From Guest Writers Mariana Diaz, Executive Coach and Don Khouri, Managing Director, Fortune Northeast

Creating and setting a culture that welcomes consistent feedback is crucial to improving team dynamics for many reasons. First, it helps to develop a sense of accountability and allows the team member to measure their success. Second, it helps to foster a learning environment for all to understand how to receive and practice feedback. When practices exercise feedback skills, we increase the likelihood of success. Practicing feedback increases the willingness for others to address weaknesses without becoming defensive. Self-awareness and openness create an environment where teams will see opportunities for improvement and ultimately drive behavior change.

We recommend that all team members receive a periodic Employee Performance Appraisal to objectively evaluate their performance. To setup the employee for success and maximum performance, follow these five steps.

Step 1. Design Your Performance Appraisal. The Appraisal can be divided into four areas: 

  • Primary Abilities (e.g. showing up consistently, attitude, ability to learn)
  • General Position Skills (e.g. knowledge, quality, problem solving, communication)
  • Management Traits (e.g. accomplishments, decision making, leadership)
  • Overall Performance (e.g. overall rating of performance)

Step 2. Identify a rating system for each item with the appraisal. For example:

  • Unsatisfactory/Needs Major Improvement: unacceptable performance
  • Below Average/Needs Minor Improvement: minimally acceptable performance
  • Average: acceptable performance that meets the job’s requirements.
  • Performs Very Well: above average performance that exceeds the job’s requirements.
  • Excels in Area: excellent performance that far exceeds the job’s requirements.

Step 3. We recommend that the team members complete a self-appraisal.

When they submit a self-appraisal, the doctor will have a good sense of where the focus of the conversation needs to be. The doctor will complete the appraisal as well. The benefit of this approach is that it highlights where you are aligned with the team member and where you see performance differently.

Step 4. Prepare for the conversation.

It is helpful for your conversation with the employee to highlight 2-3 areas that are strengths, and 2-3 areas for improvement. A long laundry list of items will get lost. A short list will help create focus for the doctor and team member.

Step 5. Schedule the Conversation. To ensure the best results, keep these guidelines in mind:

  • Appraisals are confidential.
  • The doctor presents the appraisal to the team member being reviewed.
  • For any area the team member receives a rating below average rating, that area will be candidly discussed and action steps put in place to raise that rating by the time of a follow-up review (within 60 days).
  • Appraisals are conducted for all employees on at least an annual basis. Newer employees are also evaluated within 90-days with the practice.

Following these five steps will for performance appraisals will help the practice build high performing teams and maximize performance. You can download a sample Employee Performance Appraisal by clicking here: www.fortunenortheast.com/performance-appraisal.

You can also schedule a complimentary 30-minute coaching call with a Fortune executive coach to help you prepare for a performance discussion. https://www.fortunenortheast.com/30-min-coaching-call.

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