The work of a Dentist and the duties of a manager are closely aligned, because in Dentistry, often you are the boss AND the manager. So, as a manager, it is your responsibility to do performance reviews. We know performance reviews aren’t a popular topic around the office watercooler. Regardless of how a boss feels about putting his or her staff under a microscope, regular performance reviews are an important and constructive way to evaluate the contributions an employee is making to your dental practice. Performance reviews can impact the growth of the organization along with the growth of your employees.
Define your expectations
Clearly, define your expectations to each of your employees. They need to know their current roles and responsibilities. Performance reviews offer them feedback on how they are meeting those expectations thus far and areas for growth and improvement. The employee should also come prepared and have their own thoughts and feedback about their performance. This will also create a benchmark for future reviews to see how the employee has grown in their role.
Communication is the key
You should always remember that unless you clearly communicate it, no one can read your mind and know exactly what to do or how you want them to do it! Communication is extremely important so that both of you know exactly where you stand and how they can do better from this point forward. The same applies to each of your team members! Ask open-ended questions during the review to help you get a better gauge on how they feel, where their head is, how they want to grow and know where the discussion is going to go.
For example, asking, “How do you think you’ve done this year? What have been some of the high and low points in your experience thus far? What would you like to see changed in your position moving forward?” Granted, some of the answers may not always be pleasant or what you want to hear — you are establishing trust and deepening your relationship. By being honest and detailing goals and expectations for the coming period before the next review. End the review with an offer for an open-door policy so everyone can feel welcome to reach out with constructive concerns and issues right away.
Always go for specific feedback
Vague talk and vague feedback will only lead to average performance or worse yet, complacency! As a manager, do not beat around the bush. If there is an issue, you must address it immediately! Create an effective performance-improvement plan that identifies the behaviour to be corrected, provide clear expectations and metrics about the work to be performed or behaviour that must change, identify the support and resources available to help the employee make the required improvements, and specify possible consequences if performance standards as identified in the plan are not met.
If an employee meets or exceeds expectations, take the time to offer them commendation and encouragement. Who doesn’t love to hear that you have done a good job? Performance reviews aren’t meant to be a negative experience, but use this time to inspire and motivate your team! Remember you are all on the same team and working toward providing the best possible treatment to your patients!
Tell them about your direction
All employees need direction. They might not address it, but they really need to know where they stand and where they should go from there. Performance reviews are those occasions where you can tell your employee about the direction you want to take the practice and your action plan to help reach those goals. It is just like steering a ship; you just need to chart your course before you embark on the journey together.
We know they can be stressful and time-consuming but we are here to help! Did you know, Stream Dental Staffing Solutions offers a PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT GUIDE? It was developed to help you and your management team implement regular employee coaching and performance reviews.