Here’s why you need better healthcare worker onboarding

Healthcare worker onboarding

The Healthcare profession is one of the fastest-growing fields in the US and the world. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 80 million workers will be needed by 2030, and there will be a shortfall of 15 million.

We already know that these talent shortages have made the market for healthcare talent highly competitive. As a result, healthcare workers are spoilt for choice when it comes to accepting their next role.

What we don’t always pay attention to, however, is the logical link between an organization’s healthcare worker onboarding process and its retention rate.

Better onboarding = better outcomes for everyone

There is more than enough evidence that proves that a robust, integrated and people-focused onboarding process leads to happier, more engaged and more productive employees. Which in turn leads to higher retention.

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But, when you work in an organization that is still very ‘old school’ in its approach to healthcare worker recruitment, onboarding and hiring; and when that organization is already stretched to the limit when it comes to people and resources, it can be difficult to convince others to try something new.

The best way to build the business case is to look at the impact that well-integrated employees have on the healthcare system:

  • Well-integrated employees are usually highly engaged and productive.
  • 85% of engaged employees display a caring attitude, compared to just 38% disengaged employees (HR Solutions).
  • Engaged nurses are the number 1 correlative factor to mortality (according to a Gallup study of 200 hospitals.

Clearly, a good healthcare worker onboarding process is critical for everyone: patients, employees, and the organization itself.

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What should your healthcare worker onboarding achieve?

Before we get stuck into some practical advice (in the following blog in this series), it’s worth exploring what a good employee onboarding process should aim to achieve.

Of course, you need to get all the paperwork, tests, and compliance activities out of the way. But that’s only a small part of what we want to do. Ultimately, your onboarding process should aim to integrate each new employee into the DNA of your organization. They should leave the program with a very clear understanding of:

  • The culture of your organization
  • Exactly what their role encompasses, and what their performance markers are
  • Where to go, what to look for, and who to talk to (about every aspect of their role)
  • Their value within the organization

When people understand exactly where they fit in, what they are responsible for, and how they add value to the organization, they are empowered to become productive team members.

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