A How-to Guide for Onboarding: Part II
Welcome back for part two! In part one of this short series, we discussed the first crucial steps on how to create an onboarding plan. Now, we’ll build upon that information by providing more resources and discussing the plan’s implementation.
Need a refresher on the first few steps? Click here to read Part I
Step 4: Mapping Your Information
If you recall in Step 2, we discussed organizing your materials by what everyone should know, departmental information, how long tasks should take and how it should take to learn those tasks. Now, we’ll take it a step further.
With your materials organized, divide the knowledge into two categories:
1. Conceptual Knowledge
2. Tangible Skills
We recommend creating a calendar and a skills tracker to map this information.
This calendar acts as your road map for your new hire’s first 90 days. Within this calendar, identify daily tasks for new hires to acquire relevant skills.
How you detail this calendar is up to you, but structure it well enough that your new hire will learn skills each day. Set daily goals with plenty of one-to-one training. A new hire’s first week should act as their orientation—have them tour the office, introduce them to staff and shadow departments they’ll interact with daily.
Ideally, they should transition out of training after a month and contribute to the team with some guidance and supervision.
The Skills Tracker
The skills tracker is straightforward. It is a signed contract between you and your new hire that lists out the skills you expect them to learn and the time frame you hope for them to have complete mastery.
Divide the tracker by week to prevent overwhelming your new hire and separate the skills by difficulty.
Leave two columns for signatures on your skills tracker: one for the trainer and one for the trainee. Once your new hire masters a skill, they can then bring it to their trainer for verification.
Here’s a snippet of what a skill tracker might look like for an ophthalmic technician.
Step 5: Training the Trainer
After creating your calendar and skills tracker, you’ll want to train a team member to be a trainer. Ideally, this individual is from the team you developed in step one.
First, have your trainer examine all the prep materials for the new hire to make sure they are familiar with the resources and the timeline. Second, set expectations for how they’ll interact with one another. Be sure to conduct daily check-ins to track their progress.
How your new employee engages with the trainer significantly impacts the onboarding experience. Their trainer is their first point of contact and should reflect the company’s values and goals.
Step 6: Test Drive
Like any new process, there are bound to be kinks and gaps, and you won’t know it until you implement your onboarding process.
It’s alright to miss things and have gaps in your educational training. That’s why you perform a beta test.
If this is your first time onboarding in general or with such a detailed process, let your new hire know. Your new hire may have some insights on what could work better for the next employee. Additionally, be sure to check in with your trainer, too. They may have feedback on your onboarding process.
Here are some key questions for your trainer:
● Does the calendar work?
● Is there enough time allotted for certain activities? Too much time?
● What should we add to the skill tracker? Or remove?
And for your new hire(s), you can ask the following:
● Is there anything confusing about the process?
● What do you feel worked well?
● How can we improve?
Final Notes For Onboarding
There’s always room for improvement. With the feedback from step six, you can refine your calendar and skills tracker repeatedly. It will be a long process, but it’s worth it for happy and skilled employees.
Implementing a comprehensive onboarding plan increases employee and customer retention and ensures a seamless transition from applicant to employee.
imatters understands the pain point of the onboarding process and the search for fantastic employees. That’s why we take an active role in matching our candidates to the right practice. If you need help with your onboarding process, reach out to us today!