is the natural outcome of having procedures in place to get them started properly. When someone new starts working with your practice, common sense protocol will have you making sure they are:
- Introduced to the values and mission of your practice. You want them to be on the same page with you, and the rest of your team, as to how you practice dentistry, and how you want patients treated.
- Educate the new hire as to the importance of the job they were hired to do. Be sure they understand not just their role, but how what they do impacts your practice.
- Make sure the new hire gets introduced around. Some practices might have a formal orientation program, but this will largely depend on the size of your practice. At the basic level, a new hire should be introduced and made to feel like a part of the team.
- Assign someone in your practice as a “mentor” to the new hire. Match the new hire up with a current staff member, and make sure both parties understand the responsibilities of the mentor relationship.
- Make sure there is lots of opportunity for the new hire to receive proper feedback about their job performance. People will integrate much more seamlessly if they are given the chance to ask a lot of questions. This makes them feel comfortable, safe and wanted.
These are the basics, but they need to be adheard to. These are simple little “tricks” that you, and your team can use to ensure the new hire gets going the way you want them too.
Way too often, and not just in dental practices, leaders forget to praise employees for a job well done. You cannot make this mistake. Giving praise at the right time is the absolute easiest way to keep your staff motivated to perform at a high level.
Giving praise also makes people feel good. When people feel good, they perform well. In the case of your practice, the biggest impact will be how your patients feel. If you praise your employees, they will surely pass your positive energy along to your patients.
For a new hire, praising is critical when they first get started. Your new hire is going to be naturally insecure, and somewhat doubtful when they first start. Now is the perfect opportunity to assure them they are fine, and doing a great job, when they do something right. I might even argue, and I have seen this work, that you should praise them even when they are doing a terrible job.
I realize it seems counter intuitive. Hear me out. When they first start, they are likely not going to do many things right. As long as you can see that the mistakes they made are because they are new, and not because they are careless, give them praise. In praising them though, suggest some things they could do better.
Over a very short period of time, they will be performing better than you expected, because your praise made them believe in themselves.
Solve Problems as They Come Up
Problems are going to come up. When they do, don’t panic. This is normal.
Your response should be to resolve the problems as quickly as possible, and in some cases, give praise. (see above) You cannot let things linger, even if you feel you are afraid of the confrontation. When you ignore the problem, it will surely get worse.
To avoid problems, you need to make sure you give feedback and direction. A new hire must know exactly what is expected of them. Maybe you can draft an employee handbook, helping a new hire learn how things function at your practice.
The most important thing to consider is that motivation is killed when expectations are not clear. This is precisely why you must confront problems as they arise.
A great way to have your staff feel more like a member of you team, is to let them blog, on your blog, about things that matter to your patients and to the community at large.