Management Monday – your induction

How do you induct new team members into your practice?

Besides the obvious heath and safety, legal protocols and policies what else do you do?

I always remember a couple of times starting a new practice and they didn’t know what to do with me as the PM had a ‘sudden emergency’ during my induction – so I was asked to answer the phones. I was always surprised as I knew nothing about the practice – no more than a patient would at that point anyway (I am going back to pre-websites here).

I would always get a new patient, then fumble for the fees or have to ask someone – shocking? Maybe not.

When I took on new team members in my last role as a PM I never let them touch the phone until they could role play a new patient phone call perfectly with me, the cost of loosing a new patient through having someone take the call who was not skilled to convert was too high.

I didn’t mind being thrown in with a dentist, that was no big deal as I have temped many times as a dental nurse, and could work with anyone as well as get to grips with even the most unorganised surgery very quickly.

New team member inductions:

Shouldn’t just be about the fire escape route. Inductions should be fun for the employe, create excitement for them too.

Most people change jobs as they want a new challenge – your induction process can show them (at an interview) exactly what challenge you will provide them.


Every practice should have an initial 3-6 month training plan – what do you expect this employee to be able to do in 3 or 6 months time? Every person in the team should be responsible for helping the new employee learn these skills, the training needs to be completed and signed off.

Before this list is given to the new team member (NTM) a huge part of the induction should be about the practices brand. What is about? What message must it give out? What brand standards do you have? What behaviour is not expectable and what is essential?

Give the NTM an opportunity to ask you questions as a PM, let them give examples of each brand message you have explained.

Spend time asking them questions about the policies and systems, you have asked them to learn  prior to starting work – make sure they are committed.

Every PM can easily spend a day with each team member if not two!

Spending time at the start by having a strong induction process will ensure you have a committed team member and that 3-9 months down the line you are not having to end their contract as it is not working out.


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