Like individual contributors, managers receive annual performance evaluations by their own supervisors. Unlike individual contributors, managers can often be assessed on even stricter criteria, and their continued employment may even depend on the results. Mid- or top-level managers must evaluate a wider range of results and competencies when assessing their managerial subordinates than when they evaluate front-line employees. Knowing the right criteria to assess is a key to achieving the most productive results in a managerial evaluation.
Quantitative business results are an obvious criteria when assessing managers' performance. Results in the areas of sales, cost control, safety metrics, employee turnover and a host of others combine to provide a clear picture of what a manager contributes to an organization. Different business metrics are of greater importance in different organizations, and matching your evaluation criteria with the needs of your company can boost managers' effectiveness in the long run. A real-estate management firm, for example, will be greatly concerned with managers' ability to minimize vacancies in rental properties, whereas a chemical processor may be more concerned with managers' ability to comply with safety regulations.
Management is not a purely quantitative endeavor; leadership involves the soft skills of communication, motivation and goal-setting, among others, which can best be measured through the subjective feedback of direct reports. A managerial evaluation should measure the satisfaction of the manager's subordinates. Although it is not easily measured, employee satisfaction can go a long way toward boosting output and product quality in any company.
Organizations rely on their managers to create and refine operational processes, craft winning marketing strategies and protect company finances. Managers who create new solutions to complex challenges can do much to propel a company forward in these areas. Innovation can flow naturally from savvy managers as they attempt to meet expectations for business results, and it can be measured by associating results with innovative improvements. For example, if a manager institutes a new order processing system in his department and results show that the number of transactions processed per day increased by 10 percent immediately afterward, then it can be assumed that the increase came at least partly as a result of the innovation. Making innovation a specific criteria in a managerial evaluation can encourage your team to make these kinds of improvements.
In addition to boilerplate criteria, each manager should develop his own goals for personal development and performance improvement. These goals should be a vital criteria for success in a managerial evaluation. Taking the time to craft personal development goals with each manager can create a culture of continuous growth, leading to new opportunities as managers expand their skills and experience. Holding managers accountable for reaching their personal goals can make this criteria more than just a routine yearly exercise.