In a busy healthcare environment, it may be tempting to put a new EEG technologist right to work. But the process of onboarding a new employee helps your organization nurture a successful work experience for staffers while boosting efficiency and blunting turnover.

The process should begin before a new employee even starts work and continue as new hires become familiar with their role and the organization.

In a study of nursing staff turnover, exit survey data found that 50 percent to 62 percent of new employees felt that hospital orientation “provided necessary information for successful employment; they had people to go to with concerns; and they had a realistic understanding of their job.”

Those who hire EEG technologists should take note of this data – there is a significant shortage of techs and that gap is expected to grow. Having a solid onboarding policy that helps new hires become successful is key to attracting and retaining these key team members.

Here are four ways a robust onboarding process can help your practice achieve this goal:

  1. It can create an environment of continuous improvement. By setting a standard of continuous learning in the hiring process, the employee understands this expectation (and benefit) of his employment. This can apply to more general issues such as compliance (HIPAA or OSHA non-compliance can cost an organization millions of dollars in fines if not handled well) or to training within the EEG technology specialization.
  2. It can improve employee loyalty. New hires are usually optimistic about the opportunities in front of them. This is an ideal time to reinforce that positive thinking by emphasizing their importance to the organization’s mission.
  3. It can make the organization more profitable. Turnover constitutes a large portion of operating costs for healthcare organizations, so proper onboarding can create an environment where employees stay, lowering this excessive piece of overhead.
  4. It can improve patient care. Patient care quality naturally improves when employees have bought into the idea of continuous improvement, are loyal to the organization, and aren’t constantly coming and going.

To create a strong onboarding program in your organization, think through every step a new hire goes through:

Before the first day: Welcome them with a letter that gives them an idea of what to expect as they begin their new position. Also give them ample opportunity to get paperwork out of the way so they can focus on the job when they start.

The first days: During the initial orientation, familiarize the new hire with job expectations, compliance procedures, internal processes, organizational vision and goals, and other key knowledge they will need to successfully operate within the organization. Assigning a specific person for them to go to with questions will also go a long way toward helping them get off to a strong start.

The first months; Have key leadership from the employee’s department and from departments they interact with reach out to the employee to address any concerns. Provide a formal evaluation so the employee can feel confident moving forward.

The one-year mark: The employee should be fully integrated, networking within the organization and pursuing professional development. An annual performance review can help them set goals for themselves moving forward to build their career and improve patient care.

When they leave: A strong onboarding program will reduce turnover, but employees still leave for a variety of reasons. Have a formal meeting with departing employees to gain understanding of their experience so it can be used to improve that of other employees. This step will also build good attitudes toward the organization overall.

Just because a new employee is experienced and competent doesn’t mean they won’t benefit from a strong onboarding process. They’ll become more successful employees in their new environment, and it will strengthen the organization overall by creating motivated team members who have bought into the shared mission.