This article was written by HR Technews.
A lot of companies are using upward assessments or 360-degree feedback to evaluate manager performance. There are tech tools out there that promise to help HR with the process. A good example is Vision Metrics’ Management Performance tool. It’s Web-based software that lets you automate the process of surveying employees about how their supervisors are doing.
Basically, you come up with a set of questions in a variety of categories (for example, you can have people rate how well the manager motivates). Then you have the employees follow a link or log in to the program to give their answers (the application you’re using should let you control over who’s allowed to give input).
Then the program compiles a report, giving you the survey results, as well as participation rates and, in most programs, general comments left by participants.
Is it for you?
So what are the advantages of using an automated process for manager appraisals? For one, when you’re using a sleek, professional-looking program (as opposed to say, asking for input through e-mail) it’s easier to convince employees that their feedback will be anonymous. Also, the electronic format makes it easier for HR to identify the company’s best-rated managers, identify what skills are lacking across the entire management team, and keep track of changes in the ratings over time.
Of course, if you’re reviewing managers who only work closely with a handful of direct reports, you can probably get more info just by sitting down with those people. But, like with any process, automation becomes more attractive as the number of people involved increases. Some companies may find it useful to use something like this for, say, the heads of their biggest departments who directly oversee a big group of employees.