How To Evaluate Your Managers' Performance (With Benefits)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated October 23, 2022 | Published October 18, 2021

Updated October 23, 2022

Published October 18, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

The quality of an organization's management is one of the crucial determinants of its success. This makes it important for organizations to receive feedback from employees concerning the effectiveness of their leadership. Understanding how to evaluate your managers' performance can help the organization improve its leadership and promote employee wellbeing and productivity. In this article, we discuss how to evaluate your managers' performance, explore types of evaluation questions to ask, identify skills to evaluate, and highlight the benefits of evaluating their performance.

How to evaluate your managers' performance

Follow these steps if you want to assess the performance of your managers:

1. Use a confidential process

To evaluate managers' performances effectively, it's important that employees can provide honest responses to the evaluation questions. This is unlikely if employees fear that the manager may become hostile after learning about their review. The best approach to guarantee honest feedback is to make the evaluation process confidential. When employees trust the organization to protect their identities, they're more likely to state their concerns or criticisms about a manager's performance. The most effective way to guarantee confidentiality is to make the evaluations anonymous.

2. Clarify all issues

After identifying some of the issues employees have with the manager, it's important for the organization to seek to clarify them. This can be regarding the nature of the problem, its cause, or what the employees may prefer the manager does. Doing this ensures that the organization channels its efforts to resolve managerial issues in the right direction. Clarifying the issue can be seamless, as a simple survey can suffice. For example, if employees complain that the manager doesn't care about their welfare, the organization can ask what welfare benefits the employees want.

Related: Handling Management Weaknesses (Examples and Solutions)

3. Take immediate action

Following the clarification, it's essential for the organization to take immediate action. A company's management is vital to its success, so it's risky to allow leadership issues to persist. Taking immediate action also shows respect for the opinions of employees, which can foster trust. Depending on the issue, there are various ways organizations can improve their management. For example, an organization can provide its managers with leadership coaching or more administrative resources. Other options include optimizing the management recruitment process, increasing budgetary allocations, or increasing salaries and work perks to attract better candidates.

4. Request feedback

Monitoring improvements in leadership can help organizations determine the effectiveness of their measures. Organizations can distribute surveys to employees to ask them about any improvements to the manager's performance. They can ask questions that directly relate to the issues they previously identified or ask general performance questions. Managers may improve for a while before regressing, so it's important that feedback is consistent.

Types of questions to evaluate a manager's performance

Here are some examples of questions you can ask to evaluate a manager's performance:

Likert scale questions

A Likert scale is a survey tool that measures people's opinions about a particular issue. It involves making a statement and asking people the extent to which they agree with it or their likelihood of taking action. Likert scales are effective for asking nuanced questions. For example, an employee may believe a manager is somewhat passionate. If you restrict that employee to a yes or no answer, they may pick no even though they don't mean it. A Likert scale allows them to pick more accurate answers like "fairly" or "slightly agree." Examples of Likert scale questions include:

  • My manager is passionate about their work and employees.

  • I feel safe expressing opinions to my manager.

  • My manager gives feedback in a clear and productive manner.

  • I find coming to work every day and making my contributions exciting.

  • My manager is considerate of our schedules and doesn't overburden us with work.

Yes or no questions

Experts also refer to yes or no questions as polar questions. These types of questions are best for addressing direct issues where people can only have one stance. For example, issues relating to a manager's leadership policy can be the subject of a yes or no question. To avoid affecting the accuracy of the data, organizations can include a third option called "unsure" or "I don't know" for employees who may not have an opinion on the matter. Here are some examples of yes or no questions:

  • Do you think your department needs a new manager?

  • Are you happy with the current leadership style of your manager?

  • Do you feel satisfied with your current work schedule?

  • Are you happy with the welfare benefits your manager offers?

  • Are you likely to recommend your manager for another leadership position?

Open-ended questions

These are questions that require an extensive or descriptive answer. Employees can't answer this type of question with a yes or no. Open-ended questions help to clarify the opinions of employees on a certain issue. For example, you may know employees dislike a manager's leadership style, but an open-ended question requires them to say what they dislike about it. Similarly, open-ended questions effectively obtain recommendations from employees about how an organization can improve its leadership. Here are some examples of open-ended questions:

  • What part of your manager's approach to leadership do you suggest they change?

  • What do you recommend your manager does to improve your working experience?

  • What is the best part of working with your manager?

  • What is your opinion of the relationship between your manager and the rest of your colleagues?

  • In what manner do you think your manager can show compassion for you and your colleagues?

Essential managerial skills to evaluate

Here are some essential skills that management evaluations can assess:

Leadership skills

It involves skills managers use to influence people to collaborate to achieve a common goal. Leadership skills are crucial for managers, as they're responsible for directing the activities of employees. In turn, it makes it an essential aspect of a manager's performance evaluation. Examples of leadership skills organizations can prioritize include empathy, innovation, patience, risk-taking, and giving constructive feedback. Organizations can also assess these skills by evaluating a manager's ability to motivate employees and manage their strengths and weaknesses.

Supervisory skills

These are skills people use to monitor others and ensure they remain dedicated to their tasks. Supervision is one of the core responsibilities of managers, making these skills essential for them. A good manager monitors employees frequently and provides guidance or help when necessary. They also know how to give feedback and criticism while maintaining their morale. Organizations can assess this skill by evaluating the manager's ability to hold employees accountable and get them to perform tasks effectively.

Communication skills

This refers to the ability to convey and receive information properly. Communication skills comprise speaking skills, writing skills, and the understanding of non-verbal cues. Good managers prioritize open communication and pass information quickly and effectively to ensure all employees have the necessary information. Effective communication is also important for providing constructive feedback. Organizations can assess the manager's ability to communicate information in a simple, timely, and productive manner.

Emotional intelligence

This refers to an ability to handle interpersonal relations properly by understanding and controlling one's emotions. Emotional intelligence is essential for managers to build long-term relationships with employees. An emotionally intelligent manager is more likely to be considerate toward employees, which can inspire trust and loyalty from them. Organizations can evaluate the manager's ability to relate effectively with their employees and their general disposition to others.

Related: Building Relationships: Benefits, Tips, and How-To Guide

Strategic thinking

This is the ability to plan effectively toward a long-term goal and make necessary adjustments based on changing variables. Strategic thinking is a vital skill for managers, as they're responsible for determining the goals and strategy of their unit or organization. It also impacts their ability to use the employees and resources available to them effectively. Organizations can evaluate the manager's ability to make feasible plans and achieve goals with limited resources.

Related: What Is Strategic Planning? (With Benefits)

Benefits of employees evaluating managers

Here are some of the benefits of employees evaluating their managers:

Helps identify leadership problems

Many times, problems with leadership are only obvious from dwindling results. Determining the source of these problems can be a bit more difficult. Asking employees to evaluate their managers is an effective way of identifying these issues.

Improves employee engagement

When employees realize their opinions matter, they're more likely to be deliberate about their work. Similarly, a good evaluation process can help managers solve problems like a lack of open communication. In addition, this can help employees to be more expressive of their opinions and enthusiastic about work.

Increases productivity

Effective leadership translates to better strategy and supervision. Similarly, employees who experience good leadership are more likely to focus on their work. An effective evaluation process can lead to better leadership, which can ensure greater employee productivity.

Contributes to a healthy work environment

Evaluations show employees that they can contribute to the company's work culture. Managers also understand that respecting employees is a vital part of their workplace responsibilities. This can encourage a healthier work culture that promotes mutual respect and collaboration.

Improves employee morale

Asking employees for feedback communicates that the organization trusts them and prioritizes their well-being. This can inspire a feeling of loyalty from employees and improve their morale. Additionally, improvements in leadership and company culture due to the evaluation can also help create a conducive environment that increases employee morale.

Now that we've discussed how to evaluate your managers' performance and explored types of evaluation questions to ask, you'll be better prepared to make improvements in leadership at your workplace.

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