Subordinate evaluations are part of a company's appraisal process where employees assess the performance of their managers. Typically, a subordinate appraisal is part of what is known as a 360-degree feedback system. This is where an employee is appraised by managers, subordinates, colleagues, business partners and customers. Feedback from supervised employees can be very useful to managers, their workers and the company.

Leadership Improvement

The most direct benefit of a subordinate evaluation is the ability for managers to receive feedback from those most directly affected by their performance. In theory, if a top-down assessment of employee performance helps motivate improvement, subordinate reviews should motivate managers to address areas of weakness or need. The challenge is often having managers that are humble enough to receive honest feedback from their workers. However, if they are open-minded, they can get tips on how to better train and develop subordinates.

Culture of Communication

By encouraging communication from both top-down and bottom-up perspectives, a company is more likely to develop a strong culture of communication. This means employees feel comfortable speaking their minds and offering opinions. Encouraging proactive expressions from employees is generally healthier than leaving them little opportunity for open feedback. This tends to cause employees to gossip and develop negative attitudes toward management. With a subordinate evaluate system, the hope is employees won't hold in their concerns.

Message of Value

One of the most important advantages of subordinate evaluations is psychological. It makes employees feel like they hold key roles in the organization and their input in the overall purpose and direction of the company is valued. This instills a sense of confidence and self-worth that can have a lot of impact on production and results. Additionally, employees feel like their voices are heard and this can actually make them more willing to listen to direction from managers and positively receive constructive feedback on their own performance.


An advantage of the 360-degree feedback system, in general, is the consistency in assessing performance. With the subordinate tool in particular, consistent themes in employee feedback helps company management understand needs for management training and improvement. Companies can help reduce turnover and improve employee performance by addressing consistently cited issues. Plus, employees are in a better position to provide accurate feedback on their managers, in many cases, than a manager's supervisor.