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Episode 214 | Onboarding Check-Ins for Success

the group practice exchang

WITH Maureen Werrbach

  • Episode 214 | Onboarding Check-Ins for Success 00:00


Hey Group Practice Listeners! Do you want to know the steps to success? As we all strive for our goals, it is necessary to have check-ins of our progress. Join me in this swift episode to learn more about how to navigate the compatibility of your team to the job!


Episode Highlights: 

  • Why is it needed to have 20 minutes of training equivalent to every 5 minutes of work?
  • How much time should be invested in training people for the job?
  • What is the essence of assigning someone to the onboarding process?
  • When can we decide if the trainee is a successful fit for the job?
  • Where can a spreadsheet of sectioned reports from the admin and the onboarding officer help in the success of the team’s progress? 

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Maureen Werrbach

One of the things I hear a lot from leaders and practice owners is feeling like they’ve trained their new staff and feel like that staff member should know how to do everything right in their practice. For whatever reason, they have clinicians or admins who are falling short and not able to do all the things that they’re supposed to do or are doing things wrong.

And one of the first books I read, and I can’t remember the name of it, it was over a decade ago around leadership, talked about this idea that for every five minutes of work that a person. They should get 20 minutes of training on that five minutes of work. So obviously if someone works 40 hours a week, not every minute of their job in those 40 hours of the week is something new and different.

So for every five minutes of something different that they have to do in their work, they should be trained for about 20 minutes worth. This really proves the point that I think most of us don’t follow in leadership is. We need to spend a lot more time and dedicate a lot more time to the training during the onboarding process for our new staff.

And I think because we’re busy as leaders and we often are the people doing the onboarding ourselves, we just have a limited amount of time to be able to train new staff members. And one of the best things that I did in this arena, Bring someone into a position of training and onboarding because it was something that I just didn’t have the time to do myself, nor did the other leaders in my group practice, and it’s made such a big difference in terms of the satisfaction that our staff has After those first 90 days of being employed.

We do reviews and check. What we could do better, what things were missed, what was helpful for them during the onboarding process, and so much of the positive feedback we get. Comes from staff members saying that they really felt like they had a support person that was available and had time for them, and really went in depth in helping them be successful in their jobs.

And so I wanted to chat a little bit about our pretty simple process for ensuring that week by week. So we do a 90-day onboarding, so 12 weeks where at the end of those 12 weeks, our leadership team really. Knows if this person’s going to be a good fit in our practice. I find this to be such a helpful process because historically we’ve just hired someone and once we hire them, We aren’t thinking about whether they’re a good fit anymore.

We just think they’re hired now. We need to train them and coach them if they make mistakes. And we, over the years, have shifted to when we hire someone, those first 90 days are sort of probationary in our heads and we are doing all we can in those 90. To help them succeed in their job. And then we intentionally decide if this person’s going to be a good fit long term after those 90 days because we know after 90 days that we’ve done all the work we can to help them be successful.

So it’s really helped us be proactive and intentional about making decisions. Who we have on our team, and I wanted to chat a little bit about some of the things that we look at. So we essentially have a spreadsheet, very basic spreadsheet in Google Drive or Google Sheets, and the onboarding person and the supervisor for that clinician.

And our admin, head of admin who ensures that, you know, they’re doing their notes on time and that scheduling appointments with them is easy and that there aren’t any sort of hiccups with how they’re managing their calendar. That those three people every week go into this spreadsheet and put notes in there, and it’s a few minutes of their time every week, but as the weeks go, you really get a.

Report that shows the health and success of that clinician in the practice. And if problems arise, they’re written in there. And so we can see the problems that they’re seeing. Maybe being late to sessions or not doing notes on time or writing too long of notes. We’ll be able to see really quickly if the feedback and support that our team is giving is helping them fix those issues.

So some of the things that we are looking at are notes, and we have some columns around the timeliness and the quality. And it’s very simple. Under timeliness. We just do yes, and no, if it’s time if it’s not. And under the quality of notes, we do high, medium, low, like is it high quality? Medium-quality or low-quality notes, and we do that each week.

We write, yes, no timely, high, medium, and low for the quality. Very simple. And then we have a section on appointments, and we type in how many intakes they got that week, how many canceled that week, and how many total sessions they had. And how many total clients they have on their caseload that week. And obviously, we’re wanting to see throughout the weeks the number of total sessions increasing our number of total clients that they have increased.

So because we do salary, we wanna make sure that by the 90 days, They have a full caseload and we’re looking at, you know, how many canceled appointments are there? Is it a problematic amount of canceled clients? Because then we can coach and work with them on how to screen for that. We have a section on administrative, which just is making sure that the clinician is ensuring that their intake paperwork is in the e-EHR before seeing them.

We have a section on communication that says how are they responding to emails. Are they responsive? You know, I know one of the things that get brought up a. Is hiring people who then are not really responsive to emails and communication. And so this allows us to see how responsive are they. Do they seem to be responding, you know, during their work hours in a timely fashion or not?

We also have a section on culture, which is essential, are they engaged in the practice culture? And the onboarding person will make quick little notes like, yep, they went to our monthly staff supervision. Meeting or, uh, we had a dinner out and they came with, or this person came into the office and had their door closed the whole time.

Even between sessions, things like that. They’ll write in there. And then the last four sections are a clinician, self-report, supervisor report, admin report, and then onboarding report. And so each week the onboarding person just might have a few sentences or a few words to report. How that person has been doing while they’ve been training them and onboarding them.

And sometimes it’s, everything is great. Sometimes it’ll be a little bit more in-depth. Sometimes they’ll list something really positive that happened or they might say, you know, a person needs a lot of handholding, or whatever the admin report, then, our head of admin will go in and say, you know if there’s any.

Positives or negatives around scheduling and getting new clients on their calendar since our clinicians have control of their calendar, and then the supervisor will put in the supervisor report cell in. The, uh, spreadsheet, anything that they notice, like about them integrating into the office about supervisory issues.

And then the onboarding coordinator will ask the clinician for a self-report, like, how is this week going for you? Are you, you know, and, and will write anything that they feel or that they say. So sometimes they’ll say, I’m really overwhelmed, or I feel really supported, and they’ll just write that in there.

And that gives us a full, robust view of the week for that clinician. And we do. For all 12 weeks, and it really gives us great data points around, you know, how likely it is that this person’s a good fit for our practice at the end of those 90 days. So let me know what you do for ensuring that the people that you bring into your practice, how to know during that onboarding time, If that person is going to be successful in your business, is there a process that you go through?

I’d love to hear it. I’ll see you next week. Thanks for listening to the Group Practice Exchange Podcast. Like what you heard. Give us five stars on whatever platform you’re listening from. Need extra support. Join the Exchange, a membership community just for group practice owners with monthly office hours, live webinars, and a library of training ready for you to dive into.

Visit See you next week.

Thanks For Listening

Thanks for listening to the group practice exchange podcast. Like what you heard? Give us five stars on whatever platform you’re listening from. Need extra suppor? Join The Exchange, a membership community just for group practice owners with monthly office hours, live webinars, and a library of trainings ready for you to dive into visit www dot members dot the group practice exchange dot com forward slash exchange. See you next week.


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Meet your host


Maureen Werrbach is a psychotherapist, group practice owner and group practice coach. Learn more about her coaching services here:


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