By Bridget Burris
Where does the time go? How can I get all my work done and still create a culture where I have a happy team? One of the best ways is to have definite and consistent communication with your team as a whole as well as specific feedback for each team member on a regular, scheduled basis. Nothing makes an employee feel less appreciated than a broken promise. How do they trust us and how can we expect them to perform to the best of their ability if we are not willing to take the time to guide them and course correct if necessary? We all say we will do regular performance reviews but how many of us actually do them? I’m not sure about you but I have always found I put off performance reviews until I absolutely have to because they simply take too much time. One of the ways to avoid this dilemma is by allowing the team member to be involved in the process through self evaluation. I’ve attached a sample form and you can see that this one page document makes the job of evaluation much easier and faster. Simply give a blank copy to the employee one week before your scheduled performance evaluation meeting and have them complete it. You will need to complete one for each employee too. Do not collect the employee’s paperwork ahead of time – have the employee hand their completed form to you at the review. The process of the review itself is simple and the first step is for both of you to compare the similarities and differences between your evaluation forms. Next go through each and every line item and explain why you scored the employee the way you did – both good and bad. Finally and most importantly, detail the areas the employee needs improvement as well as helping the employee create specific, measurable goals with definitive timelines. This always works better if the employee is involved in creating those goals and works BEST if the employee originates the ideas for their goals. You can help them do this and flesh out the details for their goals.
One of the main reasons employees want performance reviews is that they are all hoping to get a pay raise so you need to decide if the review warrants a pay increase or not. Whether or not you increase the employee’s pay is complicated and includes factors like how your business is doing and what the comps for this position are but the employee must be performing above expectations to have a shot at getting a raise. If you want to bind performance reviews and pay increases then work with the employee on creating goals that bring more revenue to the practice and then set a time up to evaluate the achievement of those goals. I feel that this shows employees clearly that achieved goals which benefit the practice equate to more money for the employee. A true win-win! The goals vary by position but some easy metrics could be:
- An office manager has a goal to implement a lifetime retainer program by a certain date and at a certain utilization level
- A TC has a conversion rate goal, a goal for closing pending patients or a goal for the percentage of new patients signing up for lifetime retainers
- A chairside has a goal for ask fors or for selling lifetime retainers at debond and retainer appointments
Probably the thing I love best about this form is that it shares the responsibility for the all important task of performance evaluations between you and the team member. I think you’ll find using this method will benefit you, your team and your practice. Le me know how it goes! Good luck 🙂