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How am I Doing as a Manager?

As a Community Sexual Assault Program manager, you are subject to a formal evaluation process by your supervisor, whether that is the Board, an Executive Director (if you do not also fill that role), or someone else. However, most of us really want to know how we are doing at our jobs - and for managers, that means getting feedback from those who are supervised as well as those who supervise us. How do you get feedback from your staff in an appropriate manner without having them feel like they have been "put on the spot"? How do you evaluate your own performance on an ongoing basis? Here are a few ideas:

  • Be clear about the goals and expectations you have for yourself. These might be derived from your last performance evaluation, from the program's strategic plan, or from your own ideas of what is important. Take the time to operationalize these goals for yourself (that is, break them down into specific actions tied to a timeline) and keep that document handy. If you only examine your own goals once or twice a year, you will lose focus.
  • Think about respectful ways to elicit feedback from people you supervise. For example, after a routine one-on-one supervisory or coaching session, you might ask, "How did this process work for you? Do you feel that you were heard and that your questions were answered? Is there some other approach that might work better for you? Do you need anything more from me in order to do your work or complete this project?"
  • Take the time to reflect on how your staff members might perceive you. If you say you have "an open-door policy," but you have been too rushed to respond the last ten times an employee asked to speak to you, you may want to think through a way to be more approachable. For example, you might designate a certain hour during the day as an "open door" time for staff to drop in and speak to you, so you are not interrupted all day long for non-urgent concerns.
  • If you are frustrated because staff members frequently seem to be irritated or defensive, take an honest look at your own communication style. Without intending to do so, you may be coming on too strong and making people feel attacked. Remember to ask questions and to listen, rather than just talking and giving directions.
Reviewed: April 14th, 2015