Most organizations have a method of training new employees prior to or just at the beginning of their position tenure. Unfortunately, this often involves overwhelming the employee with large amounts of information and requirements in a short period of time. At the same time, they are also learning new responsibilities and their co-workers’ names and, even, where to get good coffee locally. This can lead to "brain-overload" and missed training opportunities.
Here are three ways that can help your training program to promote greater system efficiency and functionality usage in your high turnover staff positions.
1. Split new employee training into two sessions separated by time.
Humans are limited in how much they can learn and retain in a limited amount of time. When starting a new job there are some basics new employees need before they can begin working. For example, how to log on and handle basic functions are key in addition to learning and understanding HIPAA privacy and security. The nuances of the system that drive efficiency cannot really be learned until the employee learns their job expectations and needs. Therefore, it is ideal to break training into multiple sessions and allow employees to come back for the second (or even third) session after working in their position for some time.
This may seem like it will require additional training hours and coordination but there is minimal impact. Instead, a full day of training becomes two half days. You can even make training one full day by creating two sessions: a morning session for brand-new employees and an afternoon for employees with 45 days tenure, for example.
From an educational standpoint, this is ideal because employees can process more information. The instructor can assess and reteach the initial information, as needed. In addition, employees have the opportunity to ask questions based on their actual positions and day-to-day tasks.
2. Schedule trainer time in clinics, at nurse stations and in the back office.
Have trainers spend 15% to 25% of their time sitting with the employee groups they train. Much of this time should be focused on watching, not training. What problems recur throughout the system? How has the process been tweaked and improved by groups of employees? What “cheats” are in place that may lead to downstream system issues or rejections? Is the system failing to meet the needs of a certain department?
In an ideal environment, you can create a checklist of items you want the trainers to look for and report on. Then schedule meetings with all of your trainers and the system analyst and/or key business owners to address system and training needs that are being identified.
If this is paired with a refresher training on-site for the department, you can meet multiple needs with one trip while staying connected to the system users and the customer.
3. Retrain at promotion.
Employees who are promoted within a department are usually the most missed group from training. It is usually assumed that these employees have the system knowledge needed or will receive it in one-on-one training within the department. While this is usually the quickest and most efficient manner to get an employee in place and able to assume new responsibilities, system efficiency and knowledge is lost through this process.
This manner of training resembles the old game of “telephone." One person tells another and he tells another, and she another...all the way down the line. At each point in the telling, something is changed or lost. As a result, this style of training leads to loss of system efficiency. New trainees are not aware of the full capabilities of the system. The ideal mechanism to avoid this is to have transfer employees attend some or all of the training they would receive if they were new employees in the position.
High turnover positions in the organization usually make up the front line of the business. These staff members have the most influence on the customer and often are the first step in both care and revenue collection. Their impact on the organization successfully meeting goals is enormous and therefore the success of their training is critical to organizational success.
For more information on optimizing training for your staff, check out and download our roadmap Driving Adoption: 3 Steps to Clinical Readiness.