I for one am a firm believer in retaining quality staff, however, recruitment is the word of the times. I challenge you to identify one provider in post-acute care who feels they are “over-staffed”. Indeed, most providers are struggling to maintain bare minimum staffing numbers and with the threat of mandated staffing requirements on the horizon, it can make you lose sleep at night!
Of course, the goal of every provider should be providing quality care to each resident entrusted to us. Staffing challenged or not, quality care should be first and foremost on our minds. So, what are we to do and how do we do it? I read an interesting article in Forbes Advisor on the importance of “onboarding” that included 14 onboarding best practices for 2023. Remember, onboarding is an important part of the hiring process. With an effective onboarding strategy in place, you can acclimate new employees into your culture and provide them with the resources they need to be successful.
Whether you are onboarding a newly licensed nurse, experienced CNA, or a housekeeping supervisor, how you manage this very important process could make a difference! A few of the ideas shared in the article include:
- Preboarding – the process of starting an employee’s onboarding experience before their first day!
- Paperwork – bottom line, get it done asap (tax forms, employee handbook, etc.)
- Welcome package – not required but leaving a coffee cup on their new desk, etc. goes a long way!
- Interdisciplinary – make it a collaborative effort, involve a variety of team members.
- The buddy system – pair the new employee with a buddy who are positive and excited to share their knowledge.
- Job shadowing – allow the new employee time to acclimate and shadow other departments so they understand the inner workings of the organization.
- First impressions – make the first day exciting – lunch with co-workers, first-day gift, etc.
- Share expectations – be sure they understand your definition of success.
- Culture – share your mission and vision.
- Take it slow – introduce new work gradually.
- Check in – even remotely, check in to acknowledge successes and address areas needing improvement.
- Involve Senior Leaders – that’s you! Be involved!
- Flexibility – The best onboarding plan should have a structured framework but be flexible.
- Revisit your onboarding process, continue to enhance the process and don’t be afraid to completely revamp it if needed over time.
Wow, lots of great ideas, read more here and remember, quality care requires quality staff. Numbers are important but I would rather know my residents are receiving quality care than worry that someone called off for their shift! Stay the course, stay focused and continue to “fly the plane”!