Subordinate appraisals have become an ordinary practice in the early 21st century as companies promote more broad-ranging internal communication. The subordinate appraisal is an evaluation tool whereby employees assess the performance of their supervisor. Concerns about possible repercussions of honest feedback loom, but there are some significant benefits to this type of evaluation.

Sense of Importance

One indirect benefit of a subordinate appraisal is that it empowers employees and gives them a greater sense of value within the organization. Employees feel as if they have a voice and that the company values their feelings toward the effectiveness of management. In general, the ability to provide input in the direction of the company makes employees feel valued. In this case, the input relates specifically to the day-to-day functioning in their jobs under their current supervisor.


Subordinate evaluations of their supervisors are often perceived as more accurate than typical manager assessments of supervisor performance. This is because employees are more involved in daily interaction with their supervisor than is the supervisor's manager. Thus, they observe more directly and more consistently how the supervisor carries out his responsibilities. A supervisor's manager spends more time delegating his responsibilities than observing him in daily performance.


If taken to heart, collective employee feedback offers critical input on areas supervisors can improve upon to better lead. Stress caused by management is a common reason cited by employees on exit interviews. The subordinate appraisal offers a tool for employees to convey their concerns in a less confrontational way. If all employees convey the same messages, the totality of the feedback can help the supervisor improve his performance. Comments about a negative attitude, for instance, puts pressure on the lead to assess how his attitude impacts his department's culture. The US Office of Personnel Management indicates that subordinate reviews are best at helping supervisors correct interpersonal skills.

Employee Needs

Though intended as a tool to aid managers, subordinate appraisals can actually reveal common needs of employees, as well. If employees consistently note of organizational leaders from which they don't get regular communication about their work, the company may need to make systemic adjustments. Instituting management by walking around principles, the organization can encourage supervisors to take a more active role in giving employees feedback. If employees note that they don't feel properly trained, the company may need to implement more thorough training systems and allocate more time to them.