Orientation for Training and Retention


Well•Spring has high standards for resident care, their mission is simply to exceed the needs of a diverse and evolving population of older adults. Residents expect and deserve the best at this life plan community. To equip staff to meet these high standards, they needed to establish a process for training and retention.


Well•Spring’s orientation process for new hires is extensive and incorporates peer teaching throughout. They use a mentor program to train new staff. In addition, all staff are trained in the skilled nursing setting before they may rotate to any other care area.

Implementation Details

  • Orientation is held every other week. New CNAs complete general orientation and then meet with the scheduler to establish their training with a mentor. They also receive a schedule for orientation on the floor.
  • New employees are assigned to work with other mentors and staff on skilled nursing to learn the protocols and expectations that Well•Spring has for resident care. They receive at least 4 shifts of orientation in the skilled nursing section. The ability to successfully work in this area, with the most care-dependent of all residents, assures that employees are equipped and able to work in any setting. Each day of their orientation, the new employee assumes more and more responsibility for their assignment until they can take the lead. If they are interested in working on other units or shifts, they are scheduled for more orientation on those shifts or units.
  • New employees complete an evaluation of their orientation process, which includes factors that assess the application, onboarding, and training aspects, as well as feedback from their mentors, co-workers, and supervisors.
  • Mentors have been trained regarding their role to help new employees achieve success in their positions and within the organization.

Factors for Success

  • Allowing time for new staff to learn expectations and standards
  • Providing good, comprehensive orientation and feedback to new employees for their success
  • Offering additional training if the new employee and the mentor/trainer feel it is needed
  • Additional monetary rewards and special recognition/status for mentors


  • New employees are well acclimated and can assimilate the type of care and service that is expected.
  • By pairing up with seasoned team members, they have resources for their training, to answer their questions, and to provide guidance. This practice helps with retention and with resident and staff satisfaction.
  • Turnover rates are low and are primarily due to changes for personal needs.

Need more information? Contact Misti Ridenour, director of health services, at Well-Spring.

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