Hospitals Need Strong Performance Management, Stat

Hospitals Need Strong Performance Management, StatEver hear of a company that didn’t bother with metrics? You may have, but they likely have gone out of business. Without some sort of measurement, all direction of an organization is left to individual whims that may or may not support overall strategy. The use of metrics needs to permeate all aspects of management, including working with employees.

But metrics mean more than numbers. The use of metrics is the application of observation, measurement, process, and reason to achieve goals. However, according to a Gallup analysis of 50,000 hospital employees, many care providers are realizing how badly they’re coming up short when it comes to managing employee performance. Without an effective way of doing so, a hospital cannot hope to address the problems and opportunities it faces in a new era of healthcare delivery.

No business is better than its employees, and that is particularly true of healthcare providers. Generally, it is those employees who deliver the services that form the core of the business. If managers cannot work systematically to help employees become better, they haven’t a hope to move their organizations toward greater efficiency and effectiveness. It would be like a manufacturer trying to improve what it does while not looking at how the factory floor could better work.

Gallup defines performance management as a “continuous process that includes goal setting, real-time feedback and coaching, appraisal, employee development, and rewards and recognition.” If the hospital wants to pursue certain strategies, management must translate those strategies into goals for individuals. To improve the performance of each goal, someone must help the employees see where they are doing well, where they could do better, and what it would take to move to better results.

According to Gallup, this starts first at the executive level, which is responsible for finding strong managers. Such management talent will care about employees, give those people the necessary authority to effectively do their jobs, and regularly communicate in an open fashion with the employees.

The managers also must find the right employees, with the right mix of training, talent, and personal characteristics to embrace improved performance. That means the employees need to have the necessary strengths to help the hospital develop its strategy into action.

Once the right people are in place, the hospital needs to engage employees, clearly communicating and focusing on people’s strengths rather than their weaknesses, to get people connected to the organization and working effectively to help achieve its mission.

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