Identifying #core #strengths through #reviews

Letting your employees review you can lead to personal and professional growth of the team, and you.


The dictionary meaning of the word review stands for a “formal assessment of something with the intention of instituting change if necessary”. A review is typically on performance related parameters, on goals and objectives that an individual is committed to. And since the reporting manager’s performance is most often a derivativecumulative impact of the performance of the team, the lack of timely and quality reviews of the team can lead to under-performance or nonperformance with its own consequence management.

Organisationally, we are far away from team members ‘reviewing’ their managers. Before we even reach an organisational development stage of an employee ‘reviewing’ a reporting manager’s performance, there are a few hurdles to be crossed: a) Willingness of the ‘boss’ to receive feedback and do something constructive about it; b) ‘Dare’ in the employee to give feedback without fear of any consequence whatsoever; c) Acceptance on the part of the reporting manager that he may be and ideally should be having people in his team.

Structured interventions:


In the mid-year and annual appraisal process, the management generally has two questions that the reviewee is expected to first fill online and then discuss in the face-to-face meeting with the reporting manager. First, two things that you should continue doing to enable my performance; and second, two things that you could do differently to help me perform better.

While the first one was always filled up, we found the second one to be blank in almost 30-40% of the forms, a couple of years back. HR teams had to intervene and take some steps to bring in the change.


While annual and mid-year appraisals evaluate the accomplishment of the goals and objectives, in most cases, the manager does not really receive comprehensive feedback on hisher style of team management, since the manager’s own supervisor has littleno view to the leadership style that is employed with the direct team.Therefore, in a way, a very critical developmental feedback related to organisational performance is missing in most cases! While a 360 degree feedback is a pretty much tested way of giving feedback to each individual, the specific feedback by the team gets ‘hidden’ in the grossing-over exercise that is inherent in this process.

Those individuals working for a manager are the ones who are the absolute best witnesses of the behaviours of the manager. So, here comes the practice of upward feedback a tool to collate a collective team feedback based on individual responses. This would enable a manager to get objective feedback on aspects of his team leadership; aspects that play a big role in the motivation, retention and performance of his team. Actively encouraging the direct team to give feedback can lead to personal and professional growth of the manager.

Un-structured interventions

These would be more in the realm of building a culture of giving and taking feedback. Every team has a cadence of regular group meetings to do stock taking. Encouraging peer-review during these meetings is a great way of collectively uplifting each other’s performance levels; the results will be for all to see in the team performance, typically reflected in the goal sheet of the reporting manager! Identifying core strengths of each team member like e-mail communication skills, project planning skills, data analysis skills, presentations skills, etc., and then building a work culture wherein these ‘in-house experts’ review the rest of the team as and when necessary, since everyone else would typically need to use these at some point of time or the other.

Needless to say, the reporting manager is the catalyst in bringing in a change for the better in the work culture, encouraging the team to give constructive feedback to himher, at first specifically sought and then as and when required! These are tried and tested ways for personal and professional growth.


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