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What is successful onboarding?


Welcoming a new hire is part of successful onboarding. Posted by Alexandra Cappetta
Welcoming a new hire is part of successful onboarding.

Onboarding is a crucial step of the talent acquisition and hiring process. But do you truly understand the long-term impact your approach can have on a new hire?

According to Glassdoor, successful onboarding can improve employee retention by 82%. But what about the 88% of organizations who don’t onboard well, according to Gallup? Ultimately, these are the organizations with a greater chance of losing team members down the road.

To help ensure your positions stay filled and your hires remain happy, let’s establish what successful onboarding is, and more importantly, what it should look like for your physicians and advanced practice providers.

Successful onboarding begins with an accepted offer

The moment a candidate becomes a new hire, your onboarding - and retention - process can begin. Keep in mind that every hire is different, and not every individual will want or need the same amount of assistance. Regardless, make yourself available and stay present during this time.

It’s always a good idea to reach out and provide resources they may need to relocate, get to know the community, tie up loose ends in their previous role, get their state licensure or credentials, or simply to educate them about what they can expect from you moving forward.

Invite ongoing communication early in the process, especially questions they may have about their transition and how you can be there to support them throughout their career change.

Roll out the red carpet

If you were to begin your journey at a new organization, what would make you feel most welcomed and appreciated? Think about a few ways you can show your new hire you care. Some options could be:

  • Providing a meal for them as they prepare to relocate or during their first week as an employee.
  • If your recruit is coming from another city or state, share highlights of the community, like attractions, school districts, child care services, living arrangements to consider, etc.
  • Posting a Welcome sign on the community bulletin board on their first day.
  • Sending a gift basket or welcome kit (this could include things like a map of the area, a map of the facility, or branded materials like a coffee mug or mouse pad with your health system’s logo).

Ultimately, the goal is to make your new physician or APP feel special and prioritized after making the commitment to join your team.

Inform, don’t overwhelm

When your new hire begins work at your facility, Day One should be informative, but not overwhelming.

Refresh their memory with another tour of the facility and show them their office and where they will be spending most of their time. During the first week, spread out introductions to the team members they’ll be interacting with on a regular basis, and be sure to provide contact information for those individuals.

It might also be helpful to create a timeline or schedule for the first week, what to anticipate in the first month or so, and other future milestones to help them know what they can expect in the short and long term.

Compliment the culture

Ideally, your new hire should be familiar with the values and vision of your organization when they accept the position. However, as you onboard your physicians and APPs, continue to share how your culture can set them up for success.

Arrange for new hires to meet with current team members so they can ask questions and discuss what helps them thrive in this environment. You might also consider assigning them a mentor or community leader who may be able to offer advice and support them as they continue adjusting to their new role.

Coordinating these intentional interactions allows the best of your organization and culture to shine through and can set the right tone for your new hire’s experience from the beginning and beyond.

Consult your past hires

What do your current employees wish had been offered or available to them during their onboarding process? Make a point to ask and take their feedback into account when welcoming your new hires.

If they wanted more flexibility during their first few days, how might you be able to provide it without a lack of structure? If they wished there had been a firmer schedule or agenda, how can you map it out in more detail? If the process was overwhelming, why? And what would have helped make it more manageable from the start?

Find out what was done well during past onboarding experiences and what could have been improved. Then, reflect on your current process and determine how you can adjust it to lay the groundwork for your recruits to have a lasting and fulfilling career at your health system.  


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