Do you perform regular performance appraisals or reviews in your workplace? Do your team members view their performance appraisal as an important aspect of their career development, or do feel that you may be missing opportunities to get the very best from your team?
The skills required to develop and run an effective and positive appraisal system are skills that are learnt, developed and practised, and the appraisal process needs to be shaped and adapted to your individual team and practice requirements. Yet many practice leaders find themselves in this position of responsibility of team development, without necessarily possessing the tools to help them, and appraisals can turn into an annual, and at worst, negative experience for staff, where only staff weaknesses are highlighted and discussed, and the opportunities for progression missed. Team members may dread their appraisal, and the team leader may dread holding them! In fact the opposite should be true, they really can be a wonderful tool that can transform team outlook.
The performance appraisal system is a fundamental component of team development. It allows review of the individual progress of your team members, to identify any areas that can be worked on and improved, yes; but also to offer the opportunity to build on team member strengths and characteristics, so that they can be developed and nurtured.
You may be missing a key characteristic of one or many of your team members that could be an asset to the practice, and would also help that team member to feel more engaged in their role, keen to learn more in a particular area, and to feel more happy and satisfied in their job. Unless opportunity is given for these interests to be discovered and discussed, they may never be utilised.
Maybe you have a nurse, for example, who has a strong interest in ongoing nursing care of geriatric patients. Currently they may only see one or two geriatric patients a month in routine nurse clinics. Offer them the opportunity to develop this, and they may go on to do geriatric specific CPD, create a geriatric care package, improving care of these patients in your practice, increasing revenue, creating 'talk' amongst clients about how great this service is. Leave it uncovered and this interest will never be aired, and your staff member may move to another practice where his or her ambitions may be better fulfilled. It only takes a simple conversation, some guidance and support, opportunity for further review - all of which can be a part of that appraisal process.
Another key part of the appraisal process is to set out aims and objectives for staff members, that also align with your practice goals, and this is also a key component in developing not only your team, but your practice. It is clear to see that if staff members goals or career aims are in alignment with the practice's future plans, then this is going to have a more positive outcome for both parties!
You may well already be carrying out appraisals with your team, and if you are already in a leadership role, then that is very likely (hopefully!) to be true - but to ensure you're getting the very best out of this opportunity, why not explore it in a little more depth?
ONCORE have enlisted their specialist HR tutor, Nicky Ackerley, to run and tutor their online module - part of their Leadership and Management Skills series - entitled 'Performance Appraisals - supporting staff development.' Run over 3 weeks, the course allows participants to look at current systems, examine the skills and processes that will help make them even better, and create useful guidance and documentation to take back to the workplace.
ONCORE courses allow for discussion, sharing of experiences and for a personalised learning experience - allowing you to join up with other practice team leaders and share issues and solutions, but also to create something from the course that will work in your individual practice.
This module adds to ONCORE's Leadership and Management Skills series, which include a variety of key areas of learning for those in a position of leadership in practice. All modules are supported by tutors perfectly equipped to guide participants through the subject area.