3 ways to improve hospital performance management

Hospitals and health systems must improve their performance management strategies in order to be successful in a value-based world, according to a new analysis from Gallup.

Gallup defines performance management as a "continuous process that includes goal setting, real-time feedback and coaching, appraisal, employee development, and rewards and recognition." It's particularly important for healthcare organizations to ensure their performance management programs are effective as the industry increasingly incentivizes outcomes over care volume, according to the analysis. Necessary steps include:

Debunk myths about performance management: These common misconceptions include the idea that everyone, independent of talent or skill, can perform at the same level with proper training; that every role should be subject to the same performance measures; that experience levels are the best indicator of performance; and that performance evaluations once or twice a year are sufficient to address care gaps. Instead, "talent fit" for a role is the best predictor of performance; organizations should define performance measures based on success within a role; talent, experience and engagement are the best predictors of performance; and feedback and coaching should be ongoing and open, according to Gallup.

Select the best managers for the job: High ratings of managerial performance track closely with quality assessments for performance management systems, as 70 percent of employees who rank their managers as "best" also rank their system as "very good," compared to only 2 percent of those who rated their managers "below average," according to Gallup's research. High-quality managers include those who empower their employees and recognize their achievements.

Engage employees: Good employee engagement both improves productivity and contributes to improved patient engagement, according to Gallup. To foster engagement, a hospital's performance management system should clearly establish performance standards, emphasize employee strengths over weakness and communicate with frontline employees, as well as encourage employees through a culture of trust and recognition. "Meaningful conversations, well-established expectations and a focus on strengths will develop employees who are connected to an organization's mission, and not just along for the ride," the report states.

To learn more:
- read the analysis