The Neophyte’s Primer

This month, we reveal an easy-to-follow training guide for a new dispenser’s first week on the job

Got a newbie on staff? Their first week on the job is a crucial time for training.

In fact, research shows that more than 40% of turnover happens within the first month, with another 10% leaving before their first anniversary.

To get it right with new hires in the optical, EB spoke with several of our consulting ECPs on the subject, including private practice O.D.s, dispensary managers, franchisees, and training experts. The result: our first-week, on-the-job training guide and onboarding checklist right here.


Employees are 58% more likely to still be with an employer after three years if they went through a well-structured onboarding process as new hires.


Remember: This is just the beginning of the learning experience for your new hire. Training is never over. —STEPHANIE K. DE LONG

The EB Onboarding Checklist

DAY #1

Walk the walk: Make intros to all staff, take facility tour, etc.

Set expectations for the job/for the week.

Review job description/provide paperwork packet.

Schedule lunch with mentor/co-workers.

Address culture, dress + practice policies/procedures in company manual. (You do have one, right?)

Review + questions at end of day.

DAY #2

Begin shadowing with a veteran employee.

Intro to all areas...front desk (phones/scheduling), exam room(s), lab, and—of course—dispensary.

Explain prescriptions and correlation to product.

Do a deeper dive into computer systems, programs, insurance, ordering.

Have new hire shadow a complete transaction.

Schedule touchy-feely time with optical products.

DAY #3

Shadowing continues...including patient interactions start to finish.

Dispensing to present, select product, etc.

More computer time...ordering, insurance, etc.

Discuss what/why/who about key products, lab, and suppliers.

Explain prescriptions and correlation to frames/lenses.

DAY #4

Assign one-on-one time with all departments.

Switch roles: The “trainer” now shadows the trainee.

Supplement (but don’t overload) training with vendor videos, online training modules, webinars, etc.

Manage, with supervision, a complete patient experience, from entry to departure.

DAY #5

Review Week One and encourage questions.

Ask what the new employee wants to go over again.

Complete remaining paperwork.

Conduct a shadowed transaction—from greeting and product presentation through sale completion.

Invite in a key rep for product education and presentation.

Provide feedback on performance, attitude, etc.
     Be specific.