An ineffective appraisal process

Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust (ESTH) offer an extensive range of services to the population of South West London and North East Surrey via two teaching hospitals Epsom and St Helier. They employ more than 5000 staff and 500 volunteers. Although ESTH had high appraisal compliance – the staff survey made it clear that the current appraisal process was not engaging individuals throughout the Trust. Staff were requesting better quality conversations at appraisal time and for the whole performance management process to be made more meaningful.

Working in partnership with Actus

Actus Software was selected through a procurement exercise involving a range of stakeholders. The system stood out as being simple to use, while supporting an ongoing performance management process. However, it was the Organisational Development expertise and passion to work in partnership that came with this that really stood out.

Actus Performance Management Software was rolled out to all 5000 staff between September 2015 and March 2016. Kevin Croft, Director of Transformation, knew that employee engagement was key to meeting their organisational objective of delivering better patient care.

To bring this to life and supplement the implementation of the new system they used their APPRECIATE Campaign, to embed more engaging people and performance management behaviours, which would in turn support their Patient First focus.

Actus and ESTH worked in partnership to define how best to implement and roll out the system. A phased approach was agreed on, supported by the HR Business Partners via a Train the Trainer approach. The Actus Team provided support in a variety of ways from formal training and facilitation to webinars, video training and bespoke reference guides.

“The Actus Team are passionate about delivering value to the NHS; they were always highly responsive and flexible to meet our needs and nothing was too much trouble during implementation and beyond. We always felt their approach was about getting it right for us”

– Kevin Croft, Director of Transformation

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Appraisal completion rate leapt from 43% to 80%

The approach for ESTH is one of evolution and they continue to work actively with the Actus team:

  • In April 2017 the appraisal completion rate leapt from 43% to 80% compared to the previous year due to the improved management information.
  • Assurance for the first time, around the quantity of meaningful conversations taking place and the quality of objectives within the organisation.
  • The Deputy Chief Nurse now uses it for all her 121’s and is very complimentary about the system and how easy it is to use and members of the Senior Leadership Team are now using it monthly to record their actions and progress.
  • The system is now being used to manage alerts around statutory & mandatory training and revalidation to ensure compliance.
  • An additional benefit has been the ability to demonstrate an audit trail of the performance management process to the Care Quality Commission (CQC) validating that the Trust is well led and managing performance effectively.

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