Oct. 17, 2022 — Starting a new professional role can be nerve-wracking, whether you’re beginning a postdoctoral fellowship, beginning your first faculty position or becoming a new department chair.
With more than 100 faculty hired at the College of Medicine annually, the human resources and faculty affairs offices are joining forces to develop a comprehensive and inclusive onboarding program and provide tools that will set them up for success for years to come. The partnership has resulted in a suite of onboarding resources for the College of Medicine community, an effort recently developed as part of the people pillar of the strategic plan.
Project co-champion Joey Goodman, SHRM-SCP, a College of Medicine HR business partner who will lead the project alongside associate HR director Aigi Adesogan, said the project’s goal is to build upon the great foundation the college already has in its onboarding materials and to increase consistency across all 28 departments.
“We spend a lot of time and energy on recruitment, but many times, that person won’t begin in their role with us for several months,” Goodman said. “One of our first goals for this project was to establish that onboarding begins the day the offer letter is signed. At that point, we want to build upon the work we’ve been doing with recruitment and prepare the new employee and their family to come to the University of Florida and learn more about Gainesville.”
The team working on this project has identified four phases for integrating a new employee into the college: preboarding, orientation, initial role development and enhanced performance development.
While preboarding involves helping the new hire and their family feel welcome on campus and around town, orientation lays the groundwork for connecting with College of Medicine leaders and colleagues. This is already achieved through the college’s faculty orientation event, which is being evaluated to see how it might be enhanced.
During initial role development, when an employee is in their first three to six months on the job, they will receive personalized tools and training to help them acclimate to the position.
As part of enhanced performance development, faculty will learn more about personal branding and other mentoring opportunities that can better prepare them for goals and promotions, including beginning the tenure process.
Project team members are developing a survey that will be distributed to faculty who were hired within the past three years. The questionnaire will gauge their experiences in onboarding so the team can better understand what has worked well and where there are opportunities for improvement.
“When you think about it, it makes sense for us to give new hires all the tools they need to ensure their success,” said Mark S. Segal, M.D., the senior associate dean for faculty affairs and professional development. “Doing the little things — making sure they meet with senior leadership, providing opportunities for relevant training and getting them started on the tenure and promotion process early on — all adds up to make our colleagues feel valued and respected.”