Should a Best Boss use 360° Evaluations

Dan Eversole of Isabella Bank was kind enough to share his employee feedback form.  In my opinion it is terrific. Why is it terrific? Because it asks employees to give feedback to their manager without excuses or covering over what is really going on.  That makes it terrific!  In over 30 years in the business world rarely do I see managers who have the courage or just good sense to ask their employees “how am I doing as a manager?”

Now, you may ask. “Why not?” Why don’t managers ask their employees for feedback?  A simple 4 letter word.  Fear.  Yes FEAR.  Managers are afraid they might get their feelings hurt. Or they might get feedback that is right on target but hard to fix.  They might have made human failings, and don’t have the courage to apologize. All of those imaginary barriers keep them from using a the 360° feedback form, or just simply asking their employees how am I doing as a manager?

A CEO of a very large company ask me, “should we use 360° evaluations with all of our employees?” I could tell he wanted the answer to be no. Underlying his question I could sense his opinion, others might call it his personal bias. In his opinion managers had earned the right to be above all of that.  So I gave him the answer he was looking for – I said “no I don’t think your managers should use 360° evaluations.” And then a long, long pause.  I could see him relax.  That was the answer he was looking for from an outside consultant. But I didn’t stop there. I went on to say, “your managers should be the last to know what their employees think.  I think you should let the water cooler chatter take care of it.  Your employees know what they think of the managers, I think your managers should be the last to know, if they are ever to know.”  And I smiled.  I said it in a kind, but in a truthful way. He had a great company, and he was afraid of the negative ramifications that a 360° evaluation process could bring to the whole organization.  Yes, initially it can be very painful. But organizations or managers who have used it with the right intentions, and the desire to grow have gotten remarkable results. Can it be painful? Yes. Does it take time? Yes. Can it be rewarding. No question. Can it help you get positive results, yes, much better than water cooler chatter.

In the daily grind of the working world employees are given tasks by their managers, and given feedback on the accomplishment of those tasks, but rarely do companies ask for the same feedback in return. Why not.  A whole lot of very good reasons, but no excellent ones.  Dan Eversole of Isabella Bank has the courage to allow their employees to evaluate their managers.  That takes courage. But it helps managers get results, and isn’t that is what you are after, great results. Use it, to get the results you deserve. Positive results come from positive change.

Enjoy Dan Eversoles evaluation form for employees to managers.

Feedback questions from employees

How am I doing as your supervisor?

What can I do to help you better do your job?

What things should I stop doing that do not help this relationship?

What roadblocks, obstacles can I help with to assist you to do your job better?

Do you have concerns with any other department or employee(s)?

On a scale of 1-5 (5 is the highest) what is your satisfaction level?

What can we do to increase your satisfaction?

What are your career goals?  How can we help you achieve these goals?

Are you geographically flexible?  Where are you willing to work or move?

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