Our final step in performing a performance management cycle concludes with stage 5- Rewarding. Incentives and acknowledgements provide positive reinforcements for achieving performance goals and accomplishing improvements. For an employee, knowing that their hard work and efforts are recognized and rewarded by management will result in motivation to both work harder, as well as, continue on their path towards improvement. In many instances, once a significant amount of time has passed since the inception and implementation of a performance review, employees will revert to their “old” ways. Managers should be proactive in sustaining their employee’s interest and commitment by demonstrating their efforts and achievements will be acknowledged.
Rewarding can be structured in several fashions to include a variety of award types and options. Management teams can arrange celebratory lunches or award ceremonies for individuals or teams that accomplish their pre-defined performance goals. Rewarding can be presented using plaques, pins, certificates, or some other tangible form of recognition. Financial rewards can be great motivators, but managers are advised to review any tax liabilities that may result from offering monetary “bonuses”. Employees should be informed of potential rewarding that will result from performance accomplishments during the Planning stage when they are given directives on performance enhancement expectations. Rewarding does not have to be specified in detail, but employees should understand that their hard work and efforts will be acknowledged and rewarded.
Consistency is key throughout the entire performance management cycle. Managers that develop a well-structured plan (stage 1) and apply their monitoring (stage 2) and developing (stage 3) techniques consistently will yield the most success. Employees should be rated (stage 4) on a consistent standard and feedback to that affect should be communicated for their growth to progress. Employees that feel vested in the process and committed to the success of the cycle will be more productive when resulting rewards (stage 5) are applied consistently and appropriately. In conclusion, maintaining a competitive edge in the volatile healthcare industry will not be easy, but is entirely attainable. Process improvement tools, such as the performance management cycle, can greatly impact a practice’s economic standing when they are designed and implemented with a strong commitment to improving performance efficiency. Driving those improvements starts with healthcare management teams and, undoubtedly, including the performance management cycle in your toolkit will contribute to your practice’s success.