Editor’s Note: Welcome to “Eye Catching: Let's Chat,” a blog series featuring contributions from members of the ophthalmic community. These blogs are an opportunity for ophthalmic bloggers to engage with readers with about a topic that is top of mind, whether it is practice management, experiences with patients, the industry, medicine in general, or healthcare reform. The series continues with this blog by Donna Suter, president of Suter Consulting Group. The views expressed in these blogs are those of their respective contributors and do not represent the views of Ophthalmology Times or UBM Medica.
I am often asked to either take part in new employee orientation and training, or to offer insights into developing a new employee orientation program.
What would I suggest for Day One of your new employee orientation?
Day One: Your new employee should show up with a job description and an understanding of the scope of the tasks he or she will be performing. If this didn’t happen when the job offer was formally made, please greet him or her with these two documents and go over core responsibilities.
Should you be the one who greets your employees? Unless you have an administrator or manager who has the power to hire or fire, I would recommend it. The reason is simple: you want that new employee to represent you to your patients. He or she needs to know that you value his or her contribution to your organization.
Somewhere during that first day, he or she will be reviewing your office policy manual. You, on the other hand, will be in clinic.
Consider asking someone to be the new employee’s “best friend.” This best friend will be the person who models your office culture to the new employee. He or she will also be the one who answers questions about all those unspoken aspects of the job. These can be as simple as where are the bathrooms to questions about you (i.e., “He said to call him ‘Bob.’ I know he’s Dr. Smith in front of patients, but does he really want people calling him Bob if they see him at the grocery store?”).
This new best friend might also be asked about some of the soft skills that you will be discussing with the employee at lunch. (Yes, a one-on-one lunch. Just the boss and the rookie.)
I suggest informal alone time with the practice owner and/or manager focus on the unspoken, soft skills aspects of the job that many loosely define as “being a good employee; being a team player.”
Some business experts refer to the items on the list below as soft skills. The soft skills are often the hardest to impart to new employees.