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Improving the performance appraisal system for nurses

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 امين عجيل ياسر الياسري 29/12/2016 17:04:56
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Dr.Amean A. Yasir,PhD.Community Health Nursing
Seven staff nurses were nervous and some said they dreaded the appraisal
appointment because of fear of criticism and being informed of poor performance.
One staff member looked forward to the appraisal.
I wo
uld suggest that employees should prepare for an appraisal in a positive manner
and use the opportunity to discuss career opportunities, salary increases and
professional growth.
Previous experience of appraisal will have a great bearing on preparation and
approach; therefore negativity will influence the system. The seven nurses who
expressed nervousness had all previously thought their appraisals were poorly
delivered or had negative outcomes. Four had been appraised by the same manager
and emphasis was p
laced on the manager’s performance. The nurse who was positive
had an excellent previous review with reward benefits.
Appraisal literature suggests that not all managers are efficient at recognising high
potential and positive performance and concentrate m
ore on the organisation itself,
tailoring personal development to meet those needs instead of the individual’s needs.
Therefore staff who do not fully fit into the organisation’s mould or philosophy could
be viewed as underperformers, and often have feelin
gs of resentment and alienation.
Self
-
assessment
All eight nurses were uncomfortable writing about themselves in the pre
-
appraisal
questionnaire. Traditionally, employees have been encouraged to reflect on their own
performance for 2
-
3 weeks before the app
raisal interview, and this self
-
assessment
has then formed the basis for discussion.
A review of the literature on previous organisational surveys has shown that
employees invariably consider themselves to be better than average. This then poses a
problem
for the appraiser who has to inform staff that the self
-
assessment is too
positive, which almost certainly creates a negative relationship.
To prevent conflict and interpersonal difficulties, appraisers tend to agree with the
appraisee to the detriment of
the process. Taylor (1998) suggested that a badly
conducted appraisal is worse than no appraisal at all in terms of its adverse effect on
motivation, job satisfaction, commitment and trust between managers and employees.
Feedback
All eight nurses agreed wi
th feedback and were satisfied with the outcomes at the
appraisal. However, they felt disillusioned that feedback and action plans were never
revisited and completed, and the result carried forward to the next appraisal.
This suggests feedback is one of th
e most vital parts of the appraisal system, since any
person who receives positive feedback can be motivated to continue or improve
performance to meet organisational requirements. Negative feedback must be
accompanied by advice on how to remedy or improve
performance.
Setting aside time for the appraisal interview and then planning time for reviews and
further feedback is paramount in maintaining motivation and enhanced performance.
It is important that planned reviews are adhered to, as failure to attend
or cancelling
the appointment will demotivate staff.
Cancelling appointments
Four out of the eight nurses had experienced at least one cancelled appointment due to
either their own or their manager’s other work commitments. This led to feelings that
both t
he appraisal system and the appraisee personally lacked importance. However,
they also expressed relief that the appointment was cancelled.
Managers and employees need to be clear about the purpose of appraisal and how to
measure success or failure. For an
y appraisal to be worth the time and cost, all levels
and grades of staff must feel they have a valuable contribution to make in developing
their organisation’s strategy and ensuring achievement.
Failure to adhere to the time designated devalues the import
ance and reduces
commitment to the appraisal system. Although executives block out large sections of
their diaries to ensure attendance, all too often the appraisal is the first appointment to
be cancelled when other needs

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