PERSONNEL – Practice Staff Appraisals

Practice Staff appraisal is now common place in GP Surgeries mainly as a result of the requirements of the Quality Outcomes Framework and now the regime of CQC Inspection. I have never liked appraisals as a result of bad experiences of annual appraisals when working in a Family Health Services Authority when appraisals were linked to performance related pay and often shared objectives were allocated to two or more staff and as you can imagine the results were inconsistent. The funding for Performance Pay ran out, as did the willingness to take part in Appraisals.

In  a GP Surgery I found it difficult to carry out effective appraisals on reception and secretarial staff who basically were not interested in an appraisal as such by just wanted to make a point about someone else when the appraisal was about them.

As a starting point I looked for a job description and took account of the changing nature of the work. I gave staff a short questionnaire to complete before the appraisal interview. I did not feel that the appraisal should be used to raise issues that might result in disciplinary action but nevertheless would mix praise with comment. I was interested in encouraging staff to think of their own objectives and would normally set one myself and let them set the other. I also asked for a training objective.

I recorded the appraisal meticulously and gave a copy to the employee. I have to say that I was not good at following up objectives during the year. The tick box nature of appraisal I found a discouragement.

Here are some of the documents I used – I have included a 360 degree form too, which I used for senior staff to comment on each other with some success.

Appraisal staff form

Appraisal – Notes for Staff

360 degree appraisal questionniare

I always felt and still feel that appraisals need to develop and change each year and to repeat exactly the same type and style of interview each year would act as a disincentive to take part. Have you tried group appraisals. Alternatively, have you delegated appraisals to other senior staff.  Have you held an open meeting with all the staff in one go!