One of the most important roles of leaders in home health care, hospice, and private duty home care is on-boarding new hires. Our research shows that on-boarding is a critical element in employee satisfaction, performance, and retention. When your new employees get off to the right start, when they can see your vision for the future, and when they are engaged with the company, they perform better and stay longer.
A recent article in Inc. Magazine online suggested 8 ideas to make your onboarding process more efficient. Let’s take a look at several of these ideas from The Young Entrepreneur Council and see how we can apply them to home care and hospice.
1. Record the Foundational Materials
The biggest thing is to record the foundational training that repeats for each new employee. There’s no reason to have your company’s trainer do live trainings one-on-one or even in small groups when a video can do just as well. Transcribe these videos. Reading is still the fastest way to take in information, so organize your training library so that employees can go back through it multiple times at their convenience. Repetition is the mother of all learning, but repetition has to be done right–otherwise, it’s a waste of your company’s resources.
In home care, where you are hiring new caregivers every week, having a consistent message for all new hires is critical. It’s easy and inexpensive to make a good quality video of your key messages. Then every new hire hears the same message in the same context.
2. Slow Down and Test Before You Hire
Hiring is difficult. The best answer is to slow down. If you try to take on too many people too quickly, you will inevitably hire people who are not in sync with your organization’s mission and values. People are the life force of any organization, and if you make a mistake it can cost you far more than if you slow down the process to find the right people.
At Caregiver Quality Assurance, we recognized a decade ago that recruiting is important, but selection is the key to having high quality employees. The assessment tools at CQA measure attitudes, behavior, cognitive reasoning, and employee engagement. By using these pre-employee assessments, you will have a much clearer understanding of the prospective employee when you sit down for a behavioral interview.
3. Clearly Articulate Your Vision
Be very explicit about your company’s vision, values and culture. By doing this you’ll know that new team members align with your vision, and they’ll be able to contribute more quickly. You need to give new employees a good foundation based on your vision and then empower them to make decisions about how to achieve that vision.
One of the things we have learned from working with hundreds of home care CEOs is that you all have a story. There’s a reason you chose to get into the home care business and your own story helped craft the vision for your company. Share that vision with your team members, and encourage them to remind each other what we are all about.
4. Train Your Employees to Train Others.
Time is the most important asset we have in our lives, and especially in the business world. Highly skilled employees can transfer their knowledge to new hires, expediting the process that it would normally take a new employee to get up to speed if they are only trained by management. Allowing new hires to “pick the brain” of senior employees is beneficial to both the employees and the company as a whole.
One bit of feedback we have received regularly from caregivers in home health, hospice, and private duty home care is how much they value their company’s preceptor or mentoring program. New employees appreciate being connected to an experienced worker who can show them the ropes, encourage them, and help them be more productive more quickly.
5. Develop a comprehensive ON-Boarding Process Now!
Give every new employee a ramp-up period to get up to speed with your services, the market and the nuts and bolts of their specific role. You should also have comprehensive training materials ready for every employee you bring on. Having a great training program also helps attract the best employees, as these are the ones who want to learn and grow along with your company.
As we have worked with leading companies in home care and hospice, one of the features of these leaders is their process for recruiting, selecting, training, and retaining high quality employees. Going forward in the next decade, these will be the leadership competencies that will take your company into the market leader role in your local marketplace. For more information on resources to help you on-board your new team members, visit Caregiver Quality Assurance and ask for a free 30 day trial.