Appraising Managers as Managers

The most appropriate standards to use for appraising managers as managers are the fundamentals of management. It is not enough to appraise a manager broadly, evaluating only performance of the basic functions of the manager; appraisal should go further.

The best approach is to utilize the basic techniques and principles of management as standards. If they are basic, as they have been found to be in a wide variety of managerial positions and environments, they should serve as reasonably good standards. As crude as they may be, and even though some judgment may be necessary in applying them to practice, they give the evaluator some benchmarks for measuring how well subordinates understand and are following the functions of managing.

They are definitely more specific and more applicable than evaluations based on such broad standards as work and dress habits, cooperation, intelligence, judgment, or loyalty. They at least focus attention on what on what may be expected of a manager as a manager. And, when used in conjunction with appraisal of the performance of plans and goals, they can help remove much of the weakness in many management appraisal systems.

In brief, the program involves classifying the functions of the manager and then dealing with each function by a series of questions. The questions are designed to reflect the most important fundamentals of managing in each area. Although the total list of key questions, the form used, the system of rating, and the instructions for operating the program are too extensive to be treated in this book, some sample “checkpoints� are presented below.

Sample Questions for Appraising Managers as managers:

In the area of planning, a manager’s rating would be determined through questions such as the following. Does the manager:

1. Set for the departmental unit both short-term and long-term goals in verifiable terms that are related in a positive way to those of superiors and of the company?

2. Check plans periodically to see whether they are consistent with current expectations?

3. In choosing from among alternatives, recognize and give primary attention to those factors which are limiting or critical to the solution of a problem?

In the area of organizing, questions such as the following are asked. Does the manager:

1. Delegate authority to subordinates on the basis of results expected of them?

2. Refrain from making decisions in that area once authority has been delegated to subordinates?

3. Regularly teach subordinates, or otherwise make sure that they understand the nature of line and staff relationships?

Managers are rated on how well they perform the activities. The scale used is from 0 for “inadequate� to 5 for “superior�. To give the numerical rating more rigors, each rating is defined. For example, “superior� means ‘a standard of performance which could not be improved under any circumstances or conditions known to the rater�.

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