Beyond Orientation: Crafting a Winning Healthcare Onboarding Strategy

Woman with headphones on wearing blue scrubs answering phone calls next to the title "Beyond Orientation: Crafting a Winning Healthcare Onboarding Strategy".

Any new career begins with an onboarding process. In the healthcare sector, onboarding is essential to team efficiency at all levels. Understanding and implementing a successful employee onboarding strategy requires effort from both employer and employee through active participation. There are common pitfalls in healthcare specific and non-healthcare specific onboarding strategies, active engagement from all involved parties is just the start to combating such struggles.

Common Onboarding Pitfalls

A lack of clear understanding of workplace relationships and roles can be detrimental to the onboarding process. Without the proper understanding of who can be relied upon within the organization, many new employees are unsure of how to navigate unfamiliar territory in their roles. The same can be said for workplace culture; if an employee does not understand or mesh with the culture, it can be hard for them to prosper within their role. Similarly, if an employee is not given goals to accomplish within their onboarding phase, success in their new role can be difficult.

Throughout the onboarding process, the setting and implementation of goals is crucial. By setting goals, the employee is more aware of their job roles and expectations. Career advancement and growth is a huge aspect of an entry level workforce; workplace goals help to achieve those elevated positions. Setting goals for your employee can create better engagement and integration into workplace culture, ensuring both the employee’s and company’s future success.

What Makes a Successful Onboarding Strategy?

Onboarding strategies are best utilized when tailored to a specific workplace and employer. Strategies differ among organizations and even from employee to employee within the same organization. However, there are common aspects of all onboarding strategies that can be used in general business and healthcare settings alike: Employee Engagement and Company Culture.

Employee engagement is a cornerstone of any positive work culture. Immediately engaging with a new employee early in their hiring process ensures they will feel welcomed, supported, and eager to begin their career. Enrolling employees in workforce education programs as soon as they begin the onboarding process is one way to immediately engage team members. Participating in such programs strengthens the employee’s ability to perform their role, therefore bolstering their performance as well as the organization’s.

Another phase of a successful onboarding strategy is the introduction to workplace culture: how we interact, grow, and learn together as an organization. A positive and welcoming culture is essential to a successful onboarding experience. One way to demonstrate a positive culture in the early stages of an employee’s onboarding would be communicating to them their potential career pathways within the organization and other opportunities that could benefit the employee. Early demonstration of a workplace culture that thrives upon support structures, career growth, and meaningful employee engagement can make an employee feel empowered.

Entry Level Healthcare Specific Onboarding Strategies

Workplace education programs such as CLiMB™ from Catalyst Learning Company create a foundation for growth for entry and mid-level healthcare workers. CLiMB builds the professionalism and general job skills needed to successfully perform any role in a healthcare organization. Enrolling employees in such programs not only makes them an active participant in the onboarding process, but also ensures that all employees receive the same skill development, creating cohesion.    

Planning for a healthcare career can begin as soon as you’re able to discern that a new employee is the right longer-term fit for your organization. Given that employee engagement is essential to onboarding and workplace culture, prioritizing an employee’s future by discussing career pathways can strengthen their dedication. CareerCare® from Catalyst Learning Company helps employees to discover new career pathways that align with their personal skills and interests, then begin applying that knowledge to job research. Participants then decide whether these new jobs are the right fit for them by conducting interviews, job shadowing, and identifying obstacles in their path to achievement. The course also provides career pathway recommendations as well as an extensive healthcare jobs database to supplement research. The end product: a fully prepared career development plan benefits both employee and employer; it’s a win – win.

With any onboarding process, feedback is essential. Ask that all new hires complete a form of individualized and general feedback so that the onboarding process can be tailored to the individual, their specific role, and to the needs of the organization. Knowing what needs to be tweaked and what was successful strengthens the quality of the overall onboarding process.

There are shortcomings and obstacles to any onboarding process, but they can be beaten when both employees and employers assume an active role in the undertaking. A successful onboarding strategy engages the employee, prepares them for their role, and prepares them for their future with the organization. Some tools and practices that can ensure the success of an employee’s onboarding have been discussed in this article, but they may not work for every organization, and that’s okay. Tailoring the process to fit your specific needs is the best bet for the success of the employee and organization.  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *