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Ask your Employees to Evaluate You!

It is that time of the year when many employers and employees have finished the performance review cycle for 2021. In many companies, the process is for employees to develop yearly objectives or key performance indicators (KPIs) for the current year. These are the things that you will be measured on at the end of the year. These are sometimes linked to a bonus. The classic acronym leaders continue to advocate is that the KPIs should follow the S.M.A.R.T principle.

  • Specific

  • Measurable

  • Achievable

  • Relevant

  • Time-bound

For those of us working on capital projects in a project management capacity, this can be more difficult due to the unpredictability of project execution throughout the year. No matter how well you have planned, there are always risks and opportunities that will occur daily that will affect the KPIs. Something that transpires mid-way through the year could significantly alter many of your KPIs causing you to revise, add, or delete items.

Whether you are an individual contributor or the Chief Executive Officer, one leadership KPI should always be to improve those around you. No matter how many bad or good things occur throughout the year, this is something that should always be achieved. The first question to ask yourself is: What can I do to improve the skills of my coworkers or direct reports? To even answer this question, you must have built a relationship with them, understand their strengths/weaknesses, reviewed their career development plans, observed the work and skills of others, etc. Use these to develop some S.M.A.R.T people-related leadership objectives to improve your team’s performance.

The goal is to get your direct reports and coworkers to evaluate you at the end of the year. Soliciting, reacting to, and acting upon honest feedback without becoming angry or hurt will be very difficult for some individuals. If you have taken the time to build relationships based on trust, psychological safety, and open communication the feedback that you receive will be priceless. The people that surround us have the greatest ability to identify our blind spots and weaknesses. You should accept this feedback (positive and negative) as an opportunity to grow and develop your leadership effectiveness. Many of us have not mastered the skill of self-awareness (conscious knowledge of one's own character and feelings) I will be asking my co-workers and direct reports for feedback on the KPIs that I have developed as well as my overall effectiveness as a leader throughout the year. For more ideas and real-world examples, I recommend the book “Insight” by Tasha Eurich.


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