Don’t underestimate the importance of regular performance evaluations: They help your staff feel valued and heard in the workplace, foster stronger teamwork and communication skills, and keep your dental practice running smoothly. With some proactive planning, professional resources, and the right approach, you can reap the benefits of performance reviews for your dental staff.
Dental Employees Performance Evaluations: Best Practices
When was the last time you held performance evaluations for your dental staff? Here's a list of best practices for evaluating employees in your dental office.
Prepare Ahead of Time
First, decide on your employee performance timeline. Most experts agree that new employees benefit the most from having monthly reviews for the first six months. For veteran staff, try to hold performance reviews every three or four months. In addition, you should administer an annual evaluation on the employee’s work anniversary that sums up their overall performance for the year.
Choose a Format
Next, you’ll need to decide how to review your staff’s performance. While written reviews are the traditional choice, they’re time-consuming and take up space. Instead, consider switching to a digital dental employee evaluation form. Plus, digital evaluations are fast, convenient, and allow for easy storage and access.
Establish an Evaluation Criteria
Don’t make the mistake of holding performance reviews “on the fly” or just winging it with a quick verbal discussion. Draft a list of evaluation criteria, key performance metrics, and more. Common evaluation points include:
- Productivity and quality of work
- Punctuality and attendance
- Problem-solving skills
- Motivation and initiative
- Leadership and communication skills
- Overall professional competency
- Hard and soft skills appraisals
You may also want to set a major goal for each employee to achieve each month, which you can use in your evaluations. Boost motivation and productivity by offering rewards or incentives for staff who meet or exceed their goals.
Keep Notes Throughout the Week
Another problem with only holding annual reviews for dental employees is that it’s hard to remember the details of their work performance over the last 12 months, whether good or bad. To avoid this problem, spend a few minutes each week taking notes on your employees regarding their strengths, successes, weak spots, and areas needing improvement.
For example, you could have a spreadsheet with points, such as “attitude,” “punctuality,” or “communication,” etc. Taking just a few notes here and there during the week can make the evaluation process much more manageable.
Ask Staff to Complete a Self-Appraisal
In addition to the standard dental employee evaluation form for performance reviews, you should also ask your staff to complete a self-appraisal. Doing so allows you to gain valuable insight regarding your team and their feelings, sense of self, and opinions.
Ask your employees to give their own honest feedback regarding your performance as a leader: What can you do to improve or make their workday more pleasant? Self-appraisals also offer you a new perspective and strengthen communication between you and your staff, fostering a positive work environment and company culture.
Develop a Follow-Up Strategy
During a verbal evaluation, an effective strategy is to highlight two or three areas where each staff member excels and two to three areas where they could progress. Keeping the list short ensures the conversation remains on-topic.
Finally, end the review by offering a few tips or actionable advice each employee can follow to improve their skills and become a better asset to the office. At the bottom of each dental employee evaluation form, list a few options tailored to each staff member to help them focus on professional development or training.
Keep Your Dental Practice Running Smoothly with Dental Intelligence
Using the tips we just discussed, you can ensure that every dental employee evaluation form you receive from your team will help them improve. At Dental Intelligence, our software solutions help dental professionals streamline their practices and increase efficiency. You can learn more about how we can help your practice now by browsing the resources on our website.
For example, do you know the importance of dental referral forms or how to check if your payment process is HIPAA compliant? We invite you to read our blog, listen to our podcasts, or attend a webinar. Reach out to us to schedule a demo of our cutting-edge solutions.