employee onboardingAligning the interview process to your long term care organization’s culture is important. But what about once your candidates begin work? The first 90 days of a new job are when employees are the most impressionable. The very first day has a lasting impact. According to Myra Johnson, VP of HR at Heritage Communities of Kalamazoo, “The first day helps set the tone.” By taking the focus off of completing paperwork and instead focusing on introducing new hires to your organization’s mission, vision, and values during onboarding, new hire assimilation will be faster and more effective.

Since paperwork cannot be avoided completely, with an applicant tracking system a majority of the technicalities of employee onboarding can be handled well before their first day. With documents posted online and the electronic submission function, tax forms and HIPAA acknowledgments are out of the way before a new employee begins. Ryan Lillis, Director of Organizational Development at EMA Communities commented: “You’ve spent so much time and energy on selecting the right person, who will propel your culture forward and support our mission, so why should you welcome new employees into the organization with a stack of paperwork?” By handling a majority of onboarding logistics before the start date, HR teams are able to create a more productive and welcoming experience for the new hire.

When designed properly, the onboarding process can bring a human element to HR and help develop connections between new hires and the HR team. By reinventing onboarding programs, it’s possible for healthcare HR teams to create significant value for employees and their organizations. Through the automation of administrative paperwork, HR is free to focus on more engaging information, such as reinforcing organizational culture and striving to build long-lasting relationships with new hires.

Onboarding programs that focus on reinforcing the organizational culture help new employees understand the behaviors needed to succeed on the job, contribute to staff retention, and allow HR teams to provide a higher level of service. “Orientation and onboarding is about immersing people in our mission and values and customer service,” said Johnson. “We treat them like they’re very special – and they are. We get great feedback from our new staff.”

By transforming your onboarding program from a “paper-signing-marathon” to a program focused on a new hire’s assimilation into the organization, your HR team can help employees succeed on the job. Lillis said: “Each new employee is your single most valuable investment. We must embrace them, and welcome them into our organization, but most importantly, integrate them into our culture. After all, they will be the assets that drive those cultural roots deeper into the ground for us.”


Download our white paper Four Recruiting Best Practices that Increase HCAHPS Scores to learn how your recruitment efforts can positively impact HCAHPS scores. 

About The Editorial Staff

The Editorial Staff is a team of writers with a passion for helping healthcare organizations manage their biggest and most important investment: their employees.