By Paul Surridge – Chief Executive Sight Care Group
We’re all busy, and being busy can often lead to complacency believing what we do today will probably work tomorrow, and, the job people do within the practice on a daily basis is just that… the job they do, but that’s dangerous thinking, and can lead to under-performance. Discussing business objectives individually and within the team dynamic encourages ideas that may well raise revenues, reduce costs or improve the patient journey. This synergistic way of working enables performance appraisals, which are a two-way process, to have real meaning.
THE BASIS OF THE APPRAISAL PROCESS
The role of a manager can be wide ranging. Not all managers have responsibility for staff of course but when they do they take on a significant weight of responsibility. It’ the Manager’s job to motivate people to perform against pre-determined objectives and that requires effective communication.
So, for performance appraisals to work effectively they shouldn’t be confined to a once a year exchange. There needs to be an ongoing dialogue. The year-end appraisal itself is a two-way process giving the interviewer an opportunity to review the individuals past performance highlighting their strengths and positive contribution, but also identifying areas for improvement against pre-agreed aims and objectives. The interviewee should be given ample notice of the date, time, agenda and format of the process, and provided an opportunity to table specific topics they’d like to discuss. At all times they should be able to respond to every aspect of the assessment as it unfolds highlighting their contribution to the business, and any future training they feel would enhance their value to the business. The appraisal should, in my opinion, be separated from any discussion about salary reviews and/or terms and conditions of employment.
The aim of performance appraisals is to create a positive, goal-oriented environment that thrives on success and achievement where communication is at the heart of the process. When annual appraisals are dreaded by staff, and seen as a chore by Managers, it’s safe to say they don’t work, and more than that, they risk undermining relationships and business prospects.