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Onboarding a Senior Care Employee

08-23-2022
Nadia Hercules

If you’re looking to onboard a new senior care employee, where do you start? Onboarding is the key to training your staff members and making them as comfortable as possible in their roles. This comfort and confidence will lead to higher retention rates, so it’s important to get this right – remember, this is their first impression.

Onboarding a Senior Care Employee? This Is Where to Start!

Creating Your Onboarding Process

Hiring senior care workers is just the first step. Keep them for the long run by having an effective onboarding process.

Onboarding is the process of training new employees to understand your company’s culture, policies, and expectations. The importance of onboarding is crucial in any industry, but it’s particularly essential for senior care organizations. A comprehensive onboarding program will allow you to bring on board employees who are familiar with your business and helps them get acclimated to their new environment so they can hit the ground running as soon as they start working.

The key to a successful onboarding program is developing a plan that incorporates all of the different aspects of employee onboarding. Start with the following:

  • Create a plan – Create an outline and identify what needs to be done and by whom. Have someone else review this checklist before moving forward – you don’t want any surprises!
  • Create an onboarding team – Having a dedicated team will ensure that everyone knows their responsibilities in this process as well as help spread information across departments or facilities if needed.
  • Create a checklist – Make sure to add all steps, processes, and documents needed. It’s also helpful if these lists are divided into “to do” versus “done” so there’s no confusion about where things stand along the way (this is especially useful when multiple people have access).
  • Identify tools – Identify tools such as industry-specific software that could be useful and will automate the process so that everything is simplified – not only for you but also for your new hires.

Before Day 1
Get the Paperwork Out of the Way Early

With the right hiring and onboarding software, you can have your new hires complete all necessary forms before day 1. Rather than having them complete their paperwork in the office, like W-4s, I-9s, direct deposit information, and even facility-specific forms, documents can be sent to any new hires to be filled out and returned, all via the onboarding platform. Even better – take a phased approach to onboarding and send your new hires bite-sized tasks rather than overwhelming them with everything at once. Remember, starting a new job can feel a little overwhelming at first.

Instead of having employees rewrite their name on every form required, a good system will auto-populate the forms with this information, allowing them to move faster with less frustration. This will also help prevent user errors that are common when rekeying information.

You’ll no longer have to wait to receive information until the end of their first day of orientation nor manually create their profile in your system and add their information yourself. Your payroll administrator will thank you for having a system that doesn’t create a bottleneck, especially if you are mass hiring and have multiple new employees at once.

Establishing Compliance During Onboarding

 

On day 1, start with compliance. After all, compliance is required, and employees know, especially if they have been onboarded at other companies, that this must be done. To establish this culture at your company, educate everyone on your team about what compliance means for you specifically as an organization and how it will affect them in their day-to-day work life.

Day 1
Culture Plays a Big Part in Onboarding

Your culture is your organization’s personality. It’s how you do business and what your clients experience when they interact with your brand. Having a strong, positive culture that resonates with employees and clients alike can be a key factor in determining the success of your business.

When hiring new employees, it’s critical to make sure they feel comfortable and excited about their new workplace right off the bat. This can be especially important when working in an industry like senior care where client satisfaction is paramount and where there are potential risks for failure if employees aren’t on board with company values immediately after being hired.

It Does Not Stop at Onboarding

 

Creating Retention through the Onboarding Experience

 

Retention is the most important thing to think about when onboarding new employees. If an employee feels like they are being treated fairly, then they will be happier at work and will be more likely to stay with your company for a long time.

When creating a strong onboarding experience, it’s important to focus on:

  • Communication – How well do you communicate with your employees? Do they know what’s expected of them? Are they given clear guidance on how to perform their job duties?
  • Culture – What kind of culture do you want to create and maintain in your workplace? Does it align with the values that are already present in your organization?
  • Flexibility – Does everyone have enough flexibility in their schedules so that they can attend training sessions or meet with managers when needed without having any problems come up as a result of their absence from work (i.e., getting behind on assignments)?

Training Beyond Onboarding

 

Training is not just for the first day – continuous learning will better prepare employees to tackle whatever they encounter. This is not only beneficial for them but also to you as they will be better serving your patients and clients.

When training, make sure it’s specific to your employees’ needs and the population you are catering to. Make training both simple and engaging – for example, set up online training with videos and quizzes or have in-person meetings with your employees where they can ask questions directly related to their responsibilities.

With the right learning program, you’ll be able to customize on-demand learning for your employees; some platforms offer over 500 lessons to choose from in multiple languages. This will ensure they are ready to tackle anything they encounter in their jobs and with their patients and will also help ensure that your facility stays up to date with compliance requirements.

Being able to give your employees an arsenal of tools to cope with a wide range of patients with varying needs will help ensure that they are confident and prepared. Better-trained employees are more likely to offer greater, safer care, have higher job satisfaction, and stay with your facility longer, ensuring the safety of the patients they care for as well as themselves. Client satisfaction, retention, and happiness will also likely increase if you have contented, experienced employees offering high-quality treatment and care. And as you probably know, happy clients are more likely to make referrals, resulting in more new business for your facility.

Schedule Regular Check-Ins

The first 90 days of employment are crucial for building engagement. Make sure to schedule regular one-on-one check-in meetings, as this will give you the opportunity to supply new hires with important feedback as well as recognition that will motivate them. These meetings will provide important support for your employees and demonstrate your investment in them.

By following the guidelines above, you’ll be well on your way to having a more effective onboarding process, helping you to impress, engage, and retain all your new hires.

Find out more about the solutions we provide for onboarding with our Talent Acquisition Software, and check out our Senior Care page if you’d like to learn more about our full software suite for senior care and skilled nursing, including Viventium Learning and Viventium Benefits Administration.

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