Part 3 of this Performance Management Cycle blog series discusses the second stage of the process- Monitoring. Once the Planning stage has been structured and finalized, healthcare managers must turn towards implementation and the monitoring process. Planning outlines the performance plan of the management team, whereas, the Monitoring stage shifts the cycle process to an active supervision and measurable observation of employee performance. Quantitative analysis will lead to more effective qualitative determinations on how employees are performing and progressing towards the stated and communicated goals defined in the Planning stage. Monitoring can be likened to a data collection phase typically found in any form of review or evaluation process.
Monitoring employee performance closely will allow for several tasks to be accomplished. First, management must determine if the communicated plan was effectively understood and goals subsequently incorporated into an employee’s routine. The management team previously identified techniques on how their production or performance goals were going to be quantified and monitored during the Planning stage. The Monitoring stage allows the manager to implement those techniques and being compiling feedback on communication effectiveness, employee response, and overall progression. Second, monitoring employee performance will identify areas of improvement or potential communication issues based on goals discussed and resulting employee response. Through observations and quantitative evaluations, management will be able to better provide feedback to employees as a result of data collected. Organizations must capable of maintaining open and effective communication when implementing a Performance Management Cycle. Every stage’s foundation relies on effective employee-manager communication. Once evaluations of employee performance have been aggregated, managers must then determine what information should be communicated to the employees to drive performance improvement.
Management will need to identify employee strengths and weaknesses and their overall contribution to the defined performance goals. Communicating these factors back to the employee must be done tactfully. As a result of productive feedback, employees will be motivated to make improvements rather than discouraged and disgruntled. Balancing criticism with praise becomes a key component to successfully completing the Monitoring stage. Employees should always leave counseling or performance-review conversations with their manager feeling motivated, supported, and anticipatory to contributing to the corporation’s success. Communications Nova Scotia (CNS) has created an excellent guide to developing and improving employee-manager communications titled “Internal Communications- it’s not rocket science!” Stage 3, Developing, cannot be commenced if employees have become unreceptive or uninterested in achieving performance goals due to harsh or ineffective managerial communications. Reviewing resources such as those produced by CNS can be extremely instrumental in effectively completing the Monitoring stage. Once employees have received appropriate feedback, management can continue on to stage 3 of the Performance Management Cycle- Developing.
Allison Bahr, Associate Consultant
Medical Management Services