Two successive PDCA cycles were used for the Onboarding Process Improvement project. The PDPH PMU guided the project team through the cycles. The PMU facilitated meetings, developed plans to test the solutions, provided technical assistance for the solutions, and otherwise provided support to ensure that the PDCA process was followed and maintained momentum. The first solution was for PDPH HRO staff to use Google Drive to electronically provide new hires with required documents before their appointment. Before testing this solution, staff prepared by taking the following steps:
• Create a PDPH HRO Google account.
• Create three Google Drive folders to manage the information based on employee union affiliation.
• Revise and update documents to be placed on Google Drive.
• Edit existing welcome letters to include a list of documents, hyperlinks to Google Drive, and required actions before appointment processing.
Beginning in June 2016, the PDPH HRO Clerk 3s sent all new employees scheduled for appointment processing the revised letter and checklist via e-mail. The e-mail also included instructions to view the required PDPH confidentiality training before the appointment at the PDPH HRO. This new process addressed paper consumption by reducing the amount of paper printed by 88.2%. It also addressed time spent to onboard a new employee by reducing the median time per appointment by 8.8%.
The PDPH PMU administered and analyzed the results of a satisfaction survey to new hires who had a processing appointment during the test period (June 2016 through September 2016) to gather feedback on the new process. The PMU held a project team meeting to discuss the results. On the basis of the favorable customer satisfaction survey responses and the measured paper reduction, the team decided that using Google Drive to provide new employees with required paperwork was effective and efficient, so the solution was fully implemented.
However, using Google Drive did not significantly affect appointment processing time. In November 2016, the Onboarding Process Improvement project team began a second PDCA cycle to address the amount of time dedicated to the onboarding of new full-time PDPH employees. At this time, individual appointments were scheduled with a Clerk 3 at the PDPH HRO before the new hire's start date. These appointments lasted 63 minutes (median) and accounted for 653 minutes monthly (mean) of all Clerk 3s’ time. Individual, anonymous voting (using nominal group technique) landed on “out-of-date processes” as the main reason why new hire appointments were too lengthy and identified “batch processing” to be the best solution to test. Before testing this solution, staff prepared by determining the HRO staff roles and responsibilities, mapping out the new process, and creating an orientation presentation.
Beginning on July 17, 2017, all new employees were onboarded at a group orientation. These new hire orientations were held every other Monday at 9 a.m. To measure the impact of batch processing, data were collected from July 17, 2017, through September 25, 2017. PDPH HRO staff measured the amount of time the new process took, and the PMU assessed customer satisfaction with the new process through an online survey. The amount of time spent with new hires was reduced, and new hires experienced an efficient onboarding process that required just one visit to the PDPH HRO. The visit took place on their start date, rather than before it. In addition, new hires could interact with PDPH HRO staff and other new hires during the group orientation. Accordingly, PDPH HRO staff plan to fully implement the new process.