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Positioned at Work – to rate your managers’ skills?

This blog explores the idea of reverse feedback in the workplace and the benefits of this to both parties in the employer – employee dynamic.

How often in the workplace have you been asked by your manager to rate their performance? I have only been asked once. And this has me wondering why? How else will a manager continuously improve if they do not ask for performance feedback from those they manage? Afterall whomever you manage is best positioned to inform you (and thus rate) your skills as a manager.

This can actually be a useful way of avoiding conflicts that can occur at work.
Within many organisations, including the NHS (National Health Service), this is the typical seniority hierarchy:


As we can see; managerial seniority ascends. 
I often think that it would be useful to flip this thus:

hierarchy flipped

So that the ‘shop floor’ staff are positioned at the top of the hierarchy; it makes for a interesting perspective and presents an alternative way to view traditional structures in the workplace.

I often think that directives about how services are run should formally come from the ‘shop floor staff’ – who then feedback to their managers rather than the other way round which all too often is the case. It would make sense if working structures valued the feedback of those who are closest to the ‘action’ – e.g. closest to the patient care or customer care.
This is an idea that can be used informally, but also within formal structures like Personal Development Plans (PDPs).

This could lead to managers leading their teams more effectively by knowing what problems there are and solutions to solve them, what qualities their staff value and contributing to the development of staff leadership skills in an organic and functional way. This could lead to more effective working relationships.

If you are a manager seeking feedback from your staff, you may find the following sample questions useful:

(Manager) Rate how well I:
• Show I am listening
• Seek clarification of what you are saying
• Recognise and understand problems you raise
• Consider solutions you suggest
• Deal with being challenged
(contact me if you have any other additions or would like more examples)

See this link to an article that explores the difference between leadership versus managerial skills. I don’t get involved in the semantics; I believe a good manager needs must be an excellent leader – it all begins with self-leadership.

Thinking about your own experience, give an example of a manager’s actions that stands out as an example of excellent managerial / leadership skills. It would be great to share these fantastic experiences.

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