A Guide to Manager Evaluation & Development | Thomas.co

Regular manager evaluations are an important factor in effective leadership, not to be overlooked. More than assessing the performance of managers they create a springboard for the success of a team.

By evaluation delivered by peers, subordinates and supervisors evaluations provide an understanding of the strengths of each manager as well as areas for development. Manager evaluations also help to identify talent to nurture along the leadership pipeline, whilst providing development opportunities to those that need support.

Through thoughtful assessment and development plans, companies can create a culture of continuous improvement, allowing managers to thrive, and bringing their teams along with them. In this blog, we explore the importance of manager evaluation and development, and the effects on managers, teams, and organizations as a whole.

Crafting comprehensive manager evaluation criteria

To understand the foundations of manager evaluation, let's recognize some of the key criteria, on which we judge a manager’s performance:

  • Leadership style and chosen/blend of methodologies. We can scrutinize the effectiveness of leadership, and whether the manager has opted for a more transactional or transformational style.
  • Decision-making capabilities.
  • The ability to inspire and motivate teams.
  • Communication skills, including verbal and written, in formal and informal contexts.
  • Ability to meet strategic organizational goals.

Getting to the bottom of how managers lead, communicate, and align strategy to business objectives constitutes the foundations of a good manager evaluation process. A holistic approach must be taken, and in consideration of the criteria above an organization can get a comprehensive insight into the strengths of a manager as well as areas for development.

A full 360-degree approach should be incorporated into an assessment. With input from a range of perspectives, including peers, team members, and more senior management a well-rounded consensus can be achieved. This view promises valuable opinions on a manager's general leadership effectiveness, communication, and how they are perceived up and down the hierarchy, as well as how they are performing against business objectives.

Structuring performance development plans for managers

Further to the conduction of the managerial evaluation, we must implement the new learnings into development plans, addressing areas of improvement and how to capitalize further on the strengths identified. It is too often the case that development plans focus solely on areas of improvement, without putting attention on natural abilities and areas of achievement. By paying equal attention to both strengths and areas for development you are on the right track.

Action plans should not follow a ‘one size fits all’ policy and rather, should be actionable and personalized. Development plans should be tailored to the manager in question, by their style and approach. Development plans for managers should work along a timeline that satisfies short-term goals and long-term objectives. Placing goals along a timeline, punctuated by milestones, keeps a manager on schedule to achieve their developmental goals.

Involving managers in their development journey is advisable. For them to be active participants encourages self-reflection and places a sense of ownership on them. Making managers accountable for their development increases motivation and therefore the efficiency with which personal development plans are worked on.

Implementing manager evaluations and development plans

Both evaluators and managers have some responsibilities in preparing for and conducting manager evaluations.

Evaluators should:

  • Gather data.
  • Provide objective feedback.
  • Assess the managers’ ability to perform against their responsibilities.
  • Discuss strengths and areas for development.
  • Provide practical suggestions for implementation into a development plan.

Responsibilities of a manager:

  • To critique their performance, including leadership style as well as performance against objectives.
  • To identify their areas for improvement.
  • To work with the evaluator to set clear goals.
  • To be expectant of feedback that could be construed as criticism. Try to embrace this positively as an area for progression.

It’s important to recognize the necessity for continuous feedback to reinforce the feedback given at evaluation, to see how the manager is progressing, and to assist with any challenges that the manager faces in their development plan.

It’s efficient to make use of tools and technology to plan assessments, aid development, and track progression in development plans. In leveraging technology we can maximize the effectiveness and impact of the entire process. Feel free to request a demonstration of the Thomas platform to learn how we equip managers with self-awareness. The tools and platforms offered by us at Thomas support the entire management development process, from assessments to tracking progress in development plans.

Measuring the impact of manager development on organizational success  

A correlation between manager growth and team/organizational performance should be sought. Enhancing managerial skills contributes to improved team morale, productivity, and the organization’s bottom line. Progressive leadership creates a positive work environment, increasing enthusiasm and commitment from team members, in turn driving productivity. The best managers truly focus on matching efforts with organizational goals, optimizing efficiency and productivity.

We must be able to measure the success of manager development efforts, to see the true success of such. Metrics used to evaluate the success of manager development include:

  • Team performance such as productivity and ability to meet deadlines.
  • Employee engagement and satisfaction in their roles.
  • Achievement of strategic objectives against targets.

How Thomas supports manager evaluation and development

Here at Thomas, we have a range of assessment tools and courses available that can be seamlessly incorporated into development plans. These are tools to gain a deep understanding of managerial strengths and opportunities for growth.

Through Thomas Applied Knowledge Management courses your managers will be equipped with the tools and skills they need to maximize their potential and push the boundaries of growth opportunities in your business.

You can request a free demo of our management development platform. Thomas provides managers with the skills and knowledge required to be able to foster a team of engaged individuals. Don’t leave your managers undeveloped!

Concluding thoughts: Fostering leadership excellence through continuous development

Implementing manager evaluations and structured development plans are crucial practices for effective leadership. They are important in maximizing the opportunity for team success and the growth of your company.

Identify strengths and areas for improvement with Thomas' assessment tools and courses

You are more than welcome to give us a call to speak to one of our experienced team members, poised to answer your queries and provide advice, tailored to you and your organization. 

On-going evaluation and development are required to support continuous growth in modern competitive markets.