9.2.11 Issue #495 info@mckenziemgmt.com 1-877-777-6151 Forward This Newsletter

Belle DuCharme CDPMA
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The Performance Evaluation is a Necessary Task
Belle DuCharme, CDPMA

Dear Belle,

I hate staff performance appraisals, so I avoid doing them at all costs. I don’t feel I am effective and I don’t like the negative feeling I get before I give one. What is the proper way to give my employees a fair value judgment of their work? 

Dr. Able Payem

When there is a cancelation, you are judging your Business Coordinator, when there is a failure to set up the bridge prep tray correctly, you are judging your Dental Assistant, when there are no notes for clinical findings on the hygiene patient, you are judging your Dental Hygienist.  But you should be judging their performance on the job. Every employee should be told how you view his or her work on a regular basis. This evaluation should not come as a surprise once a year, but should occur as feedback on a day-to-day basis. When the performance occurs is the time to tell your employees whether it is good or needs improvement. Compliment your dental assistant for her/his technical skills in front of the patients, let your business coordinator know if the schedule worked for you and tell the hygienist when you hear her/him encouraging patients to get their treatment scheduled.

If there are negatives to discuss, wait until you are calm, select a location free of interruptions and make sure no one else can hear your discussion. The behavior or act should be the focus and not the personality or motivation of the person. Stick to the here and now and avoid broad generalizations like “You never get anything done on time.” Ask for information and don’t jump to conclusions.  Ask: “What happened yesterday, you usually let me know when a specialist calls about a patient?” Instead of “You are not sensitive to the fact that the specialist needs to speak to me.”

For infractions, suggest a plan of improvement. If additional training is in order, then set up a plan of action for the employee to get the training they need to improve skills.  Check to make sure there is understanding by continuing the message that teamwork and improvement is for the betterment of the practice, not just the individual.

Set performance goals for the year based on the job description of the employee and the specific improvement agenda. The annual performance review is a formal summary of previous discussions about work performance over a year’s time. Performance evaluations should include the following:

  • Review the primary job description and update it if other tasks have been delegated to this person, so that it accurately depicts the duties they are to perform.
  • Review the employee’s information by rereading their employee file and their previous year’s evaluation. Remember the review is for the entire year, not just the last couple of months.
  • Review performance using The Performance Measurement book that can be obtained through McKenzie Managements’ website under management products.  The forms in this book will assist you in assessing the specific responsibilities of each position, as well as general aspects of work behavior such as attendance and dependability.
  • Review the employee’s feedback about their assessment of their job strengths and areas that need improvement. Asking the employee to review their own performance will give you their perspective and give them an opportunity to assess themselves and make suggestions for their improvement.
  • Review goals that have been met and set new goals for the coming year.  Invite feedback during the year and both agree to discuss issues as they arise.

Most employees are seeking a place to work where they feel appreciated and valued.  High employee morale is necessary for the success of any business, but especially in dentistry where the interaction with patients in a close and personal environment fosters trust. Employees need to feel that their contributions are important and that they can make a difference in the lives of the patients that they help daily in the office. Mutual respect and having a sense of “ownership” are qualities that ensure the success of the dental practice. As an employer, it is important that the dentist embrace the performance evaluation as an opportunity to communicate with the team and to bring the performance of the practice to a higher level.

If you would like more information on McKenzie Management’sTraining Programs  to improve the performance of your team, email training@mckenziemgmt.com

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