Performance reviews are a testing time in anyone’s life. It is a nerve-racking and highly anticipated event in any year. You have to prepare for your performance review throughout the year, but most definitely, the times of the mid-year review and the annual review increase your anxiety levels to a new high.
It’s a time that you look forward to getting a pay raise and a boost in your incentives. You may hear the good and bad aspects when your boss does your performance analysis. But being well-prepared is a surefire way to deal with your stress and develop the ability to counter any criticisms your boss may have.
Continuous performance appraisal is crucial for lifelong learning and improving the quality of care for patients. Here are some tips that could help you rock your performance review like a pro.
Performance Appraisals Help With the Following:
- Plan your professional development
- Identifies your learning needs
- Ensures that you are working in line with organizational priorities.
- Reviews your continuing medical education, whether you are up-to-date with all relevant medical developments and research in your area of specialization.
- Analyze whether you are fit to practice.
How to Ace Your Performance Review? Points to Remember
Prepare for it all year long.
Your performance appraisal has a lasting impression on your career. Appraisals analyze whether you are meeting the performance expectations and goals and will also give constructive feedback to help you improve.
They provide an opportunity to demonstrate your value and ask for a promotion or a raise. We are in a digital world today. As technology improves, so should your skills in dealing with various computer applications and software.
Dig out your job description.
Scrutinize the document thoroughly to see which includes your current work areas. Also, review all additional tasks you are performing, which are additions to your job description and may outdated documents.
Usually, job descriptions include general task descriptions without going into an additional level of detail. Make an exhaustive, revised list of your job description, including all other tasks which are either additional or diverge from your job description.
You will be able to create a more current job description that matches your current level of responsibilities and your day-to-day work.
Communicate your accomplishments clearly.
Keep track of your accomplishments. Compile a substantial list of your achievements. Remember, the quality of your work is more important than the quantity. Looking at the tasks accomplished will make your boss’ eyes glaze over.
Focus on the most significant, most impactful accomplishments. Show how your contributions added to the organization’s bottom line. Bullet point your wins on team projects. All results about how you improved the company’s bottom line must be highlighted.
Show how you went out of your comfort zone, took the initiative, and achieved results. It could be successfully leading a team of employees, bringing a new client on board, raising additional funding for the hospital, or leading a new project initiative successfully. Show proof of your accomplishments. Don’t just talk.
Dress for the occasion:
This is a formal occasion, and you must look your best professional. Dress smartly and subtly in keeping with the formality of the occasion.
Critically evaluate your performance:
Analyze your strengths and weaknesses objectively. Know where your shortcomings are and prepare appropriate feedback on the above issues when your line manager raises questions. Be candid about the areas you need to improve and the steps you take to overcome such shortcomings. Be well prepared with your explanations.
Show the value that you add to your organization:
Show results of the projects you have completed and the milestones you have achieved: All data behind all your significant accomplishments, which helped to decrease costs, increase patient footfalls, complete treatments of patients, etc., should all be showcased.
Show how your organization has benefitted from your actions by showing tangible results. By listing your accomplishments, you are making the organization aware of your valuable contributions and making a case for your promotion or increment based on the elevation of your responsibilities.
Go with the right mindset:
Don’t worry much about what promotions and increments are in store for you. All annual performance reviews are not about increments. This may be a disappointing fact, but don’t let this deter you.
Go into the meeting with your superior with a calm mindset and a positive attitude. Don’t defend every criticism vehemently. Remember, you are well prepared. Ask thoughtful questions and empathize with your boss.
Receive constructive criticism positively:
You can improve your weaknesses and spot faults you haven’t seen before. There is a paradigm known as the Jo-Harris window.
One of its parameters is what is known to others but unknown to you. This is essentially talking about your blind spots, which are unknown but glaringly obvious to your boss. Keep an open mind. You can always respond with the answers that you have prepared before.
Review your current goals:
Performance appraisals are a great time to review your performance goals, what you have accomplished against those goals, and what the targets for the upcoming year should be.
You should also tabulate what your learnings were along the way and what new skills you have acquired.
If there is underachievement, analyze the reasons for such underachievement. Did your priorities change? What would you do differently going forward? What was holding back your performance?
The Best Move: Talking About Plans, Goals, And Objectives
Always talk about what you plan to accomplish and the value you will add in the upcoming year. Future goals should be classified into short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals. See where the shortcomings in the past year were and how you can cover them in the current year.
Be clear on your Key Result Areas. If there is underperformance in any area, ensure that your future goals more than make up for them. Your plans for your company can be put in a concrete plan with a presentation that can be presented to the top executives in your hospital.
This will show that these are not just mere ideas but have been fleshed out into actionable plans. Here are some pointers that will help you cover your futuristic ideas during the performance review
Additional skills you propose to add:
These may be new certifications that you propose to add to your professional qualifications. Certifications increase the depth of knowledge in various specialties, and the period required to complete them may vary from three months to six years.
They will benefit from increasing your knowledge and expertise, increasing your job knowledge, making your profile stand out among other candidates, and showcasing your commitment to the medical field to your top bosses. Choose a field, research the requirements and enroll in a program.
Your hospital or healthcare organization may sponsor your studies if you are a deserving candidate. Attending lectures, seminars and pursuing your continuing medical education with diligence is one way to stay current on all the latest medical research and advancements in the field of healthcare.
Using your creative thinking and putting on your problem-solving skills will significantly improve your diagnostic skills.
The additional responsibilities you propose to add on:
Career progress results from effort and sacrifice. As your career progresses, you might need to take on more responsibilities. Push yourself out of your comfort zone to assume additional responsibility. This is an excellent way to develop personally and professionally. But before this, ensure you do not have shortcomings in your current job performance.
Your accountability is also another important aspect of your job performance. Employers and the organization’s top staff would not want to reward sluggish employees in executing their duties.
Most top performers are usually given additional responsibilities at their workplace as the employers deem they are capable of perfect execution. This is because they are confident that such employees’ relentless work commitment to work will enable them to overcome challenges and take the hospital or the healthcare organization to a better place.
This also provides ample opportunity to display your skills in multi-tasking or demonstrate your proficiency with many skills. Such employees will become star employees. If you show your efforts, the rewards will surely follow.
What new projects are you enthused about taking on?
You may be appointed a project manager for a new project in which you will be running a department fully from start to finish. You may be in charge of an entire department, arranging funds, liaising with medical, nursing, and managerial staff, and resolving all problems. After all, in medical school, you have learned to manage projects, people, and hospitals.
You should be able to harness these skills. It would include managing a project, networking skills, producing a project initiation document, managing a budget, doing management courses if required to increase your skills in this area, preparing your results, and sustaining the project.
What are the weaknesses that you would like to eliminate?
Doctors face various challenges like:
- lack of knowledge and training,
- less time spent with patients due to the increase in administrative work relating to Electronic health records and other administrative burdens
- keeping updated on regulatory requirements
- Funding challenges impeding technological progress
- Ethical dilemmas and
- Physician burnout
As a physician, you have to work through these various challenges and enhance your performance. Provide solutions on how you are planning to sort out these weaknesses or how you want to address them individually with a team-spirit.
What goals and mission objectives would you like to develop further?
The goals and mission objectives may include the following:
- Take patient history and physical examination in a logical, organized manner, considering the urgency of the circumstances.
- Form differential diagnosis and take decisions based on the above
- Understand the risks, benefits, and compliance issues involved in therapeutic decision making
- Become an expert in all basic medical procedures.
- Comprehensive care of primary care medical patients, including separating urgent care patients and less urgent care patients
- Develop effective communication with patients, colleagues, etc.
- Develop effective strategies for health promotion, disease prevention, and risk factor assessment.
- Develop the right bioethics for the care of patients.
- Pursuing continuing education and being updated about all the latest medical research in your field.
Your future career path: Where in the organization do you see yourself in the future?
There is a lot of demand for physician services as the economy continues to expand because of an ongoing physician shortage. Have a frank talk with your boss and ask about your career trajectory. If you are ticking all the right boxes above, you may tell him where exactly you want to see yourself in the short-term, medium-term, and long-term.
You may see yourself in a management role in a few years or an advanced specialist in a few years. Make sure you have taken all the necessary steps, like acquiring an M.B.A or advanced specialization in your particular field.
You should also have gained practical experience in handling a specific department or project in the hospital. Showcase your achievements to your boss to show you know what you are talking about.
Some Final Steps During Your Annual Performance Review Process
- Stand up for yourself, but don’t get defensive: When you reply to criticisms, keep your tone positive and courteous. Keep in mind the following points:
- Keeping calm: This helps to keep the conversation friendly and productive, which will help you put your points across. Avoid becoming
- defensive and emotional.
- Listen and reflect: If your manager is expressing an opinion, don’t interrupt their thoughts but take careful notes to document their feedback. Reflect on your likely answers at the end of the discussion. You can present your defense or the next day when you’ve had time to think of your feedback.
- Own up to mistakes: If there are some shortcomings or weaknesses, own up to your mistakes. You may even be frank and upfront about them before your manager points them out to you, as this will preempt him. Also, discuss your plan of action to overcome them
- Focus on the future: Don’t dwell on the past but focus on the future. The review allows you to understand the management expectations better. This will help improve your performance and frame a plan of action to improve the same.
- Ask if you can discuss a point further: Sometimes, you may want to discuss and expand on a point further. In such a case, make it a point to ask your boss if you can discuss it further and only then go ahead. Otherwise, you can bring it up at a later date
- Ask some clarifying questions: When your manager makes a point, and you have not fully understood, you can ask him to explain it further.
- When you present your defense, back it up with evidence: Always substantiate whatever you defend with adequate proof.
- Reference any previous feedback if there is any
- Provide thoughtful responses and positive feedback.
Don’t Use Your Review As An Opportunity to Complaint or Place Blame.
Blaming circumstances, other employees, or technology will not serve you in the long run. It is better to admit to your mistakes and own responsibility squarely. Continuously blaming others will make you lose your status among your professional peers, develop a victim mentality, and continue to perform poorly.
Those who accept responsibility for their mistakes feel empowered and don’t feel like they are victims of life’s circumstances. You will make it appear powerless, always at the mercy of others or in the wrong circumstances. People who blame others do this due to the following reasons:
- Blaming others is easy as you can pass on the blame
- You blame others as a defense mechanism.
- There is a tendency to blame others when you are losing control over a situation
- You may have a fragile ego which you protect by blaming others and not accepting accountability
- You may resort to shifting the blame when you have lost control over a situation
- You may blame others to excuse your actions
- Remember, when you do this, you lose an opportunity for personal development.
Tactfully request an increase in your compensation (if it’s not offered to you)
Remember that every organization is anxious not to increase employee turnover. Also, remember that the supply of doctors is less than the demand in the U.S.
When you are finally raising the issue of an increase in your compensation, make sure that you follow the steps outlined here:
- Make sure that it is a good year for you work-wise.
- Don’t be modest but be proud of your accomplishments
- Discuss your accomplishments and focus on the impact of your work at the workplace.
- As a precautionary measure, determine your market value.
- Lastly, don’t bring your finances into the discussion.
This is a complete article discussing all you wanted to know about how to face a performance appraisal and review interview at work. If you are diligent in your career and carefully follow all the pointers mentioned above, you will succeed in acing your performance interview.