Onboarding is Another Crucial Step in the Case Manager Recruitment ProcessAlthough selecting the perfect candidate is an important step, it is not the last step of the recruitment process. Once your new case manager, care manager, or care coordinator has accepted your offer, the next step is to successfully integrate him or her into your organization. This starts with the onboarding process.
“It is difficult to recruit top talent and it is difficult to retain this type of talent,”
– Dr. Kelly Pfeifer, director of High-Value Care at California HealthCare Foundation
Onboarding is a process.
Health plans seek talented case managers and care coordinators, but are sometimes reluctant to commit sufficient resources to retain them. Training and orienting new employees is an essential part of retaining employees. Therefore, onboarding is more than just new hire orientation. Onboarding is a process.
The onboarding process starts as soon as your new hire accepts your offer. Orientation is one of the first steps in the onboarding process, allowing you to collect necessary human resources, payroll and benefit forms. Whereas orientation is an event, onboarding is an ongoing process that allows your new care manager or care coordinator to learn about your company culture and acquire the necessary tools to successfully assimilate into your organization.
Understand case management onboarding best practices.
It is important to ensure that your new hire understands your expectations during the hiring process. Although you mostly likely discussed the job description during the recruitment and interview process, including short-term, immediate tasks, confirm that your new care manager or care coordinator understands the path and potential of their new career with your company.
After the paperwork is completed, introduce your new care manager or care coordinator to the rest of your care management team. Also take the time to ensure that the new addition to your team understands the company culture.
Avoid case management onboarding blusters.
In an effort to avoid common onboarding blusters, you first need to know what they are:
- Starting Late – Starting the onboarding process on the care manager or care coordinator’s first day. The onboarding process should start as soon as your offer is accepted. Provide your new hire a welcome packet with helpful information about the company, dress code and parking to get them started on the right foot.
- Ending Early – Ending the onboarding process after the care manager or care coordinator’s first day. Again, onboarding is an ongoing process. It does not start and end with orientation.
- Waiting to set up Work Tools – Set your new care manager or care coordinator up for success by providing the tools they need right away. This includes a computer, desk, phone and email address.
- Not having a checklist – Create a detailed checklist, unique to your organization and your new hire’s position. A detailed checklist will ensure that your new care manager or care coordinator is not stumbling around on his or her first day. Again, set your new team member up for success!
- Not explaining your expectations – Again, take the time to ensure that your new hire understands his or her role and your expectations.
- Being Impatient – Not giving your care manager or care coordinator time to learn and grow. Give your new hire time to get adjusted to his or her new role. It is important to also give your new care manager or care coordinator the ability to grow and thrive. Do not just give him or her trivial tasks. Give your new team member an important project they can take on. At the same time, do not overwhelm him or her and delegate everything.
Remember: The onboarding process sets the tone of your relationship with your new care manager or care coordinator.
Create an Inspired Culture
Create a culture where great care managers and care coordinators want to work. One of the best ways to retain your employees is to create a culture where great employees want to work. First off, ensure that you are onboarding your care manager and care coordinators properly.
Leadership should consider committing to meeting at least once per quarter to change or improve at least one thing about the organization’s recruiting and onboarding processes. Just think: If you commit to these quarterly meetings, your organization’s onboarding process will drastically improve by the end of the year.
It is also important to offer a positive work environment where employees are treated with respect and consideration. Remember: Recruitment begins with you and is improved by the right staff. A strong company culture, competitive compensation, and engaged care managers and care coordinators can provide management with recruitment opportunities.
A study published in 2013 by the Academy of Management Journal found that the first 90 days of employment, which is often called the probationary period, is “pivotal to building rapport with the company, management and coworkers,” according to a 2015 Forbes article called “How to Get Employee Onboarding Right.”
“When support levels were high from the team and leaders, new hires often had more positive attitudes about their job and worked harder,” the article states. “When support and direction were not offered, the inverse occurred, leading to unhappy and unproductive employees who didn’t make it much further than four months.”
A Culture of Learning
A strong company culture also encourages and supports continuing education and ongoing training. Care Excellence provides a flexible online source of continuing education for case managers by providing the most up-to-date training for all levels of care management.
“It is difficult to recruit top talent and it is difficult to retain this type of talent,” said Dr. Kelly Pfeifer, director of High-Value Care at California HealthCare Foundation. “Care excellence can do many things for health plans. It can help them nurture and grow new graduates, to help them develop the skills that they need to make a difference in patients’ lives.”
By continuing their education, your new hires or current case managers, care managers and care coordinators will be able to more effectively support a diverse patient population with complex medical and social care needs. At the same time, strengthening your leadership skills can help you build a more efficient and inspired team. What can you commit to right now to improve your recruiting and onboarding process? How does your current training strategy impact employee satisfaction and retention?
“All of us who went to medical school, nursing school or social work school became very good at being expert and telling people what to do. We did not get skills in building teams and building morale and recruiting great talent and retaining great talent,” Pfeifer said. “The management program with care excellence is going to be focused on, not only on content knowledge and helping care managers learn this new world of social services and whole person care, but also focused on teams.”