12.11.09 Issue #405 Forward This Newsletter To A Colleague


Belle DuCharme CDPMA
Instructor/Consultant
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Employee Orientation Checklist

With the national average of dental employee turnover being every 18 months, it is highly likely that the New Year may bring new employees to your practice. Having a hiring system in place to prevent employment nightmares that may have plagued your practice in the past are prudent. The excitement of finding the right person and quickly training them to perform their duties often leaves out important details. Having an Employee Orientation checklist is helpful to ensure that important segments are not left out or overlooked.

1. A formal welcome to the practice from the doctor and the team. This could be a letter of welcome from the doctor and lunch at a favorite restaurant with the entire team. At the lunch, each team member should have the opportunity to introduce themselves, explain their position in the practice and say what they will do to help the new hire assimilate as quickly as possible.

2.  An Employee Policy Manual with an explanation that the manual is a guide to the office and the employee policies. Each employee should have the same understanding in regards to vacations, medical benefits, pension plans, continuing education, maternity leave, jury duty, paid holidays, dental benefits, etc. so that questions can be addressed before they become misunderstandings. Ask the new hire to read the policy manual and sign an acknowledgement that they understand and will abide by all the rules. It is also recommended that the doctor or the business administrator go over the items bulleted below to ensure that the new employee has full understanding and that they have had the opportunity to ask questions about each item.

3. Employee training is offered for a period of 90 days. During this period of time the new hire is introduced to the practice environment and trained to do their particular job duties with the understanding that the work performance and attendance is being monitored by the doctor or the business administrator. A gradual improvement should occur daily as the new hire integrates into the practice.

4. The practice mission statement is to direct the team toward the same purpose or vision of the practice. A shared vision is important for the practice success. This mission statement is the core to developing teamwork. Knowing the primary goal of your practice, what most represents how you feel about your patients and what sets you apart from the other practices in the area will help you develop this statement.

5. All information necessary to create an employee file is gathered. This list includes the following information that is to be kept in a locked file to protect the personal information of the employees:

  • Tax forms W-4 and I-9
  • State required work permits for those under the age of 18
  • Emergency contact numbers (at least two)
  • Name of physician and phone number
  • Medical records for vaccines – consent form for Hepatitis B vaccine and other vaccines available and recommended to health care workers by state
  • Medical records for work restrictions such as allergies or physical limitations
  • Membership cards for medical, life and dental coverage
  • Copies of current licensing and continuing education courses attended
  • Job description with areas of accountability spelled out
  • Performance evaluation form and salary review form
  • Request for time off form
  • OSHA including infection control and bloodborne pathogen procedures
  • HIPAA regulations regarding patient and employee personal information
  • Medical and dental benefits if applicable
  • Life insurance and pension information if applicable
  • Work schedules to include patient hours and staff hours
  • Practice and personnel security including harassment policies
  • Disaster preparedness plan in case of fire, flood, earthquakes, etc. which would address escape procedures and routes, and rescue and medical duties of employees who will be responsible to perform them
  • Customer service and patient contact information including handling phone complaints
  • Required office attire for the job position
  • Pay and overtime policies, pay days and methods of payment such as check or auto deposit
  • Employee application
  • Résumé and information regarding two checked references

Without this system in place, you will quickly forget what was said to the new hire and as time goes on and more people are hired, it will be quite evident that something different was said to each one. Employees remember and often compare with each other. Keep the peace in your practice and stick to the system.

If you would like more information on McKenzie Management’s Advanced Training Programs  to improve the performance of your team, email training@mckenziemgmt.com.

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