The last quarter is here, and it’s time for companies to start their appraisal processes. It’s not surprising that most of the employees across the world want to perform well and be highly engaged. Since we have the same goals, why is it so hard to reach the outcome we all desire?

The British Association of Medical Managers (BAMM, 1999) has defined appraisal as “the process of periodically reviewing one’s performance against the various elements of one’s job”.The way health systems are designed, managed and financed, affects people’s lives and livelihoods. Our challenge is to gain a better understanding of factors that makes a difference and encompass all actions with primary intent to improve health. This is no denial to the fact that there should be formal mechanisms for evaluating performance but, rather, it should be viewed as only one of a number of mechanisms for improving the quality of clinical care (Armstrong & Baron, 1998).

Health care professionals are becoming more involved in performance management as hospitals restructure to increase effectiveness. Although they are hospital employees, they are subject to performance appraisals as the hospitals are accountable to patients and the community for the quality of hospital services.

Need for a Performance Appraisal System in Hospital 

Hospital industry is a service industry, where patient (customer) is the most important person. Therefore all the employees of the hospital have to perform their duties in a better way in order to get customer satisfaction. As advanced technology and drugs are important to cure the patient, it is equally essential to deal with patient and their relatives (i.e. customer) in the best possible manner. So it is very important how the staff of a hospital perform their duties in order to make the patient satisfied. If the performance of employees is appraised then it is very beneficial for both the employees and the management to understand the current performance level and making improvements. Also performance appraisal helps to identify training needs so that employees can be trained to enhance their performance. This ultimately leads to customer satisfaction and overall organization development.

What makes assessing employees performance so difficult?

Performance appraisal involves important aspects of people’s sense of who they are and what they can accomplish – their competence and effectiveness. If policy makers are to act on measures of performance, they need a clear understanding of the key function that health systems have to undertake. Policy makers need to know why health systems perform in certain ways and what they can do to improve the situation.

The appraisal process does not simply require the doctor to reflect on their activities on an annual basis as a preparation for the appraisal interview, rather it encourages the doctors to adopt more thoughtful approach to their practice, and the effects of that practice on others, as a part of their day to day professional lives.

The skill of the appraiser lies in determining whether to challenge the complacency of the doctor and encourage them to accept their imperfections and produce a realistic development plan that will address some of those needs. All this needs to be done without adding to the doctor’s stress and insecurity.

Performance appraisal can have a profound effect on levels of employee motivation and satisfaction – for better as well as for worse, therefore creating or improving a performance management system to drive business results requires leaders to separate performance management myths from facts.

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