The Value of Performance Reviews

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    There was a thread on the General Nursing Discussion forum the other day by someone who was concerned about her performance review. She received a respectable raise, but was given an 82/100 overall score (which she thought was a rather poor score) and had no chance to ask questions about how her manager felt she could improve.

    When I saw this story (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...ryId=131191535) on NPR's website, it reminded me of that thread. The author is obviously marketing his book with a heavy hand, but he does raise some interesting points about the nature and usefulness of performance reviews.

    Are performance reviews useful and/or necessary? Are they drivel whose sole purpose is to give management the whip hand over fearful employees? Are they potentially useful but too often misused by clueless managers? What are your thoughts?
    lindarn and IowaKaren like this.
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  3. 4 Comments so far...

  4. 6
    I think performance reviews done in the right way can be very useful. Done in the wrong way, can be very damaging to morale. One "magnet" hospital I worked in, had a policy of requiring the nurse managers to go to all the co-workers and ask what they thought about a specific co-worker's skills, ability to get along with others, etc. Well, you can imagine how this went over . .not good. One exceptional ICU nurse who had years of experience - volunteered for so many magnet committees, wonderful organizer and out-going with patients, staff, received an unfavorable performance review, because someone or several someone's in her unit had less than good things to say about her work. Completely unjustified. Many nurses were so discouraged, and you can imagine how no one felt they could trust anyone else. It was like a "mean girls" club and "survivor" all rolled into one.

    A performance review should be you and the unit manager sitting down together to discuss what you and he/she feel are your strengths and weaknesses and how together you can work toward agreed upon goals.
    llg, TDCHIM, KeyMaster, and 3 others like this.
  5. 6
    I believe that performance reviews can be quite helpful but they are usually not done correctly and basically have no value. Managers who insist on evaluating employees that they never see are not going to be able to provide valuable data. This is my opinion on how a performance review should be done. I have always used this method and it has always worked for me.

    1. Two months before the eval is due I send out the self evaluation form to the employee. This form is usually in the same format as the final form that I will generate.
    2. Along with this form, you send out 5 peer evaluation forms to the employee as well. The employee can give these peer evaluations to who ever they wish. These forms come with an envelope attached with my name on it. The peer evaluations come directly back to me and the employee in question never sees these forms. More about this shortly.
    3. Evaluations are given to the charge nurses who work with this employee the majority of the time and they submit the completed evaluation back to me in a sealed envelope.
    4. Once I have received the peer evals, the self eval, and the charge nurse evals, I begin to compile my data. I also look at the employee file for information as to the # of CE hours each person had during the last year, absence days, disciplinary or accommodations and if they are up to date on required certifications/ educational requirements.
    5. I draft a report. Attached to the report I list suggestions/ feedback from the peer evaluations without noting the names of the specific person providing that information. It is imperative that confidentiality be maintained so that you get data that is as unbiased as possible. The employee never sees the actual peer eval form so they do not know which person gave what comment. The peer evals are destroyed and are used only as a learning/ feedback tool. They do not enter into my overall "score" of the employee performance.
    6. I meet with the employee and review their self eval, my notes and comments from others. I allow them to set their goals for the next year. We discuss any problems and what they have already done to correct them or suggestions for improvement.
    7. I then generate the final eval and they sign and I sign. They are given a copy.

    An employee evaluation should never be a surprise. There should be nothing on an employee evaluation of a negative value that has not already been discussed with that employee at some point throughout the year. The evaluation is not the time to perform disciplinary action. If disciplinary action is required, it should be done at another time.

    I have never had any difficulty with using this format. Employees seem to like it and like to participate in the process. But it took a while for them to know and be assured that the information was kept confidential. Once they bought into the process, evals were done on time and were more meaningful. In addition, you should set aside a minimum of 30 minutes for each employee review to be conducted.

    Also, during the year I always had employees evaluate my performance. I provided each employee with an evaluation tool that evaluated management related issues that were important to each of them. Again, the completed forms were submitted back to me in an attached envelope and they are asked not to sign the form. I would then compile the data, both negatives and positives and we would discuss my performance at the staff meeting. I would formulate my goals for the coming year based on the needs of the staff and the feedback they gave me.

    This process takes time and effort. But you can do it if you get organized and get started early.
    Last edit by diane227 on Nov 12, '10
    TDCHIM, Mollypita, Not_A_Hat_Person, and 3 others like this.
  6. 1
    Quote from TDCHIM
    There was a thread on the General Nursing Discussion forum the other day by someone who was concerned about her performance review. She received a respectable raise, but was given an 82/100 overall score (which she thought was a rather poor score) and had no chance to ask questions about how her manager felt she could improve.

    When I saw this story (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...ryId=131191535) on NPR's website, it reminded me of that thread. The author is obviously marketing his book with a heavy hand, but he does raise some interesting points about the nature and usefulness of performance reviews.

    Are performance reviews useful and/or necessary? Are they drivel whose sole purpose is to give management the whip hand over fearful employees? Are they potentially useful but too often misused by clueless managers? What are your thoughts?
    I will admit, up front, that I read the question and skipped directly to answering without reading other responses. My apologies to all if I am redundant.

    I believe they are both useful and necessary...in the right environment and well executed. They are sometimes weapons but they are more frequently misused by poorly educated managers.
    TDCHIM likes this.
  7. 0
    my review was very intimidating, i became a nervous wreck, was not even able to write a comment, I AM A NERVOUS PERSON in general. Bottom line, i became very overwhelmed with the constant checking in to see if i was doing ok, made silly mistakes on computer system, and eventually was dismissed, have been in nursing for yrs., not feeling very crushed and down.


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