Caregiver reviews. The term alone puts a bad taste in the mouth of employees and employers alike. While the reasons for this may vary from business to business, and even employee to employee, one common problem with performance reviews is frequency. Most companies are only implementing an annual system, which isn’t enough to see positive, lasting changes in employees or employers.
For more information about how often to hold employee reviews, take a look at our previous post: “Caregiver Reviews: Why They’re Critical to Growing Your Home Care Business.”
Another problem companies face with caregiver reviews is how they carry out the review itself. According to the Harvard Business Review, there are three main challenges to the employee review: cognitive bias, sugarcoating the negative and lack of preparation all hinder the review process. Let’s take a closer look at each.
It’s easy to attribute success to ourselves, and failure to others or outside influences. This type of thinking hurts performance reviews because neither the employee nor the manager are being straightforward with what the actual causes of success or failure are within the company. Both the employer and the employee need to learn to take responsibility for the good and the bad.
Sugarcoating the Negative
Related to cognitive bias, sugarcoating refers to how issues are reported. For example, an employee shows up 15 minutes late for a shift but claims it was “only a few minutes” when confronted about it. Deflection like this shows the employee does not take their tardiness seriously, and management may be left without the understanding required to address the issue.
Lack of Preparation
Too often managers hold a performance review in a last minute fashion. When an employee shows up for their scheduled review, the manager may be flustered, having forgotten about the meeting. The review must then be conducted based solely on memory, which can encourage negative reviews because that is what’s easiest to remember. The employees can be unprepared as well, expecting to be talked at and not talked with. Communication is a two way process, and employee performance reviews should be the same.
Tips for Successful Caregiver Reviews
Performance reviews are not just an opportunity to take free shots at your employees. Instead, the review needs to be a dialog between management and staff. Both should have a leading role in expressing praise and potential problems. The review should not only be about the employee’s conduct but the company’s as well. Ask your employees to share their feelings about the business and what they feel could be improved. Let them know they can give their honest opinions without fear of punishment or ridicule from management.
An employee review is also the perfect time to mention the client feedback you’ve received through Home Care Pulse’s Quality Satisfaction Management Program. Your Monthly Report contains specific documentation of client feedback regarding the services they receive and how happy they are with their caregivers. Give your caregivers specific examples of what clients love about their services and what improvements clients recommend. (Learn more about how our Quality Satisfaction Management Program can help you measure client and caregiver satisfaction within your home care business.)
Employers should conduct reviews and checkups often throughout the year. These don’t necessarily need to be as extensive as the annual review, but should be clear and to the point. According to Employee Performance Solution’s “Managing Employee Performance Blog,” there are four components to a mini review:
- One Strength. Name your employee’s greatest strength. Give them a few specific examples and mention the positive impact they have on the company. Employee’s like to see how they fit into the big picture.
- One Area for Focus. Name an area that they need to work on. Describe and discuss specific actions that would help the individual meet the focus area, and describe what will happen if they accomplish action items (the positive impact).
- Goals. Have your employee give a review of any previously set goals (status update, what’s no longer relevant, any new goals etc.). Your employee should prepare his or her notes on their goal status before you meet.
- Other Achievements. Discuss major achievements that were accomplished outside of their stated goals from their last review. Your employee must come prepared to discuss their efforts and successes.
By conducting reviews, you not only keep better contact with your caregivers, but you improve your overall communication and (if needed) have the chance to make corrections. You also allow employees to share the desires they have for working within the company. This helps them feel more appreciated and valued, and you will notice a difference in your relationship with your caregivers and the services they provide your clients.