Pam is an RN who has been employed by your unit for 10 years. She is an older woman and is very sensitive to criticism. Her work is generally of high quality, but in reviewing her past performance appraisals, you notice that during the past 10 years, at least 7 times she has been rated unsatisfactory for not being on duty promptly and 8 times for not attending staff development programs. Because you are the new charge nurse, you would like to help Pam grow in these two areas. You have given Pam a copy of the evaluation tool and her job description and have scheduled her appraisal conference for a time when the unit will be quiet. You can conduct the appraisal in the conference room.
Explain your answers in detail and provide a theoretical, evidenced based rationale for your answers and with several examples.
How would you conduct this performance appraisal? Outline a plan.
What innovative or creative way would you attempt to provide direction or improvements in the areas mentioned?
Is a union representative needed during Pam’s performance appraisal, why or why not and explain?
If a follow-up is warranted, how would you implement this into the plan of improvement with Pam?
How would you terminate your meeting session?
1- How would you conduct this performance appraisal? Outline a plan.
Performance evaluations can be charged, emotional events for employees. This makes it incredibly important to be careful and diligent in planning out each employee’s own individual evaluation (Kluwer, 2021). Employees must know the standards and the sources of data gathered for the appraisal ahead of time. As a new charge nurse, it would be extremely important to ensure and validate the data of unsatisfactory ratings and missing staff development programs to ensure these are recurring versus just something that this nurse may have struggled with at the beginning of her career in this position. It is noted to be most ideal to have the appraisal given by someone the employee respects and trusts; therefore, I would maybe speak with the unit manager about doing this evaluation especially because there are behaviors that the new charge would like Pam to change and improve. Because this charge is new, Pam may not take her feedback very well. An effective plan may include gathering all appropriate data on the downfalls of Pam’s behavior as well as positives and delegating this appraisal to someone Pam knows, trusts, and respects. I would make sure there were no surprises in this evaluation and be sure there is no indirectness or ambiguity as this is likely to inhibit communication more than enhance it (Kluwer, 2021). The nurse could use behaviorally anchored rating scales which rate desired job expectations on a scale of importance to the positions to ensure that Pam understands how and why it is so important to be on duty promptly and to attend staff development programs (Kluwer, 2021). It is important to be specific, not general in describing the behavior that needs improvement (Kluwer, 2021). After the appraisal is complete, it is important for the nurse to make sure Pam is agreeable to a plan of action to improve those areas as well as keeping her encouraged for the areas she is excelling in.2. What innovative or creative way would you attempt to provide direction or improvements in the areas mentioned?
One of the major reasons individuals show up to work late and/or lack engagement in staff development is due to being overwhelmed or working conditions with inadequate staffing can lead to issues such as burnout or safety issues. According to Bergstedt and Wei (2020), to get nurses to come to work on time and to get them more involved with staff development, nursing leadership must promote work engagement. Under this concept, the leadership team from the charge nurse, nurse manager, to senior leadership must make themselves seen and available, promote open communication, and must show a sincere interest in their staff are some strategies that can be used that will lead to an increase in staff engagement (Bergstedt and Wei, 2020).
As the new charge nurse preparing for Pam’s performance evaluation, using the strategies listed above, research has shown that if leadership shows a genuine interest in their staff using this approach, will allow Pam to become more engaged at work. Overall, as levels of work engagement increase from top leadership to the front line nurses, this will create a work environment that has a decrease in burnout and incivility (Bergstedt and wei, 2020).
3. Is a union representative needed during Pam’s performance appraisal, why or why not and explain?
This meeting between Pam and the RN conducting the meeting is a “performance review/appraisal”. No where at any time was any disciplinary action or investigative matter mentioned to be conducted during this meeting. Because of the type of this meeting, Pam would not have a right to a union representative at the meeting. If she did disagree with the performance appraisal she would have a right to petition and file a grievance with the union. If at any time Pam feels the meeting was leading to investigative questioning or disciplinary actions, she can stop the meeting, request a representative, and reconvene at a later time. Section 7 of the Weingarten Rights that outlines a workers right to union representation, covers meetings that workers are entitled to union representation: supervisors seeking to question an employee, an investigation into an employees conduct or work that could lead to disciplinary actions or termination, the employee believes the meeting may lead to disciplinary action, the employee requests a union representative at the meeting. Supervisors and managers are not required to fulfill the employee’s request if the meetings: are instructional based to receive correctional techniques, meetings to inform workers of policies, meetings where workers before hand have been told that no disciplinary action has been taken, meetings where the employee is being questioned about another employee’s actions (Weingarten Rights | National Labor Relations Board, n.d.).
4. If a follow-up is warranted, how would you implement this into the plan of improvement with Pam?
With Pam’s history of being sensitive to criticism, a follow-up on her performance appraisal is important because it provides her with the opportunity to reflect on what was said in the meeting after processing what was presented during the initial meeting, as well as develop an action plan to improve. It also offers a chance for the manager to offer additional feedback and guidance, which can help to foster trust and understanding. To implement this follow-up it is important for the manager to schedule a meeting with Pam shortly after the review to allow her to ask questions and provide feedback. Feedback at regular intervals helps corrective action to take place sooner and makes the employee aware of what they are doing right, motivating them to continue to do better (UpRaise, 2023). The manager should also provide Pam with specific, actionable steps that can help her reach specific goals and also establish a timeline for when these goals should be reached. Additionally, the manager should provide support and resources to help Pam reach these goals and schedule regular check-ins to monitor her progress.
5. How would you terminate your meeting session?
To terminate the meeting session, we would summarize the discussion and reiterate the agreed-upon plan for improvement. We would also thank Pam for her time and express our commitment to supporting her in her efforts to improve her performance. As it is important, “To create an environment where every staff member feels a connection and talks about we when describing their work environment and unit accomplishments” (Rose, 2013). Finally, we would document the discussion and the agreed-upon plan for improvement, and also set a date for a follow-up meeting or check-in to monitor progress.
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