5 NHS challenges the right performance review system can solve

Few organisations have to deal with change to the extent that the National Health Service does. From new government targets and leadership academy initiatives, to the more recent clinical and nurse revalidation, the latest priorities seem to arrive nonstop. As such, a large employer can find delivering change effectively extremely challenging, and any tool that aligns staff and aids communication is going to be valuable. Systems like ESR do have value, but they are only repositories for data as opposed to behavioural enablers. Embedding the right performance review system can address a number of relevant challenges but how can we make the business case for a performance review system in the NHS?

  1. Employee Engagement
    There is now an overwhelming body of evidence which demonstrates that engaged staff really do deliver better health care. National Health Service providers with high levels of staff engagement (as measured in the annual NHS Staff Survey) tend to have lower levels of patient mortality, make better use of resources, and deliver stronger financial performance (West and Dawson 2012).Engaged staff are more likely to have the emotional resources to show empathy and compassion, despite the pressures they work under. The Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust had among the lowest levels of staff engagement in the National Health Service throughout the mid-2000s, but unfortunately the alarm bells were not heard. While levels of staff engagement have risen over the past few years, the disparities between organisations are wider than ever and the risks of this can be fatal. If employee engagement is shaky in your Trust then embedding good quality management behaviours using an employee review system like Actus™ could be a great first step. Actus™ Performance Review Software is different from ESR and other systems as it is designed to empower the user and encourage ongoing people management activities.
  2. Talent Management
    Much is made of the importance of talent management and leadership. The Kings Fund states that an effective NHS talent management strategy needs to focus on four areas:- Recruiting the right staff to meet current and future needs
    – Retaining and developing staff by valuing their contribution and encouraging personal growth
    – Deploying talent effectively by providing stretch opportunities and rotating leadership roles
    – Succession planning to identify critical roles and consider how internal candidates might fill theseHowever at Actus™ we believe that everyone has the potential to be ‘talent’. The way in which they are managed will make all the difference as to whether they perform effectively or not. Actus™ will help you to embed an effective talent and people management culture, helping you to retain your talent and enable people to perform.
  3. Using a performance review system for Clinical and Nurse Revalidation
    Keeping information up to date using ESR is challenging as staff don’t tend to engage with it regularly. In some cases staff may not even have direct access. Therefore, ensuring that qualifications and evidence of CPD is up to date is very difficult. This can be easily managed using the Qualifications and CPD functionality built into Actus™ performance review system; the software generates automatic reminders when revalidation is due, and allows organisations to report on existing validation levels or CPD completion at any point in the year. The information is accessible to the end user at all times, and so is used regularly the chances of it being accurate and up to date are increased significantly as users can be held accountable. Additionally, if you are using standalone clinical revalidation software it is likely that you could save a significant amount of money by switching to the right performance review system that incorporates revalidation free of charge.
  4. Embedding change
    Delivering change through an organisation the size of the average NHS can be really challenging when relying on word of mouth or paper based processes. You can use Actus™ to cascade goals and organisational priorities, and view levels of alignment at a glance.
  5. Enabling pay progression
    This has been on and off the National Health Service agenda. However the bottom line is that you really can’t deliver performance related pay or withhold increments unless you are absolutely certain that the performance rating or judgement is fair. Having a performance review system that documents expectations, records performance against these expectations and details the rationale for any rating is essential to make this happen. It automatically gives HR the information that allows ratings to be moderated and analysed.If you would like more information we can provide personal guidance and support around upskilling managers or Trusts to introduce a robust approach to rating performance enabling pay progression fairly. Request a FREE demo by clicking the button below. Alternatively download our FREE guide on implementing pay progression within the NHS