Is this how your healthcare employees feel?
We recently asked a few healthcare workers about the top reasons why healthcare employees are not engaged. One RN told us “after over 40 years of nursing…this year we were handed blank yearly evaluation forms by our supervisors and told to fill them out and comment on our performance. This may be a new age, but what that screams to me is ‘you are not worth the time it takes me to evaluate your work performance.’”
Do you want to retain those top performers so they can continue to care for your patients? Let them know that you care. Don’t just hand them a blank evaluation form and tell them to fill it out – make sure that they are getting feedback throughout the year, and provide them with a helpful, thoughtful performance evaluation as well as the training and learning opportunities to continue to grow and learn. It’s not just a matter of numbers, or ratings; performance assessments are personal.
How can you make sure your employees don’t feel neglected?
Start with continuous feedback. If your healthcare staff members are receiving continuous feedback that is then tied to their performance assessment, they would know that the organization cares enough about them as individuals. An employee’s manager can derive this feedback from journaling about the employee throughout the year to document achievements and moments when that employee was caught simply performing their job well. A recent study found that 72% of respondents believe their performance would improve if provided with correct feedback1. Feedback should not be relegated to an annual or quarterly closed door meeting. With the right tools it can happen continuously when and how it is convenient for both parties.
Train your managers to give effective feedback. Managers are often unaware of the important role they serve in the employee development process, but making managers aware of just how important they are in shaping their employees is only the first step. Show your leaders and managers what good feedback looks like. Managers should be given access to self-service management learning through their own collaborative development portal, such as the PeopleFluent Talent Development Mirror. Giving constructive feedback should be a required course in your leadership development program. Let feedback serve a bigger purpose. Be sure that the feedback ties back to employees’ goals and competencies and check that all feedback is readily available to managers during any formal evaluation events. Most of our healthcare employees want constructive feedback, and certainly those high-performers do. They want to continually improve and they look for how they can do even better the next time.
Make it easy and fast to give constructive feedback. ‘One of the most common [barriers], if not the most common, is lack of time’ Dr. Joseph Gigante at Vanderbilt University notes. It’s no surprise – your managers are busy. Make it easier and faster for them and make feedback something people actually do with technology to streamline the process.
Invite more perspective. It’s not only managers who witness an employee’s performance, particularly with those managers who have a wide span of control. So make it easy for all employees and managers to provide feedback with tools like anytime-anywhere feedback, multi-rater and 360 degree review tools. That will help ensure your staff receive well-rounded, comprehensive feedback.
Make sure you know who your hidden star performers are and give them the recognition they deserve. Find those star performers by analyzing the performance and key metrics from other sources such as HCAHPS. Correlate and incorporate those metrics with the individual performance reviews.
Connect learning management systems with performance and talent development systems. The most ambitious employees are those that are continually improving their skills. Make sure you are enabling your employees to do just that with suggested learning opportunities that are presented to them from their talent profiles. Maybe it’s a particular clinical competency, soft skills, or diversity and cultural awareness training.
‘Healthcare support occupations and healthcare practitioners and technical occupations are projected to be the two fastest growing occupational groups during the 2014 to 2024 projections decade. These groups are projected to contribute the most new jobs, with a combined increase of 2.3 million in employment, representing about 1 in 4 new jobs.’2 In order to retain your most talented healthcare employees, you need to focus on attracting, and then retaining your high performing staff. By letting your employees know that you care with continuous feedback from a wide variety of colleagues and appropriately presented learning and development opportunities, they will know that you do care, that they are worth the time, and they will be able to focus more on patient care.
1Zenger, J. and Folkman, J., “Your Employees Want the Negative Feedback You Hate to Give,” Harvard Business Review, January 15, 2014. (https://hbr.org/2014/01/your-employees-want-the-negative-feedback-you-hate-to-give/)
2 “Employment Projects – 2014-23”, Bureau of Labor Statistics U.S. Department of Labor, December 18, 2015. (http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/ecopro.pdf)