One of the most difficult responsibilities confronting managers is appraising the performance of employees. Pharmacists could potentially be placed in a position of pharmacist-in-charge, supervisor, or manager very soon after graduating. Even if not formally designated as manager, pharmacists will have technicians and clerical staff who report to them. Performance appraisals are difficult because we are providing feedback to persons we probably know pretty well and in knowing there could be much at stake in the review. There are a number of biases inherent to conducting a performance appraisal, such as the tendency to evaluate everyone similarly (central tendency), or too leniently (lenience), or around just 1-2 characteristics of the ratee without considering the totality of their performance. But conducting formal appraisals are important to communicate the organization’s mission and performance standards while giving employees something to shoot for and letting them know their contributions are, or at least could be of significant value, all while promoting equity and fairness.
A study by Siaw et al found performance feedback critical to the success of the Diabetes Multidisciplinary Experiential program to establish collaboration between pharmacists and other members of the diabetes care team.1 The feedback provided consistently approved counseling processes and interdisciplinary collaboration. Despite their importance, formal performance appraisal systems are often lacking. Jee et al found that personnel in independent pharmacies as well as locum (part-time, “floating”) pharmacists were seldom evaluated.2 When they were carried out, appraisals were often conducted by someone other than a pharmacist and were focused on business targets. They found current performance systems unsuitable in helping pharmacy personnel self-develop and improve their job performance.
There are simple strategies to help pharmacists overcome their anxieties and deficiencies in fulfilling this important managerial role.
Additional information on Performance Appraisal Systems can be found in Pharmacy Management: Essentials for All Practice Settings, 4e. If you or your institution subscribes to AccessPharmacy, use or create your MyAccess Profile to sign-in to Pharmacy Management: Essentials for All Practice Settings, 4e. If your institution does not provide access, ask your medical librarian about subscribing.
1Siaw MYL, Ang SW, Lee JY. Evaluation of the Diabetes, Multidisciplinary, Experiential (DIAMANTE) program for retail pharmacists: A mixed-method study. J Contin Educ Health Prof. 2017;37:116-122.
2Jee SD, Jacobs S, Schafeutle EI, Elvey R, Hassell K, Noyce PR. Res Social Adm Pharm. 2013;9:155-165.