A multidisciplinary team consisting of staff from each division was assembled to examine the current orientation and onboarding process and to determine where improvements could be made. The team implemented a Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA)/Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA) cycle. The program is to engage and empower new hires, volunteers, and interns. The process starts on their first scheduled day and ends 1 month later. Success will be measured by an evaluation of satisfactory or above on a follow-up survey of new staff and management after the onboarding process.
The team examined the current approach to orientation using a fishbone diagram and identified problems (listed above) to address. Next, using a control-influence matrix, the team chose which problems they could most effectively address. These included insufficient time being allotted to new hire tasks, inconsistency between divisions, providing too much information to retain at once, and having unclear expectations and unclear ownership of tasks.
The team then identified a list of potential solutions. Using a brainstorming activity and affinity diagram, they identified key topics to be covered. Potential solutions included creating a checklist, having online resources to replace the paper handbook, using source documents to avoid information becoming dated, ensuring that new hires are engaged in the process, and ensuring a better means of communicating between groups involved in the process.
The team developed the following improvement theory: “By creating an inclusive, connected, and current onboarding program, Cecil County Health Department will engage new staff in our mission and empower staff to be successful.”
To implement the solutions and test the improvement theory, the team created a new online orientation presentation, developed an onboarding checklist, created an online onboarding resource, created a survey to evaluate the effectiveness of the new orientation and onboarding process, and piloted the new process with two existing employees.
During the Study/Check phase, the team received positive feedback from the pilot and continues to receive feedback through a survey that is sent to new hires after the 30-day onboarding.
The team decided to adopt the changes, finalize the survey instrument, and educate supervisors and senior management about the new resources and expectations for the orientation and onboarding process.
Finally, the team established future plans to have divisions base their orientation on the department-wide orientation, create video introductions for each division, use developed materials to promote public health and CCHD at a local high school’s career day, and improve the follow-up tour procedures for CCHD.