An employee review is a way to formally inform a staff member of his or her job performance. The review helps the dentist see how they fit into the practice and how their duties help benefit the business.
If the owner/dentist chooses to associate pay raises with performance reviews, then the annual dental employee performance reviews are also a way to quantitatively determine the amount or percentage of the employee pay increase. The dentist and/or office manager should be present during the review process and constructive criticism should be given.
A review period should not be looked at negatively by the associate dentist, but instead looked at as a way to review areas that need improvement and see where they are doing well. Neglecting the review process can prevent growth and staff responsibilities.
Scheduling Employee Reviews
The dentist’s employee performance review is usually scheduled annually or quarterly, but can vary. Before the appointment is scheduled, time should be invested to properly conduct the review. The timeframe of the review should be listed in the employee handbook so the dentist will know when to expect a review to occur.
When scheduling one, set aside uninterrupted time so the review can be completed in a timely, private, and professional manner. It is not wise to schedule during patient hours since the risk of interruption is high. Allow enough time for the owner/dentist and the associate to discuss the performance appraisal. Be sure to block out the appointment on your schedule, so that other staff do not interrupt or schedule a patient accidentally.
What should be discussed during a Review?
During the time of the performance appraisal, both the good and the bad should be discussed - including ways to improve job performance and growth. For the dentist, the employee review provides the employee with a gauge of his or her performance. The employee might feel that they are performing their duties well but in reality they are not performing up to par and there may be areas in need of improvement.
It is beneficial to have the employee determine their own performance and then compare it with an assessment made by the manger and/or the dentist. This can help with deficiencies that the employee does not recognize. This is the time to clarify the dentist’s duties and expectations. If conduct or tardiness is an issue, this is the time to address it. The review process will give the employee a chance to improve and correct their insufficiencies.
A performance evaluation is not just a time to address areas that need improvement, but it is also an excellent time to give praise and to acknowledge those areas where the dental associate is excelling. Positive reinforcement is vital to creating value and appreciation in the dentist-employee relationship.
Now is also the time to set goals for the year such as production numbers, collection percentages, and/or new patients seen. Include elective trainings or courses that you would like the staff to complete by the next annual review.
As with any formal review or communication, this should be documented and signed by the doctor, office manager, and employee. A copy of the review should be given to the employee as well as kept in their employee file. The review is a legal way to document discipline and if termination is needed, it will provide evidence of rightful termination.