Want to see growth in your team? Create a dental employee evaluation form for setting goals and tracking progress
Conducting regular performance reviews is a smart strategy for dentists. Although “evaluating” an employee might initially seem awkward, it’s a necessary habit to develop. Open communication is the cornerstone of successful teams. And if you prepare for each dental employee evaluation, the process is more efficient and easier than you might expect.
The first step is documentation; you need a proper evaluation form. It’s a tangible record that can be referenced for future reviews and show a clear line of progression for each employee.
Organization and clarity are key factors. Your employees should understand what your expectations are, what areas are measured, and how they can improve.
Dental employee evaluation forms: the top 6 points to include
1. The employee’s job description
The job description will be your starting point. The evaluation is based on the duties your employee is expected to perform. By including the description, you have a common ground between both parties. It also gives reassurance that there are no curveballs ahead. Your employee will know what to expect, and you will have a guideline as to how she should be evaluated.
- Highlight the duties included in the description
- Explain that the evaluation metrics are based on those duties
- Use the exact description she agreed to upon hiring. If the job description has been updated since then, be sure to reference the newest version.
2. Short-term goals and executable plans
Include a section that focuses on the individual goals of each employee. Ask them to provide two or three short-term goals, and then follow up on the previous ones they’ve listed. Has there been any progress since the last review? Discuss an executable plan and write it down. Remind staff of their goals and watch for progress.
- Keep each goal simple, slightly challenging, and attainable
- Try to focus on areas of needed improvement
- Discuss methods of action, and ask how you can help
3. Scaled metrics from “bad” to “excellent”
Create a list of baseline criteria to measure each employee. Split this section into two groups: one for duties unique to the position, the other for general feedback. You can customize the first section for different employees (hygienist, dental assistant, receptionist, etc.). The second section is for all positions, focusing on workplace basics.
For example, let’s say you’re creating a dental employee evaluation form for a hygienist. Here are a few “position specific” metrics you can include (rated from “underperforming” to “exceeding expectations”):
- Demonstrates ability to complete dental procedures promptly
- Uses proper methods of sterilization and cleaning of instruments
- Capable of accurate preliminary diagnosis and patient education
The next section is more general. The topics measured may include:
- Workplace attitude
- Punctuality and attendance
- Patient satisfaction or concerns
- Ability to follow instructions
4. Discussion notes
Have a place to jot down topics covered during the evaluation. If your employee feels compelled to provide a reason for her lack of performance, it’s good to record those explanations in her own words. If she asks you for feedback, opinions, or concerns, you can address those points as well. This “discussion” section is meant to capture all the important material outside the dental employee evaluation.
- Opinions, concerns, or topics your employee brought up
- Special circumstances she felt appropriate to share with you
- Ideas for improvement (for the individual and overall practice)
5. Noteworthy praise and needed improvements
Has your dental assistant arrived every day ten minutes early? Write down the highlights of her performance and show recognition. On the flip side, is there an area she’s been lacking in? Give an honest account of what you’ve noticed since the last review. Focusing on needed improvements is not a bad thing; it is the only way to see better results.
- Keep your criticisms light, but honest
- Jot down the improvements you want to see moving forward
- Praise and highlight specifics of going above and beyond the job duties
- Don’t be one-sided—keep your praise and concerns balanced
6. Signatures and dates
Finally, you have to make your documents legitimate. If you decide to terminate an employee based on performance, you’ll need proof to back it up. Furthermore, providing a signature gives a sense of accountability. Your employee shows her agreement and understands what steps she needs to take next.
- Every person involved in the evaluation must sign and date (supervisor, dentist, etc.)
- Signatures and dates should be legible and written in pen
Lay the groundwork for painless reviews
A dental employee evaluation doesn’t need to be complicated. An organized form which shows clear expectations will make things easier. You can track the progress of individuals and better assist in offering help to those who need improvements.
What’s your opinion? Do you have tips to share about evaluation procedures? Share your thoughts in the comments!