If you break out in a sweat when it’s time to conduct employee performance reviews, you’re not alone. For many medical office managers, this is a difficult but necessary step in developing your team. Your staff probably dreads it as much as you, but performance reviews are an important way to gauge your employees’ work successes and stressors, and create better overall communication.
The goal is to take a positive approach and avoid a few common errors. This will help put everyone at ease, including yourself. So, we put together some do’s and don’ts to use as a guide to help your next round of performance reviews go smoothly.
The Actual Review—Six Steps to Success
Conducting an effective performance review takes practice. Here are some essential steps for conducting a successful performance review.
- We can’t emphasize the importance of preparation. Don't write up your reviews the week before the meetings. Providing employees with specific examples that pinpoint what they have accomplished throughout the year will demonstrate that you are paying attention.
- Involve your employees in the process by allowing them to self-review. A month before the appraisal give them the same form you use to evaluate their performance. There are both advantages and disadvantages to doing this. Most likely, however, you will learn how they see their performance from their perspective. It also gives your employees the opportunity to show you they take their jobs and careers seriously.
- Review the current job description for the position that each employee holds. Do they meet the minimum standards, or go well beyond the established standards? Does the job description appear on target or has it evolved? While reviewing any changes to the employee's current responsibilities, make notes and update the job description, if necessary.
- Before the appraisal, determine those job functions that are essential for the successful completion of tasks. Does the employee perform these well?
- Effective communication is the key to a positive outcome. You can't have a successful performance review without providing specific feedback. When defining a problem area there are four steps to resolution. They include discussing it with the employee, outlining the solution, providing training if applicable, and setting a specific goal and time frame for improvement.
- Future planning is relaying new goals and objectives to improve performance. To ensure success, make sure goals are measurable and have a specific timeline for accomplishment.
How to Avoid These Four Common Rating Errors
We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t make mistakes. Learning from our mistakes leads to personal and professional growth. When performing an employee job appraisal it is best to steer clear of these common errors:
- Tying the performance evaluation to money. A salary review should be separate from a performance review.
- Rating employees that you don’t know well is a disservice to them and you. To solve the problem take out a few minutes of your day to become familiar with your employees, the jobs they do, and what they like most about their positions. Getting to know them on a personal level also helps to build great rapport.
- Letting the halo effect, also known as cognitive bias, dominate the evaluation. According to Psychology Today, the halo effect occurs when an initial positive judgement about a person unconsciously colors the perception of the individual as a whole. In other words, it is unfair to the employee to rate them highly because they perform one aspect of their job well. All areas of an employee’s performance should be rated equally.
- Overrating an employee’s performance is not only only misleading and unfair, it also removes an employee’s ability to view themselves realistically.
Want to Build Your Personnel Management Skills?
You put your best foot forward each day and you expect nothing less from your team. Learn how to constructively evaluate their performances with best practices, in-depth knowledge and confidence. Our Certified Medical Office Manager (CMOM) program course covers this crucial topic In Module 2: Personnel Management in the Medical Practice. But that’s not all. Other topics include Coping Strategies and Tips for Dealing with Difficult Employees, How to Effectively Terminate an Employee, Improving Absenteeism, and Employee Counseling, to name a few. Enroll today!