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Onboarding Best Practices for Social Care

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Onboarding Best Practices for Social Care

How are you welcoming new employees on their first day at work? Employee onboarding is an unsung yet vital part of hiring social care workers. It's the compass that guides new team members toward a successful start, enabling them to be effective in their roles from day one.

Helping new team members get off to the right start also helps them feel supported by management and their new colleagues – a key factor in team morale with a long-term impact on employee retention.

As social care recruitment specialists, we devote special attention to onboarding with these issues in mind – so we’d like to share our best tips for providing an excellent onboarding experience.

Prepare Before Their Start Date

For care managers, doing as much preparation as possible before a new employee starts will pay dividends for the onboarding process. This can include creating a checklist for ticking off all the essential tasks required for getting a new team member settled in. Be sure to include things like computer and device set-up and logins, building access, emergency contact details, documents to be signed, and other essentials.

Under time constraints, having a schedule set out for an employee’s first week can help keep things on track and allow everyone to manage their time effectively. Consider plotting out all employee onboarding tasks over the week, allowing for break times and social introductions, to ensure everyone is on the same page.

A bit of scheduling and prep time before a new employee’s first day can help managers juggle their existing workloads while welcoming new employees in a relaxed and friendly manner.

Give a Warm Welcome

The first day is the ideal time for giving warm welcomes and setting a positive tone. Small gestures of hospitality can make a big difference and including them in a first-day team lunch or coffee catch-up goes a long way to helping them time to get settled into their new space.

When the employee is working on-site, take the time to give them a guided tour of your organisation’s physical spaces. Here is when it’s best to introduce your new employee to as many of their colleagues and clients as possible.

If your new team member will be working remotely or with colleagues who work remotely, arrange a virtual meeting to give everyone a chance to introduce themselves and say hello. The sooner that employees can put faces to names and start building relationships, even from a distance, the better!

Set Clear Expectations

When organisations need to hire social care workers to fill an urgent need (which is often), it can be difficult to determine a new employee’s proficiency in the first days of their placement.

However, setting clear expectations from the start is key to managing the complexity of hiring new employees. Outline what is expected from the employee in terms of job performance, care standards, conduct, and alignment with organisational values. In other words, don’t rely on the employee understanding the job description alone.

Employee onboarding is best regarded as a months-long process, so it’s important to establish regular check-ins to ensure new hires understand where they need to be at 30, 60 and 90 days into the role.

This clarity will give new employees a roadmap for their position and help them understand what milestones and standards they need to reach – all of which are key for delivering quality care and their career development.

Provide Essential Training

Every successful induction includes training that helps new employees learn the ins and outs of their new role, including policies and procedures. While mandatory training such as the Care Certificate is essential for new social care workers, additional training tailored to individual needs can significantly aid in their transition into the team.

In social care, where more than half of all new employees come from other sectors like retail and customer service, it’s doubly important to provide training and coaching to help new hires adjust to the new environment.

At Charles Hunter Associates, we understand how crucial training is for a successful onboarding process. That's why we go beyond the basics, providing access to continuous professional development (CPD) training. Our comprehensive CPD programmes are designed to enhance essential social care skills and knowledge, equipping workers to excel in diverse social care settings, including SEN schools.

Additionally, having an experienced team member shadow a new employee gives them an essential grounding in the daily aspects of social care work. We recommend pairing new employees with a buddy throughout their first day, week or even month, to answer their questions and help them approach unexpected situations.

Get Tailored Onboarding Support from Social Care Recruitment Specialists

Having a supportive onboarding process gives new employees the best possible impression of your organisation, which is crucial for employee retention. Remember to gather feedback regularly from new hires, to ensure they have adequate support throughout their first weeks.

For expert assistance in employee onboarding for social care roles, feel free to connect with the dedicated team at Charles Hunter Associates. Specialising in social care recruitment services for sectors including adult care, children’s homes, and mental health, our team is prepared to offer hands-on support throughout the onboarding process. Whether you're seeking assistance with roles like Care Workers, Care Managers, Care Home Managers, or Care Home Directors, we're here to help. Reach out to us today to learn more about how we can support your organisation.