Describe the five major methods of evaluating managers.

Principles and Practice of Management notes and Revision questions and answers

Evaluation: This refers to the process of reviewing performance over the past period and identifying any deficiencies and improving them in future. Evaluation ensures that individuals in an organization are performing to their best ability while at the same time developing their potential.

Evaluations serve three main purposes:
• Planning and following up training and development programs.
• Planning career development and succession.

• Reviewing the individual’s rewards.

Methods of Evaluation

i. Results evaluation: It assesses the employee in terms of what he actually accomplished over a period of time. It deals with quantifiable achievements e.g. units produced, volume sold, waste and turnover of manager’s employees. This method gets to the heart of managing since it evaluates managers on the basis of results or objectives achieved.

ii. Trait or attribute evaluation: It is a formal method of manager evaluation because it is carried out in a planned manner. Trait evaluation judges managers in terms of personal characteristics e.g. the degree to which he is loyal, initiative, ambition, fairness, dedication, decisiveness, ability to handle stress etc. It may also include judging the individual on work related qualities such as knowledge of the job, ability to plan and follow through on work assignments. Most trait evaluation systems give the evaluation alterative ratings for each characteristic considered important e.g. excellent, good, fair, poor. Trait evaluation may also ask the reviewer to answer several open- ended questions.

iii. Behaviour evaluation: These are concerned with actual job behaviour. These instruments identify the key aspects of managers, the manager’s job and describe a range of highly effective to very ineffective ways of performing various activities. The evaluator can note which description of behaviour is closest to the manager’s actual performance. The behaviour evaluation instruments emphasize the manager’s development since it deals directly with what is needed to help a manager improve future performance.

iv. Functional evaluation: Here managers are evaluated in terms of their ability to perform basic management functions of planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling. Some argue that this is the best method since it utilizes the basic concepts and principles of management as a standard.

v. Informal evaluation: This doesn’t use formal instruments but is an ongoing and structured way of evaluating managerial performance. Informal evaluation is mostly used in small organizations where a superior can usually tell observations – which employees are performing satisfactorily and which ones aren’t. In medium sized firms, informal evaluation is also used especially in those firms with relatively unsophisticated senior managers who may not know the various appraisal tools. Informal evaluation is an ongoing unstructured way of appraising a manager’s performance i.e. it employs no structure or design.

Principles and Practice of Management notes and Revision



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