There might be a time in your eyecare practice when you fall in love with a job candidate that seems to have all the things that you're looking for, except experience working in an eyecare office or maybe even in a healthcare practice at all.
While this could give you some pause as to whether or not you want to move forward with this candidate, we want to offer up some training ideas that will help you effectively train someone who doesn't have the experience, but has a strong willingness to learn.
Plan the Orientation Period
The learning curve for someone new to healthcare or more specifically, eyecare, is going to be longer than for someone who has worked in a practice setting before. Plan to have an extended orientation period for these employees. It will also help to have a detailed training plan written out so your new employee and your entire team know what is to come in the next few weeks to get everyone up to speed.
Prepare Your Manual
Your office should have an employee handbook already, and it's something you should look at on an annual basis to make necessary changes to keep your practice policies updated. Your manual should include things like how to use various tools and software systems in the office, policies and procedures, forms, pricing info, dress code, PTO requirements, etc. On top of the manual you should provide a new hire with other documents like expectations and their job description, user name and passwords, and a training timeline.
Other than the resources you've created specifically for your office, there might be resources online that can help you train a new employee. What training materials are available through your practice management and EHR software vendor? Are there industry webinars, videos, eBooks, or self-testing materials that other employees have found helpful in the office? Search out these materials that already exist to help elevate your training plan.
If an employee is new to eyecare, having a few days of job shadowing will be a good way to get them comfortable with your team and the ins and outs of working with patients. After a couple of days in the job shadow role, you can reverse roles and have your experienced trainer shadow the new hire and help them through different situations as they arise.
Cross training everyone on your team can have a lot of benefits in your practice. It makes it much more manageable when a team member is out sick or on vacation if others in the office can chip in and perform the needed duties. Cross training your team also helps everyone understand the entire office workflow and how doing something differently in their main role could have benefits for others down the line.
Training Feedback Loop
It's important to give your new hire lots of feedback during their training period so they can focus on the things they need to improve upon. But, it's also really important for the new hire to provide you with feedback on their onboarding experience. This will help you better develop your training program for employees in the future and keep your processes improving over time.
To help onboard your new employee, use our eBook, 4 Weeks to Bigger Profits in Your Optical Shop.
Originally published in March 2018