Something most managers hate to do is evaluate either their employees, or themselves. Managers who aren’t comfortable telling employees negative things about their employees really hate when it’s time for employee evaluations. Other managers usually hate it also because they haven’t cared enough to remember much of what most of their employees have done throughout the year.

The role of a manager is to make sure everyone is pulling their weight. If the manager is in charge of hiring, the role of the manager is to learn how to evaluate talent, ask the proper questions, and find, as close to exact as possible, the person needed who not only has the qualifications for the job, but someone who the manager feels would be a good fit within the department.

When I was a director, I had a couple of questions I’d ask that I doubt other directors asked, but I didn’t have a full plan. I feel I was lucky most of the time in hiring the right person, but I didn’t get it right a few times. And when it came time to evaluate employees, I would really try to think back on the overall year’s performance, instead of using the last week, which would have been the easiest, in evaluating someone. That’s why I created an employee evaluation program for managers and employers, so that they would have a tool they could use, with criteria that makes sense, whenever they either wanted to evaluate existing employees, or hire new ones, anywhere from entry level to management to upper management.

I also created a manager self evaluation form while I was working on my manager training program, and I give a copy of that to all subscribers who sign up for either of the newsletters I write. What’s the importance of evaluating yourself? I tend to believe that every person should always be evaluating themselves if they care to get better. If possible, they should also allow others to evaluate them, anonymously of course, to see if the manager’s perception of themselves is in line with the perceptions of the employees.

While I was a director, I happened upon a self evaluation form, and I made copies of it. I evaluated myself, then asked one of my supervisors to give it to 10 of my employees and ask them to evaluate me, and to return them to her in some fashion so that she wouldn’t known who said what. When I got them back, I found that 9 of them either evaluated me the same as I evaluated myself, or evaluated me higher; one of them evaluated me either the same or lower.

I accepted that as fair, because I knew that my style of management isn’t every person’s cup of tea. I don’t try to be all things to all people, but I do try to get the most out of every person, which includes making people accountable to themselves. I was confident in my management style, and 90% was pretty good.

It’s when we stay stagnant, and allow others to either stay stagnant or substandard, that problems arise in business, and in life. Being self serving, I would tell you that you should sign up for my newsletter (which is free), get the free tool, and go through the same evaluation process I did, just to see where you stand. If you only have one or two employees, don’t bother because putting people on the spot like that wouldn’t be fair. But if you’re in a larger operation, give it to your employees, or even your peers, take it yourself, then compare. We can’t correct what we don’t know about, but we also aren’t sure if what we’re trying to achieve is at least more positive than negative.