How to Manage Dental Office New Hires in the Digital Era

Onboarding new hires is an important task that can’t be taken lightly. There are so many nuances to learn, even in an office, and your training needs to be thorough.

Here are some tips for onboarding new dental office employees that will help them be successful, regardless of their position.

Create a thorough system

Onboarding new employees require a structured system to be effective. You need to know, ahead of time, exactly what you’re going to teach new hires and in what order. It might seem tedious or rigid, but having your training program outlined with specificity will produce better results.

Start by documenting everything you consider important for employees to know or learn. This can be bits of information, internal processes, rules, or procedures. Next, flesh out an outline for each item on your list. Write it in a way that explains what’s important about each item.

Once you have a list of everything you need to teach your new hires, turn it into a training packet that you can follow step-by-step. Create blocks of training sessions that are to occur on separate days, but don’t cram too much into one day.  

Also, make sure to spend a good amount of time on the basics, like where to find everything in the office, how to schedule clients, and how to manage insurance payments.

As you train more people, you’ll get the feedback needed to refine your training system and make it more efficient.

Begin onboarding with your candidates

Good onboarding begins when you’re talking to prospects, according to Dentistry IQ. When you meet with prospects, it’s important to share your expectations and be honest about existing office dynamics. This is part of the onboarding process because any candidate you hire will carry their interview experience with them to their first day on the job. 

Transparency in your conversations is important. No office is perfect, and it’s critical to be transparent about what your office is working to overcome.

If you drop new hires into the middle of chaos without warning, they’ll probably quit. If you share openly ahead of time, they’ll feel more empowered and will be more willing to help make improvements.

Use digital documents

Instead of making your new hires come to the office just to pick up and drop off packets and forms, use digital documents. Create a digital version of your onboarding package and email it to your new hires. This will give them time to review the content before they arrive for their first day of training.

Your new hires can sign the appropriate documents electronically and email them back to you without having to drive to your office. When you get their signed documents, you can review everything at your own pace to make sure nothing is missing. This makes the onboarding process more convenient for everyone.

If you’re wondering whether electronic signatures are legal in the United States, the answer is yes. As Box explains, the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-Sign Act) made them legal, just like handwritten, inked signatures.

Listen to feedback

Feedback is a tool that will get you better results. Whether the feedback comes from your new hires, your existing staff, or people you interview, listen to what they have to say, whether it’s praise or criticism.

If something isn’t working in your onboarding process, you need to know. A process that looks good on paper won’t necessarily be effective in the real world. For instance, your existing employees might already have an efficient system for certain tasks, and if you train new hires to do things differently, you’ll disrupt the whole flow.

When your existing employees tell you something about your onboarding process isn’t working, listen to them and find out the details. You may even want to connect with your team to create your training system together. After all, they’re in the office every day, and they know what’s required to make the office run smoothly. They can also tell you where things fall apart, and together, you can find solutions.

Evaluate early and often

Evaluating your new hires is an important part of the onboarding process. You need to know how well they’re learning and if they need any support in certain areas. Assessments are easier with a structured onboarding system; you can take notes under each training section and make sure nothing is left behind.

Onboarding programs take time to perfect, but the results make it worth the time. When you have a structured onboarding system for your new hires, you’ll have a stronger, more efficient team.