6 Key Performance Indicators for Evaluating C-Level Hospital Executives

by | Jul 26, 2017 | How To, Leadership, Leadership Library, Management

How often are you evaluating your leaders and executive team?

Chances are, not often enough.

The tremendous responsibility they carry for your organization every day makes evaluating their performance regularly a critical part of running a successful team. But often, it is overlooked because standards or expectations were never set.

Marty Fitzgerald of American Consultants says, “Most healthcare executive evaluations are difficult because the evaluators must balance a relationship that has been built on trust versus the ability to constructively point out weaknesses that need improvement.  If an evaluation does not have previously set standards and the ability to measure results, then these meetings can be detrimental to any previously built relationship.”

Celebrating accomplishments and sharing honest feedback with your executive level directors about opportunities for growth is essential to both their success and that of your organization. Evaluations don’t have to insight conflict if the core of the organization’s goals are at the heart of the evaluation process. 

“The goal is not to avoid conflict, but instead, provide candor surrounding measurable accomplishments and objectives for improvement when necessary.”

Marty Fitzgerald

Managing Partner, American Consultants

So when it comes down to it, how DO you effectively assess your executive team? How do you measure your CEO’s performance, assess your CFO’s effectiveness, estimate the COO’s contributions to the health of your organization? And how does your CNOs stack up and lead his or her team? How does that tie to their salary increases, bonuses and raises? What are the key performance indicators (KPIs) of an effective Chief Nursing Officer as it relates to compensation?

Forbes contributor Joel Trammel outlines 6 KPIs of executive-level performance that can be helpful in determining how your candidate in question is doing performance-wise. We provide the KPI and the questions to score an executive in specific areas and then identify an overall score and performance aptitude.

1. Own the Vision

Is your CNO, for instance, communicating a clear vision, mission and corporate values to your stakeholders, both internal and external? It’s imperative that they have a strategy and that it leverages their strengths and minimizes weaknesses to establish a competitive advantage for the organization. Another thing to consider is how other employees feel around them and react to their presence. Are they excited to work with them? Do your “doers” shut down? Do your most vocal people clam up under the leadership of that individual? Are your other employees excited to come to work each day and labor alongside them for the shared mission of the company?

2. Provide Proper Human Resources

How many times, for instance, have we heard CEOs say “Our people are our most important resource”? If that is the case, then has the CEO built a company whose people are clearly better than the competition? It is easy for the CEO to say we have great people, but if they are not as good as the competition at acquiring talent, then the company is at a competitive disadvantage every day in the market. While all the members of the team are important, the board and c-suite should pay special attention to the executive team and provide clear succession planning.

3. Provide the Proper Capital and Other Resources

No business can function without the proper financial resources. Those resources can come from external funding sources or from the internal operations of the company. The executive team must constantly anticipate the organization’s needs and not allow a shortage of resources to cause the company to miss opportunities.

4. Build the Culture

Culture, simply put, is how things are done. And high-performance cultures don’t just appear. They come into being as an executive like a CNO understands and motivates people throughout the department and organization. Too many leaders allow the culture to develop organically and then are surprised when people develop attitudes that aren’t aligned with the company’s vision, mission, and goals.

5. Make Decisions Well

Decisions are the fuel on which every organization runs. The quality and speed with which decisions are made determine the productivity of the organization. The executive level director is responsible not only for the decisions he makes but also any decisions his management team makes. Building an organization that consistently makes thoughtful choices in a timely manner is one of the toughest but most valuable things a chief can accomplish.

6. Deliver Performance

At the end of the day as we all know, our executive teams – the CEO, CFO, COO and CNOs of hospitals – are responsible for delivering performance. The CEO delivers performance by leading the hospital staff to fulfill its mission. The CFO delivers in the finances of a hospital. The COO delivers in how things are done in a hospital. The challenge with evaluating performance directly is that it often takes years to see how things play out. Instead of just waiting to see what happens, the chief level director must work with his management team to understand the key metrics in each area that will lead to superior performance.

By evaluating the chief level executives in these six areas, hospital boards and staffs can provide great feedback and start a valuable conversation with their leadership.



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How is your C-Suite Executive’s leadership measuring up? Take our 3-minute assessment to gain valuable takeaways to use as a basis for coaching and improvement.


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