Staff Appraisals


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I had a friend contact me the other day – she wasn’t happy – her yearly appraisal was due and she had no idea what to write.

I knew how she was feeling as I too have been in her shoes – dreading the “meeting” and honestly believing it was a one-way process.

That was until I became a manager and had to hold appraisals for staff. Believe me it’s not that easy.

The worse is when you have a member of staff sitting in front of you with nothing to say, with very little on their form and not wanting to be there, that then can almost become one-sided.

As a Manager, it was my job to make this meeting work, to show the member of staff that it was a two-way process and their opinions did matter. Their input was important. So how did I go about this?

I always made sure that staff had plenty of notice that their appraisal was due. They were given a form to complete and asked to return it to me at least a week before their appraisal. That way I would be able to investigate and feedback at the appraisal.

On the day of the appraisals I made sure my diary was clear, that my secretary took all my calls and I was not to be interrupted. To ensure that this happened I would hold the appraisals in another room.

I would ensure that the desk was clear, a glass of water was available for the member of staff, as sometimes staff (especially new staff) can get quite nervous.

I always prepared for each and every appraisal. I allowed plenty of time for each appraisal and always allowed for an overrun in the event that a member of staff needed more time. Everyone deserved the respect and to be treated as an individual.

I would always start with what they were doing well. Praising them was important. Every step I would ask if they had anything to add, instead of asking at the end of the appraisal.

If I had to discuss ways that they needed to improve I would always get measurable proof. Find a way forward – turning a negative into a positive.

I would ask some open questions – what has been good in the last year / what have not been so successful?

It was important for me to get them talking, and to ensure that I covered everything there was on the form. If there were any blanks on the form (and there were often some) I would go over the question in the appraisal and together we would fill in the blanks.

At the end of the appraisal I would always make sure that I had covered everything. I would ask if they were happy with the appraisal, if there is something that I might have missed out, and how they felt that I supported them as a manager over the past year.

The most important thing is following up after any appraisal. If you said you would do something then make sure you do it. Don’t let the member of staff down, they would have every reason to dread next year’s appraisal. If the member of staff has highlighted something then its over to you – it could be training that they have said they would like to do, or perhaps be considered for promotion, or simply changing their hours.

If you use the appraisals right you can and will get so much more from your team.

A staff appraisal should be a two-way process.

Do You Value Your Staff?


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Through feedback on my blog, speaking to friends who are Managers and Receptionists and through training it always amazes me how differently employers treat their staff in various different ways.

I was chatting to a Practice Manager recently about training his Reception Team. It was uplifting to hear him talk so highly of his staff, and acknowledge the difficult role that they face at times.  He told me that he felt blessed with the Reception Team he has.

We discussed areas of training, and how we would approach this, and to work with the team to find ways forward in helping them in what can often be a very difficult role. His words to me were…………….

“I want to stress that we wish to assist them in their role and that we are building on an already excellent and valued team”

Music to my ears! A Practice that value their staff.

The Practice Manager and Partners have thought long and hard about supporting their staff in the way of training, and have invested an afternoon for the whole surgery to come together for a team building session.

From speaking with this Practice Manager it is evident that everyone at the surgery works together as a team, and this in turn gives the patients the services that their areas needs.

He acknowledges that his Reception Team are doing a great job, but as always there is room for change and perhaps some refresher in what cold be improved – not always clear-cut, but hopefully with some guidance and training this hopefully will help the team in their role and make their tasks easier and in turn help the patients receive a better service.

Nothing works better than a team working together.

AND THEN

I chatted to a friend today. She has worked in a GP Surgery for almost 6 years. She is one of those Receptionists that is loyal, has empathy, extremely hard-working and has great skills when it comes to dealing with the patients. She has exceptional skills in all areas of her role.

She has shared with me over the years of the problems she faces at her practice. There has been little support from her Practice Manager or partners. They never have any staff meetings, and there is never any staff training – despite staff asking for these in the past. In fact the last lot of training they did have they had to undertake this at home in their own time.

Not surprising they have had numerous members of the Reception Team leave steadily over the past few years – all because of the above.

Good staff leave, new staff are appointment and that results in more stress in the Reception area, training up new staff whilst still trying to keep the Reception area working as normal is not easy and it takes it toll on everyone – including the patients.

And still no support or training.

My friend sadly found that the job was affecting her health and with the lack of support she was find the job becoming extremely difficult, so she sadly gave in her notice at work.

She gave her notice to her Practice Manager in writing – which was accepted promptly without question. This in itself she found upsetting – she felt she should have been at least asked the reasons why she was leaving.

She said has she had harboured any hopes that she was worth fighting for; she would have found the way her notice was accepted very upsetting.

That same week other staff members handed in their notice – with the same acknowledgement.

I asked her how she felt, and her reply was she felt angry. She loved the role, and will miss her colleagues that she had worked with for so long and she felt she was letting them down at the same time, as many of them were devastated to hear she was leaving. She actually found them much more supportive than her Manager ever was.

She felt no appreciation for the 6 years of dedication and hard work that she had given to the Practice.

Good staff are hard to come by. Invest in your staff and everyone will reap the benefits. Patents, GP’s, Nurses, attached staff and the Practice as a whole.

Train the staff you have – help them do a good job even better – if you don’t you will still have to train, train new staff to take over a job that someone was doing perfectly well in the first place.

Talk to your staff. Do this through

  • Appraisals
  • Staff Meetings
  • Simply getting to know how your Reception Team work and identify their needs. How often do you as a manager interact with your team? As a Manager I would ensure that I would interact with my team throughout the day – if only for a few minutes at any one time. Just popping my head in the Reception area and saying Hi – just let them now you are there. As a Manager my door was always open to staff if they had a problem.

The secret to success is good leadership, and good leadership is all about making the lives of your team members better.

Well trained staff are confident staff and more than likely to do a good job and stay in a role if they feel appreciated.

Do you value your staff?

Motivating Your Staff


One of the most important aspects of being a Manager is to try to keep both the GP’s and staff happy. How can you help the receptionists/Secretaries/Administrators work well in their often thankless task of trying to please both patients and doctors, and at the same time find job satisfaction for themselves?

Motivating staff is an essential part of any manager’s work. Keeping a “happy” team happy is far easier than trying to get a negative team positive again.

A full contract of employment is the first step of ensuring that the individual knows just what conditions to expect in their work. A comprehensive job description and regular appraisals should follow. However, the whole process of assessment and support has to develop progressively so that the individual continues to feel a valued member of the team. Most employees seek not only an interesting job but usually like to feel that what they are doing is worthwhile and also that they had job security.

Giving the opportunity for staff to learn new skills and gain wider experience of all areas of reception work which should help them feel that they are not simply standing still.

Staff are more likely to be motivated if they receive recognition and praise when it is deserved. As a manager I would regularly thank my staff.

The manager is not the only one who can offer praise, however. The GP’s, other members of staff and even the patients can all help in making individuals feel valued if they also offer their occasional approval or thanks.

Why not ask one of the GP’s along to a staff meeting every so often to offer a “thanks” to staff. Staff are happy if it is identified that they are appreciated and told they are doing a good job.

Staff will work better if the management of the practice is not only consistent by also seen to be fair. Treat everyone the same.

The variety of work within general practice can be a motivating factor for many of the staff and the fact that much of their time will be spent dealing with people (in itself both challenging and rewarding) is often seen as a positive benefit. Staff seem to value a sense of belonging and strong team leadership.

Job satisfaction is important and setting achievable goals for individual members of staff is an integral part of enabling them to experience job satisfaction – this can be done through a staff appraisal. You must recognise, however, that people will have their own goals as well as organisational ones and when the two coincide you are more likely to have a contented and able worker.

Keeping staff well-informed is essential – this can be done at regular team meetings. It gives you the chance as a manager to talk to the team, answer any questions and put things right if there are any misunderstandings.

Rewarding your staff with a “thank you” is important. There are other ways of doing this. Do you have a staff Christmas Party, or perhaps a Summer Party? Perhaps you might give your staff a yearly bonus. At one of the surgeries I worked at we closed the surgery at lunchtime – and sometimes we had a local craft person come in to do a demonstration – and sell their goods this was particularly well received around Christmas time when often the girls could buy up present for Christmas.  We would get in some sandwiches and it gave the girls a bit of time to relax and have some fun. This always went down very well.

It is most important to let your staff know just how much they are appreciated.

The importance of being a good Supervisor or Manager?


Managerial effectiveness is a crucial element in the running of any Practice. But being a “good” manager is not just about hitting targets and working for the company – it is all about managing your staff in the most proactive way you can. Leadership is the only way forward. Here are some points that are vital to a Manager to help manage a good and happy team.

I will use the term “Manager” in this blog but this is also for anyone in a supervisory
role – being a Supervisor you are in a responsible role and lead a team and this is just as important as a managerial role.

LEADERSHIP

In every organisation there is a definite need for leadership. Whether it is a Team Leader, Supervisor or Manager they are vital to the practice. You will need to be goal orientated, self-motivated and possess boundless energy and have to learn how to exert influence effectively in all directions – upwards, downwards and sideways. You will need to show strong leadership both to your bosses and the staff.

You will need to earn respect from your staff and your Partners – and that comes with
time. You need to be seen to be fair, treating everyone with respect and not show any signs of favouritism.

Strict neutrality is also necessary in your dealings with staff. It is hard to maintain a strictly unbiased approach if you are particularly friendly with one or more members of staff.

The role of a Manager can sometimes be very lonely.

TEAM BUILDING

Team building is vital for the whole practice.

Communication plays a big part in Team Building. Get to know your team where possible as individuals. Get to know their strengths and weaknesses, their goals and their hopes. These will help when it comes to yearly appraisals. By knowing your staff and their abilities you are able to place them in the job best suited to them. You might have someone who has great people skills – they will be ideal to put on the front desk, and someone who has great computer skills yet not so good on people skills, they would be great at carrying out admin and computer work. By placing these people in these roles make for happier staff – they are doing something they enjoy  rather than just doing a job given to them.

You need all types of staff to have a team. Someone that is has a great telephone manner, someone who has great people skills and someone who has great organisational skills – use them to the best of their ability.

Team Building is such an important part of your job.

MOTIVATING STAFF

Motivating staff is an essential part of any manger’s work. Most staff seeks not only an
interesting job but usually like to feel that what they are doing is worthwhile and that they have job security. They need to be able to respect their boss(es) and have the respect back. Offer staff opportunities – training, learning new skills, and promotion wherever possible.

Staff are more likely to be motivated if they receive recognition and praise when it is deserved. This can be given to individual members of the team or to the team as a whole.

If you are praising an individual do not do it in front of the other members of the team. This can often lead to embarrasment on the member of staff involved and also cause bad feelings amongst others. Call them to your office and give the praise – if the praise is to the whole team give this at a team meeting – and ensure that staff that are not at the meeting receive the praise. You could verbally give the praise followed up by a memo to all concerned.

Staff will work better if the management of the practice is not only consistent by also seen to be fair.

STAFF MEETINGS

Finding time to have staff meetings is never easy. Especially in Practice as many of the
staff are part-time workers and therefore you never having everyone there at the same time.

Some practices have staff meetings in the evenings; some have “breakfast” meetings before their surgery opens. Others have staff meetings during the lunch break. One thing is for sure if you have a big team of receptionists you will never have everyone attend the meeting. Look at the best times that staff can attend. Send out a memo asking them what they would prefer. Try to rotate the meetings every time so everyone gets a fair change of attending the next one.

But the important thing is to keep staff informed if they are unable to attend. For me the best way was to have each and every meeting has minutes taken and copies sent out to all staff – those that were present and those that could not attend also copy in your manager and the staff Partner. Always keep a copy of every meeting on file for future reference.

It is important to give staff plenty of notice when the next meeting is going to take place. A good suggestion is to agree the next date at the meeting you are holding. This way you can add it to the minutes.

If you have a lunchtime meeting a good idea is to provide lunch – perhaps a nice kind rep would be happy to help.

As a Practice you will have to decide if overtime is going to be paid and at what rate or if they can have time in lieu for attending the meeting.

Let all staff have an opportunity of adding items to the agenda. Let them feel that they are part of the meeting.

In my experience most staff are happy to attend meetings if they can see the point of it and a positive outcome with direct action being taken if appropriate.

If you learn to hold successful meetings, you should be guaranteed a good attendance.

STAFF TRAINING

Staff training is vital – it is essential for every Practice to be able to move forward. Well
trained staff are confident staff.

Invest in good training. It does not always have to cost a fortune. There are several options that you can take when it comes to staff training. You can either send individual staff on training courses outside the practice – your local PCT (Primary Care Trust) usually run excellent courses and many of these are free.

You can attend courses and then bring them back to the and train staff.

You can have an outside organisation come into the Practice and train several staff at the same time – this can be some similar to a staff meeting when it can be done during a lunchtime. Again Reps are often able to help in the cost of training.

Ensure that you log all training that staff has been on – keep a training log of their individual training skills in their staff files.

Staff Appraisals

Appraisals are a two-way process. If you need to explain to staff that one of the reasons
why you wish to hold individual appraisals is because you wish to learn from them, how they feel about their particular job and their role in the practice, this should ensure that they begin to feel less apprehensive about the whole process.

For some reason staff always see appraisals as a negative thing. Try to change that.

The appraisal interview should provide a forum for feedback from the employee as well as a chance for the manager to praise past efforts and offer constructive criticism on ways in which improvements can take place. Training needs can be identified and methods of monitoring development can be set up.

It is important that you listen to their views and recommendations and, where possible implement changes that they have suggested. But do not make promises that you will not be able to keep.

And most important

COMMUNICATION

Communication is vital. Staff needs to be kept informed in anything that might involve them. Lack of communication is a good way to start rumours and bad feelings amongst staff. Keep your staff informed of necessary changes within their jobs or within the Practice.

Talk to your staff, feedback when and where possible – staff meetings are good for this as
are memo’s and talking to staff wherever possible.

And remember – there is no “I” in TEAM

                                     

Motivating Your Staff


One of the most important aspects of being a Manager is to try to keep both the GP’s and staff happy. How can you help the receptionists/Secretaries/Administrators work well in their often thankless task of trying to please both patients and doctors, and at the same time find job satisfaction for themselves?

Motivating staff is an essential part of any manager’s work. Keeping a “happy” team happy is far easier than trying to get a negative team positive again.

A full contract of employment is the first step of ensuring that the individual knows just what conditions to expect in their work. A comprehensive job description and regular appraisals should follow. However, the whole process of assessment and support has to develop progressively so that the individual continues to feel a valued member of the team. Most employees seek not only an interesting job but usually like to feel that what they are doing is worthwhile and also that they had job security.

Giving the opportunity for staff to learn new skills and gain wider experience of all areas of reception work which should help them feel that they are not simply standing still.

Staff are more likely to be motivated if they receive recognition and praise when it is deserved. As a manager I would regularly thank my staff.

The manager is not the only one who can offer praise, however. The GP’s, other members of staff and even the patients can all help in making individuals feel valued if they also offer their occasional approval or thanks.

Why not ask one of the GP’s along to a staff meeting every so often to offer a “thanks” to staff. Staff are happy if it is identified that they are appreciated and told they are doing a good job.

Staff will work better if the management of the practice is not only consistent by also seen to be fair. Treat everyone the same.

The variety of work within general practice can be a motivating factor for many of the staff and the fact that much of their time will be spent dealing with people (in itself both challenging and rewarding) is often seen as a positive benefit. Staff seem to value a sense of belonging and strong team leadership.

Job satisfaction is important and setting achievable goals for individual members of staff is an integral part of enabling them to experience job satisfaction – this can be done through a staff appraisal. You must recognise, however, that people will have their own goals as well as organisational ones and when the two coincide you are more likely to have a contented and able worker.

Keeping staff well-informed is essential – this can be done at regular team meetings. It gives you the chance as a manager to talk to the team, answer any questions and put things right if there are any misunderstandings.

Rewarding your staff with a “thank you” is important. There are other ways of doing this. Do you have a staff Christmas Party, or perhaps a Summer Party? Perhaps you might give your staff a yearly bonus. At one of the surgeries I worked at we closed the surgery at lunchtime – and sometimes we had a local craft person come in to do a demonstration – and sell their goods this was particularly well received around Christmas time when often the girls could buy up present for Christmas.  We would get in some sandwiches and it gave the girls a bit of time to relax and have some fun. This always went down very well.

It is most important to let your staff know just how much they are appreciated.

The importance of being a good Supervisor or Manager?


Managerial effectiveness is a crucial element in the running of any Practice. But being a “good” manager is not just about hitting targets and working for the company – it is all about managing your staff in the most proactive way you can. Leadership is the only way forward. Here are some points that are vital to a Manager to help manage a good and happy team.

I will use the term “Manager” in this blog but this is also for anyone in a supervisory
role – being a Supervisor you are in a responsible role and lead a team and this is just as important as a managerial role.

LEADERSHIP

In every organisation there is a definite need for leadership. Whether it is a Team Leader, Supervisor or Manager they are vital to the practice. You will need to be goal orientated, self-motivated and possess boundless energy and have to learn how to exert influence effectively in all directions – upwards, downwards and sideways. You will need to show strong leadership both to your bosses and the staff.

You will need to earn respect from your staff and your Partners – and that comes with
time. You need to be seen to be fair, treating everyone with respect and not show any signs of favouritism.

Strict neutrality is also necessary in your dealings with staff. It is hard to maintain a strictly unbiased approach if you are particularly friendly with one or more members of staff.

The role of a Manager can sometimes be very lonely.

TEAM BUILDING

Team building is vital for the whole practice.

Communication plays a big part in Team Building. Get to know your team where possible as individuals. Get to know their strengths and weaknesses, their goals and their hopes. These will help when it comes to yearly appraisals. By knowing your staff and their bilities you are able to place them in the job best suited to them. You might have someone who has great people skills – they will be ideal to put on the front desk, and someone who has great computer skills yet not so good on people skills, they would be great at carrying out admin and computer work. By placing these people in these roles make for happier staff – they are doing something they enjoy  rather than just doing a job given to them.

You need all types of staff to have a team. Someone that is has a great telephone manner, someone who has great people skills and someone who has great organisational skills – use them to the best of their ability.

Team Building is such a important part of your job.

MOTIVATING STAFF

Motivating staff is an essential part of any manger’s work. Most staff seeks not only an
interesting job but usually like to feel that what they are doing is worthwhile and that they have job security. They need to be able to respect their boss(es) and have the respect back. Offer staff opportunities – training, learning new skills, and promotion wherever possible.

Staff are more likely to be motivated if they receive recognition and praise when it is deserved. This can be given to individual members of the team or to the team as a whole.

If you are praising an individual do not do it in front of the other members of the team. Call them to your office and give the praise – if the praise is to the whole team give this at a team meeting – and ensure that staff that are not at the meeting receive the praise. You could verbally give the praise followed up by a memo to all concerned.

Staff will work better if the management of the practice is not only consistent by also seen to be fair.

STAFF MEETINGS

Finding time to have staff meetings is never easy. Especially in Practice as many of the
staff are part-time workers and therefore you never having everyone there at the same time.

Some practices have staff meetings in the evenings; some have “breakfast” meetings before the surgery opens. Others have staff meetings during the lunch break. One thing is for sure if you have a big team of receptionists you will never have everyone attend the meeting. Look at the best times that staff can attend. Send out a memo asking them what they would prefer. Try to rotate the meetings every time so everyone gets a fair change of attending the next one.

But the important thing is to keep staff informed if they are unable to attend. For me the best way was to have each and every meeting has minutes taken and copies sent out to all staff – those that were present and those that could not attend also copy in your manager and the staff Partner. Always keep a copy of every meeting on file for future reference.

It is important to give staff plenty of notice when the next meeting is going to take place. A good suggestion is to agree the next date at the meeting you are holding. This way you can add it to the minutes.

If you have a lunchtime meeting a good idea is to provide lunch – perhaps a nice kind rep would be happy to help.

As a Practice you will have to decide if overtime is going to be paid and at what rate.

Let all staff have an opportunity of adding items to the agenda.

In my experience most staff are happy to attend meetings if they can see the point of it and a positive outcome with direction action being taken if appropriate.

If you learn to hold successful meetings, you should be guaranteed a good attendance.

STAFF TRAINING

Staff training is vital – it is essential for every Practice to be able to move forward. Well
trained staff are confident staff.

Invest in good training. It does not always have to cost a fortune. There are several options that you can take when it comes to staff training. You can either send individual staff on training courses outside the practice – your local PCT (Primary Care Trust) usually run excellent courses and many of these are free.

You can attend courses and then bring them back to the and train staff.

You can have an outside organisation come into the Practice and train several staff at the same time – this can be some similar to a staff meeting when it can be done during a lunchtime. Again Reps are often able to help in the cost of training.

Ensure that you log all training that staff has been on – keep a training log of their individual training skills in their staff files.

Staff Appraisals

Appraisals are a two-way process. If you need to explain to staff that one of the reasons
why you wish to hold individual appraisals is because you wish to learn from them, how they feel about their particular job and their role in the practice, this should ensure that they begin to feel less apprehensive about the whole process.

For some reason staff always see appraisals as a negative thing. Try to change that.

The appraisal interview should provide a forum for feedback from the employee as well as a chance for the manager to praise past efforts and offer constructive criticism on ways in which improvements can take place. Training needs can be identified and methods of monitoring development can be set up.

It is important that you listen to their views and recommendations and, where possible implement changes that they have suggested. But do not make promises that you will not be able to keep.

And most important

COMMUNICATION

Communication is vital. Staff needs to be kept informed in anything that might involve them. Lack of communication is a good way to start rumours and bad feelings amongst staff. Keep your staff informed of necessary changes within their jobs or within the Practice.

Talk to your staff, feedback when and where possible – staff meetings are good for this as
are memo’s and talking to staff wherever possible.

And remember – there is no “I” in TEAM

                                     

The importance of being a good Supervisor or Manager?


Managerial effectiveness is a crucial element in the running of any Practice. But being a “good” manager is not just about hitting targets and working for the company – it is all about managing your staff in the most proactive way you can. Leadership is the only way forward. Here are some points that are vital to a Manager to help manage a good and happy team.

I will use the term “Manager” in this blog but this is also for anyone in a supervisory
role – being a Supervisor you are in a responsible role and lead a team and this is just as important as a managerial role.

LEADERSHIP

In every organisation there is a definite need for leadership. Whether it is a Team Leader, Supervisor or Manager they are vital to the practice. You will need to be goal orientated, self-motivated and possess boundless energy and have to learn how to exert influence effectively in all directions – upwards, downwards and sideways. You will need to show strong leadership both to your bosses and the staff.

You will need to earn respect from your staff and your Partners – and that comes with
time. You need to be seen to be fair, treating everyone with respect and not show any signs of favouritism.

Strict neutrality is also necessary in your dealings with staff. It is hard to maintain a strictly unbiased approach if you are particularly friendly with one or more members of staff.

The role of a Manager can sometimes be very lonely.

TEAM BUILDING

Team building is vital for the whole practice.

Communication plays a big part in Team Building. Get to know your team where possible as individuals. Get to know their strengths and weaknesses, their goals and their hopes. These will help when it comes to yearly appraisals. By knowing your staff and their bilities you are able to place them in the job best suited to them. You might have someone who has great people skills – they will be ideal to put on the front desk, and someone who has great computer skills yet not so good on people skills, they would be great at carrying out admin and computer work. By placing these people in these roles make for happier staff – they are doing something they enjoy  rather than just doing a job given to them.

You need all types of staff to have a team. Someone that is has a great telephone manner, someone who has great people skills and someone who has great organisational skills – use them to the best of their ability.

Team Building is such a important part of your job.

MOTIVATING STAFF

Motivating staff is an essential part of any manger’s work. Most staff seeks not only an
interesting job but usually like to feel that what they are doing is worthwhile and that they have job security. They need to be able to respect their boss(es) and have the respect back. Offer staff opportunities – training, learning new skills, and promotion wherever possible.

Staff are more likely to be motivated if they receive recognition and praise when it is deserved. This can be given to individual members of the team or to the team as a whole.

If you are praising an individual do not do it in front of the other members of the team. Call them to your office and give the praise – if the praise is to the whole team give this at a team meeting – and ensure that staff that are not at the meeting receive the praise. You could verbally give the praise followed up by a memo to all concerned.

Staff will work better if the management of the practice is not only consistent by also seen to be fair.

STAFF MEETINGS

Finding time to have staff meetings is never easy. Especially in Practice as many of the
staff are part-time workers and therefore you never having everyone there at the same time.

Some practices have staff meetings in the evenings; some have “breakfast” meetings before the surgery opens. Others have staff meetings during the lunch break. One thing is for sure if you have a big team of receptionists you will never have everyone attend the meeting. Look at the best times that staff can attend. Send out a memo asking them what they would prefer. Try to rotate the meetings every time so everyone gets a fair change of attending the next one.

But the important thing is to keep staff informed if they are unable to attend. For me the best way was to have each and every meeting has minutes taken and copies sent out to all staff – those that were present and those that could not attend also copy in your manager and the staff Partner. Always keep a copy of every meeting on file for future reference.

It is important to give staff plenty of notice when the next meeting is going to take place. A good suggestion is to agree the next date at the meeting you are holding. This way you can add it to the minutes.

If you have a lunchtime meeting a good idea is to provide lunch – perhaps a nice kind rep would be happy to help.

As a Practice you will have to decide if overtime is going to be paid and at what rate.

Let all staff have an opportunity of adding items to the agenda.

In my experience most staff are happy to attend meetings if they can see the point of it and a positive outcome with direction action being taken if appropriate.

If you learn to hold successful meetings, you should be guaranteed a good attendance.

STAFF TRAINING

Staff training is vital – it is essential for every Practice to be able to move forward. Well
trained staff are confident staff.

Invest in good training. It does not always have to cost a fortune. There are several options that you can take when it comes to staff training. You can either send individual staff on training courses outside the practice – your local PCT (Primary Care Trust) usually run excellent courses and many of these are free.

You can attend courses and then bring them back to the and train staff.

You can have an outside organisation come into the Practice and train several staff at the same time – this can be some similar to a staff meeting when it can be done during a lunchtime. Again Reps are often able to help in the cost of training.

Ensure that you log all training that staff has been on – keep a training log of their individual training skills in their staff files.

Staff Appraisals

Appraisals are a two-way process. If you need to explain to staff that one of the reasons
why you wish to hold individual appraisals is because you wish to learn from them, how they feel about their particular job and their role in the practice, this should ensure that they begin to feel less apprehensive about the whole process.

For some reason staff always see appraisals as a negative thing. Try to change that.

The appraisal interview should provide a forum for feedback from the employee as well as a chance for the manager to praise past efforts and offer constructive criticism on ways in which improvements can take place. Training needs can be identified and methods of monitoring development can be set up.

It is important that you listen to their views and recommendations and, where possible implement changes that they have suggested. But do not make promises that you will not be able to keep.

And most important

COMMUNICATION

Communication is vital. Staff needs to be kept informed in anything that might involve them. Lack of communication is a good way to start rumours and bad feelings amongst staff. Keep your staff informed of necessary changes within their jobs or within the Practice.

Talk to your staff, feedback when and where possible – staff meetings are good for this as
are memo’s and talking to staff wherever possible.

And remember – there is no “I” in TEAM