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The importance of performance management in healthcare

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The importance of performance management in healthcare

The healthcare industry is a tough one to be in. You work for most of the day (usually around a 12-hour shift), so the hope of a work and life balance is next to none. The high turnover rate and number of unhappy employees in healthcare is no surprise. Yes, there are the feel-good rewards that come with patient care and being with them on a journey of recovery. But, other than that, not many healthcare organisations are investing in their employees the way they should be.

This brings us to the importance of performance management in healthcare and all the aspects that go with it.

 

What is performance management?

Every organisation, healthcare establishments included, have business goals which are expected to be met every year. And the way those goals are achieved is through the employees of the business. Now, performance management is the holistic process of monitoring, encouraging and constantly communicating with employees (by the employer or relevant human resources department), in order to ensure goals are reached and employees are doing their job to the best of their ability.

Performance management (PM) can be addressed through software, much like everything else these days. But, you can manage PM in the way that’s best suited to the company and its people. Once you complete your performance management courses, of course.

 

What are employee problems in the healthcare industry?

Healthcare industry professionals don’t exactly have it easy. The hours, the trauma, the admin and the patients require huge amounts of energy and effort. There aren’t very many people who are capable of working in the healthcare industry and the few who do are generally in demand yet still taken for granted.

Some of the main problems in employee healthcare have to do with employee satisfaction statistics. And dissatisfaction leads to a high turnover rate and understaffed hospitals and health institutions. There isn’t much you can do about the number of healthcare employees in a country other than constantly encouraging the youth to learn and care more about the industry. At least, that is, enough to persuade them to study in the medical field and, one day, fill the gaps.

But there are many things that can be done in terms of fairly treating the few staff members an institution does have and doing whatever is necessary to motivate them to be their best. And that is where performance management comes in.  

 

How does performance management affect healthcare workers?

Because the healthcare industry is incredibly taxing on those employees’ lives, proper performance management would help solve most of the employee problems they have in the industry.

If healthcare workers felt like they were being looked after and appreciated, they would be more inclined to stay at the institution they’re at and be happier about their career choice.  If healthcare workers were being invested in by the organisation through additional employee training and they were able to learn more and increase their value to the company, they wouldn’t get bored and seek work elsewhere. They would also, possibly, be happier to work the long hours if they knew they could reap more rewards than a salary and the occasionally grateful patient.

 

Why is it important in healthcare?

When a healthcare practitioner or establishment’s employees are performing at their best and are happy to be at work, patient care also improves. Performance management is important in the healthcare industry because the healthcare industry is important for saving and bettering people’s lives.

You can't afford to run a hospital, for example, and expect great service and patient care results when the hospital staff aren’t being challenged, acknowledged or stimulated. Performance management gives them something else to look forward to and an extra purpose beyond changing hospital bed sheets all day. You need your hospital to be efficient and effective for your patients, but that’s something you cannot do without efficient and effective staff.

 

How to implement performance management practices

If you don’t have a performance management system in place, it's time to change that and start implementing a few PM practices to get started. The first thing you need to do is set goals for your organisation. Then you need to meet with the different department heads and attendings and find out what their goals are for their respective departments. Now that everyone is on the same page, these goals can be distributed to the rest of the employees and people will have something to work towards.

When employees are truly doing a great job, above and beyond what they were hired to do, those successes need to be acknowledged. There is power in being told how much your work is appreciated and how it positively influences the organisation. And the last PM practice we’ll be discussing, is that of frequent performance assessments and reviews. Meet with your employees face-to-face and have a conversation with them about their work. Find out how they’re doing and offer them some guidance as to how they can improve.

PM in healthcare is achievable and it’s necessary. Make sure your healthcare facility is doing everything it can to appreciate and protect the healthcare workforce.  

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