This healthcare organization provides a wide array of services including inpatient services, transitional care services, and outpatient treatment and testing.
A few years ago, the facility changed its performance appraisal methodology. It shifted from a subjective performance appraisal system to a more objective rating system that focused on the actions and behaviors of the employee. This shift can be considered as a good move because the use of behavior-based scales tends to overcome evaluation errors that plague more subjective evaluations. Employee evaluations in this organization were performed once a year.
The performance appraisal system was instituted in this healthcare organization as a four-step process:
Step 1: The employee performs a self-appraisal first by completing an appraisal sheet and then submitting it to his or her supervisor. Employees generally welcome use of self-appraisal, and it tends to decrease defensiveness about the process.
Step 2: The supervisor then responds to the same questions the employee had previously answered based on his or her perceptions and observations of the employee’s performance.
Step 3: Finally, the supervisor and employee meet and discuss the ratings on the evaluation.
Step 4: The results of the evaluation are intended to then be used as a guiding tool to determine the annual raise of the employee.
The questions in the performance evaluation questionnaire were divided into two sections. The first section was based on the overall organizational standards that had been set for the entire hospital. Areas addressed in this section include professionalism, efficiency, and quality of work, respect, and service. Every employee, full-time and part-time, has to complete this section of the performance appraisal. The second section of the appraisal consisted of various competencies for each individual position. These competencies were specific to the tasks required to fulfill the duties of the individual in their respective positions. The competencies, varying greatly from position to position, were based strictly on duties required for that position. This is important, as having similarly situated employees evaluated on like criteria improves the consistency of the appraisal process.
In this healthcare organization, both the employee and the supervisor were instructed on the evaluation instrument to rate the employee on each of the areas on the following scale:
0 = Not Applicable
1 = Does Not Meet Expectations
2 = Meets Expectations
3 = Exceeds Expectations
This system was implemented to improve performance appraisals and make them more objective. The use of the same evaluation form throughout the organization improved the consistency in the evaluation process.
The healthcare organization also used some guidelines regarding what should be done if an employee obtained a certain score. Here is a brief description of the organization’s policies. If the person being rated received a mark of 1 or 3, then documentation had to be provided to justify that rating. Also, if the employee was given a rating of 1 by the supervisor, then some method of learning was to be designed to help the employee to achieve a level of meeting expectations. Following this, the employee was to be reevaluated in this area and was required to demonstrate abilities to meet expectations.
- Do you think the new system is really more objective?
- Why do you think the organization requires documentation for certain ratings?
- What strengths do you see in the new system? What weaknesses do you see in the process?