Article Date: 1/1/2003

staffing solutions
See Yourself as Others Do
"Upward appraisals" give you a picture of your management style.
By Bob Levoy, O.D.

A Texas O.D. thought of himself as good humored and easy going until he learned that his staff was terrified of him. A Florida office manager who thought of herself as efficient found that staff members thought her a control freak. You can benefit from similar findings.

Evaluations turned upside down

The discoveries the previous two individuals made about their management styles were the result of what industry calls an "upward appraisal." In this process, employees evaluate their managers -- a switch on the usual, downward performance appraisal that managers make of employees. It enables you to learn how staff members perceive your day-to-day behavior and management style.

Just because you've never heard any employee complaints doesn't mean they don't exist. Most employees are understandably timid about giving negative feedback to their bosses. Others believe it wouldn't change anything. So they talk among themselves -- and perhaps with patients -- about the things that bother them about their jobs. And the problems continue.

Getting started

Regardless of the outcome, an upward appraisal makes you a better manager. To get started, consider the form at left. Modify it to suit your needs and distribute it to everyone on your staff, emphasizing that no signatures are required. That will encourage your staff to "tell it like it is."

Upward appraisals reveal your strengths and shortcomings as a manager. Not only that, but the performance criteria represented by each of these statements in the evaluation form define and promote an internal code of behavior for all employees (e.g., being punctual, a good listener, thoughtful and considerate of others). In effect it's saying: This is what this practice is all about.

 

Upward Appraisal Form
Ratings are as follows: 1 = poor; 2 = fair; 3 = good;
4 = excellent; x = no opinion

Doctor_____________ Office Manager _______________

1. Personal Appearance 1 2 3 4
2. Conducts himself/herself in a professional manner 1 2 3 4
3. Has a likeable personality 1 2 3 4
4. Is a good listener 1 2 3 4
5. Is good at giving feedback to others 1 2 3 4
6. Is open to other people's ideas and opinions 1 2 3 4
7. Is considerate to staff members 1 2 3 4
8. Looks for win-win solutions to disagreements 1 2 3 4
9. Has good self control when under pressure 1 2 3 4
10. Will admit mistakes and apologize when wrong 1 2 3 4
11. Is punctual 1 2 3 4
12. Leaves personal affairs at home 1 2 3 4
13. Is good at giving compliments 1 2 3 4
14. Provides on-the-job training 1 2 3 4
15. Willingly answers questions for staff members 1 2 3 4
16. Makes me proud to work in this practice 1 2 3 4
17. Lets me know when I have done something wrong in a fair and constructive manner 1 2 3 4
18. Keeps his/her promises 1 2 3 4
19. Delegates the authority I need to do my job 1 2 3 4
20. Has good people skills 1 2 3 4

(Use reverse side for comments)

DR. LEVOY'S NEWEST BOOK, "201 SECRETS OF A HIGH PERFORMANCE OPTOMETRIC PRACTICE" WAS PUBLISHED BY BUTTERWORTH-HEINEMANN. YOU CAN REACH HIM BY E-MAIL AT B.LEVOY@ATT.NET.

 


Optometric Management, Issue: January 2003