Idea: Give the boss a grade
In business, there comes a time in the fiscal year where the boss calls his or her employees into the office for a performance evaluation. But the only direction the evaluation flows in the workplace is from top down. Nobody asks the employees how the boss is doing. Sure, the boss has to be evaluated, too, but the view of his or her performance is only seen from above.
I think businesses should implement Boss Evaluations, similar to the Teacher Evaluations that students get to do in school. I’m sure we’ve all had similar thoughts when it came time for our own evaluations, so I know it’s not a revolutionary idea. But maybe it’s an idea that needs to rise out of the wishful thinking of the low rungs on the ladder and actually be implemented.
Of course a manager’s performance can be measured quantitatively (are sales up? is profit up?) just as test scores can be measured to judge a teacher’s success. But human relations are an important factor in a business’s bottom line, as well. When employees are happy, they stick around. While high turnover is acceptable in some industries, time and money spent training new staff may be better spent elsewhere. It benefits a company to have dedicated employees who aren’t constantly seeking a better position. It has been said that people don’t quit their jobs – they quit their bosses.
It may turn out that a division within a company is successful despite a boss that nobody likes. That is important to know, too. Employees with bad bosses may still be working hard, but they may also be more likely to steal office supplies, trade secrets, or other property.
Sure, there’s always going to be the brown-noser who gives a positive evaluation no matter what. And the employee with a grudge may give a negative evaluation to a boss who’s actually pretty good. Statisticians are better equipped than I am to suggest ways to account for that (is it as simple as throwing out the highest and lowest scores?). But a progressive company bold enough to ask the employees how the boss is doing may find itself with valuable information for running their company more effectively.
Note to my former boss at the last company I worked for: You didn’t inspire this article. Don’t worry.