In this first video, Emily Musing of the Canadian Patient Safety Institute speaks about several key elements to consider when a new employee joins the workplace.
Notice how the starting point is an assessment of the new employee’s strengths, followed by areas where they need support and further training. Accepting an IEHP as they are and helping them further develop helps foster a comfortable environment in the workplace where people can ask questions and learn.
Here is a New Staff Orientation worksheet. You can use this to develop your own ideas, and as a way to think concretely about issues your new employees need to consider.
Andrea Strachan is the Director of the Communication Competency Program at Touchstone Institute. In this next video, she puts us in the shoes of a new employee and helps us consider the perspective of a newcomer in the workplace. As she explains, it’s less about whether someone was educated overseas or in Canada, and more important to consider the common denominators for everyone who is just starting a new job, including the need for a supportive work community.
Take Andrea’s aspiration for IEHP—and all new employees—to find a supportive workplace community as a challenge: how well do you feel your organization does this? Do the words “accepting” and “supportive” describe your workplace?
We also need to think about the opposite of acceptance, which is exclusion. For regulated healthcare professionals who are competent at their jobs, any exclusion that they experience may likely be in the realm of social relationships with colleagues.
All of us have experienced the feeling of not making it – of not being included. Whether it’s not making a team you tried out for, or failing to win a medal, or not being invited to a party, we all know what it’s like to feel that we are on the outside.
Imagine moving through relentless and repeated encounters in which you are not accepted, in which the decision has been made that you are not “in”. What is the cumulative effect on someone after days, weeks, or even years of being set apart from others? Although it is difficult to conceive the routine discomfort that others might experience, let’s try and imagine how we would cope at work if…
When you imagine yourself in any of these situations how do think your work life might be affected? What would the costs to you be physically and emotionally? And what impact would there be on your relationships with friends and colleagues? Bear in mind that IEHPs may begin their journey in Canada feeling like “outsiders.” The details of their lived experiences may differ from the examples in the video, but they know very well the anxious desire to be accepted by the people around them. (Have a look at Course 2: The Integration Journey for further insights.)
An orientation to the workplace should emphasize the importance of open communication. Your new employees should know who they can go to with any struggles or concerns. The team member(s) assigned to that role should feel comfortable dealing with sensitive information and situations.
A workforce that is accepting and supportive is one which loses fewer team members to stress- or anxiety-related issues. It reduces staff turnover and improves the well-being of its team members, which in turn improves the quality of care offered.