Tying in staff appraisals with personal and practice goals

Staff appraisals are of course a great opportunity for your team members to talk about their own difficulties, challenges, and how to move past them; as well as their goals and what they want to achieve in the future; however they’re also a great opportunity to consider where you want your practice to be going, and how those wonderful and gifted team members can help you to get there!

Are opportunities being missed?

Staff often talk about courses that they want to attend, or CPD they might want to complete, during their appraisal. Career-planning can be rather hit-and-miss in our profession, and it’s likely that many opportunities may be missed at this stage, so next time you’re completing staff appraisals, why not incorporate discussion on career planning within that meeting? A discussion on that team member’s longer term goals (if they have any – and if not, why not sow the seed at this point?) – can help to inspire and motivate them, as they will feel that they have a direction to aim in, and that they are supported by their practice and have a contribution to its success too. It doesn’t have to be a giant leap – we all know that big things come from little steps.

So, here’s a question…

When was the last time you reviewed your practice goals, examined the direction that you want your practice to move in, or considered any new services or facilities that you want to offer? Even if you’re happy with how the practice functions now, it’s good to look at how the landscape of veterinary practice is changing, and how you can ensure that your practice keeps up with that progress.

“If you can’t find any obvious fit then consider shifting the goals of the team member and the practice goals slightly, until they meet”

Now let’s just tie these two aspects together, and you can do this by simply by looking at your team member’s goals alongside your practice goals, and working out where the overlap is. If you can’t find any obvious fit then consider shifting the goals of each slightly until they meet – so for example you have a vet who wants to do more exotics, and one of your practice goals is to become more proficient at dealing with rabbits – you could ask and plan for your vet to consider doing more rabbit CPD and becoming the practice rabbit ‘go to’ person, and work with them on how you can increase exotic footfall to the practice, and what training the vet needs to accommodate them.

Lateral thinking

Maybe you have a nurse who wants to move into a leadership role – but you currently already have a head nurse and no other leadership positions at the practice. So why not give them the tools to become a leader in a distinct area (of their interest) in the practice, such as being the lead clinic nurse, or the practice lead on infection control issues and management? This will give them the opportunity to grow and develop, and gain some valuable expereince along the way, rather than leaving your practice to pursue a head nurse role.

Keep your business healthy

CPD planning is a vital part of professional development, and we all understand the need to complete CPD that is applicable and relevant to our work and practice needs. Practice development is a very positive step to keep the business healthy, and it’s also vital to consider what direction your staff want to be going, so that they do it in your practice, and not someone else’s.

More inspiration?

If you’d like further inspiration on what you can achieve through staff performance appraisals, then take a look at our appraisals course, which will provide you with some clear steps for setting up and performing appraisals, or give us a ring for an informal chat.

Tel 0121 663 1971

Article written by Jill Macdonald