April 25, 2019
Inside: The first day of work sets the tone for the rest of the job. Learn how to hit all the right notes for a new employee’s first day.
First impressions are everything, so when you’re introducing a new employee to the job, you want to make sure everything goes smoothly.
While getting your new employee entirely up to speed will probably take several weeks, the first day can make or break a new hire’s impression of your pharmacy. An employee who feels welcomed, confident, and excited will perform better sooner and stick around longer.
Here’s how to get organized to ensure you’re putting your best foot forward when introducing a new employee to your pharmacy.
Don’t waste a good chunk of your new employee’s first morning on the job by piling on the paperwork. Instead, streamline the first day by sending all of the necessary forms in advance.
Instruct them to fill out the paperwork before they start their first day, so once they arrive they can hit the ground running.
Before the first day, you should also give your new employee a phone call. This will make them feel welcome and help soothe any new job jitters.
Use this opportunity to go over all of the little questions about the job that are probably running through their mind: what to wear, what time to arrive, where to park, and who to ask for when they get there.
To ensure a friendly reception, make an announcement to your current staff members before the new employee starts.
Let them know a little bit about the new employee’s background, what they’ll be doing at the pharmacy, and when they’ll be starting.
Giving current team members a heads up about your new employee will encourage them to break the ice and prepare them to help out on the first day.
Think about what your new employee will need to do their job on a daily basis. Does that include a name tag? What about an email address? Or a locker?
Make sure that all of those things are prepared before they come in on their first day. If you’re scrambling to get accounts set up or searching for an empty space for them to put their things, you’ll make your new team member feel like an afterthought.
In addition to these necessities, go the extra mile and prepare a welcome gift. Nothing extravagant is needed, but you can anticipate their needs: pens, a small snack, and company-branded swag like a water bottle or notebook will help them feel like part of the team.
The first part of the first day should be taken up by an orientation. Even though it might seem like a stuffy convention, it’s crucial.
During your orientation, take special care to go over your pharmacy’s employee handbook, answering any questions your new employee might have about its content.
Be prepared for questions about sick time, vacation time, and other benefits.
If your pharmacy has any quirks in its culture—like on Wednesdays everyone wears pink—orientation would be a good time to go over those. This is also when you’ll go over personal conduct expectations and your pharmacy’s professional ethics.
What you won’t be doing during orientation is talking about the specific duties of the position.
Show your new employee around the pharmacy, taking special care to introduce them to everyone and making sure to briefly explain each team member’s role.
Introductions, even if brief, help new team members become oriented, even if they don’t remember everybody’s name the first time.
When questions inevitably arise, they’ll be more comfortable approaching other team members when they understand everyone else’s roles.
After your new hire has experienced a warm welcome, you can get down to brass tacks. Go over the fundamentals of what the position will entail.
Paint a broad picture of what an average day looks like on the job. Shadowing another employee for an hour or two is a great way for your new hire to get a feel for they’re role as well as get to know their new co-workers.
If there are any goals or benchmarks you want them to work towards, make them clear now.
Don’t expect your new hire to do everything in their job description on their first day. They’ve already been inundated with information, so the nuances and minutiae of the position could slip through the cracks.
If there’s a complex and intricate software they’ll need to learn, save that for day two.
Make your new employee feel necessary by assigning them a task they can do well.
If there’s something that they’ll be doing every single day in her position, it’s probably a great starting point.
Allow for more time than you would normally expect the assignment to take, and make sure someone is available to answer any questions your new hire might have.
After they’re done, go over it with them. Gently correct mistakes and identify potential issues, taking care to explain the “why” behind all of your suggestions.
And, of course, be sure to praise the things they’ve done well.
Before your employee leaves, make sure to touch base. Ask them how they’re settling in, and if they have any concerns about the job.
Take this time to reinforce that you’re thrilled to have them as a team member and are looking forward to working with them.
It’s a small gesture that might be forgotten, but it can go a long way in making your new employee feel at ease.
There are lots of ways you can go above and beyond to make your new employee’s first day great.
Start the day with donuts, play an icebreaker game, or go out for happy hour after closing. Make sure to include the whole staff. Dedicate some time to having fun, so your new employee will look forward to coming into the pharmacy on day two.
PBA Health is dedicated to helping independent pharmacies reach their full potential on the buy side of their business. The company is an independently owned pharmacy services organization based in Kansas City, Mo., that serves independent pharmacies with group purchasing services, expert contract negotiations, distribution services, and more.
PBA Health, an HDA member, operates its own VAWD-certified warehouse with more than 6,000 SKUs, including brands, generics, narcotics CII-CV, cold-storage products, and over-the-counter (OTC) products.
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