Leadership evaluation is an important process for any company or organization as it is aimed at determining strengths and weaknesses of a leader. The list of such strengths and weaknesses is needed to have a clear picture of how employees view their leader and whether this organizational leader can lead the company in the right direction and whether the employees of the company think that this leader has the necessary skills and abilities to do that (Williams, 2001).
In the leadership performance appraisal form of the YMCA Organization, there are eight main categories of evaluating the leader (thefamilyy.org). They are values, community, relationships, developing others, decision-making, project management, finance, and quality results. Under each category, there is a definition of the category. For example, definition of “values” includes an explanation that core values of the organization are respect, honesty, caring, and responsibility. So, when the work of a leader is evaluated, employees will provide their vision whether the leader shares the same values and communicates these values to others. An employee can choose from 5 different options (levels) to evaluate the work of the leader. These five options include the following levels:
- below expectations;
- development needed;
- meets expectations;
- exceeds expectations;
- far exceeds expectations.
When all answers are provided, rating scale can be used to measure performance of the leader. If most of the answers were “below expectations”, it means that the leader lacks skills that are needed to be a leader of the organization. In the end, when all skills and abilities of the leader are assessed, HR managers can determine areas where further development is needed.
Gaps in the knowledge and skills assessed
A leadership performance appraisal form used by the YMCA Organization is rather short and does not indicate the full range of strengths and weaknesses of the leader. Among all other things, the appraisal form does not include such categories, as confidence, commitment, character, composure, and other skills and abilities. In addition, questions about the leader do no focus on his/her communication skills, pro-activity, planning skills, organizational skills, dependability, etc.
Even though employees can choose “development needed”, there is no space to specify what exactly should be improved and why.
There is no space in the form for the employee to provide his/her opinion in his/her own words. Also, YMCA’s leadership performance appraisal form is aimed at long-term evaluation of a leader and it does not include questions aimed at short-term performance management.
Comparing the form to different techniques
When compared to the basic 360-degree feedback form, form used by the YMCA Organization is rather specific, as it includes knowledge of the peculiarities of YMCA’s financial model, etc. At the same time, 360-degree feedback form is more general and it includes questions about all aspects of the leader’s work. The 360-degree evaluation form is aimed at determining whether the leader affects the company’s goals accomplishment (custominsight.com), and form used by the YMCA focuses more on the determination whether the leader suits the company in general.
One of the methods that can be used to determine the effectiveness of the leader is using the metrics system. Although this model has nothing in common with the model used by the YMCA Organization, it shows the areas where the leader has been very effective and areas that have been rather challenging for the leader. In the metrics model, measurement is based not on the feedback of the employees, but on the financial indices, such as cash flow, revenue, earnings, etc. (azcentral.com). Someone can say that these indicators are used to measure financial success of the company; however, comparison of the indices to the ones of the previous period can clearly show whether the leader was effective and moved employees and company in the right direction.
Firstly, the YMCA Organization should change the rating scale as it can be rather unclear for the employees how to measure the success of the leader in terms of “exceeding expectations” and “far exceeding expectations”. For the HR managers of this Organization, it will be rather important to clarify these points, so it will be easier for people evaluating the work of their leader to measure effectiveness of his/her work.
Secondly, there is too much text that explains the meaning of the levels and these definitions are different for every category that is measured. Thus, people have to spend a lot of time reading definitions, and after reading first several points, they can get tired and they will pay as much attention when reading the following points, and, therefore, results will lack accuracy.
In general, appraisal form used by the YMCA Organization can be successfully used to determine whether the leader of the company works with other people and operates the company effectively.
Performance Appraisal Form: Full-Time And Key Part-Time. (n.d.). The YMCA. Retrieved July 13, 2015 from http://www.thefamilyy.org/images/appraisalform.pdf
Senior Leadership Evaluation Methods. (n.d.). AZCentral. Retrieved July 13, 2015 from http://yourbusiness.azcentral.com/senior-leadership-evaluation-methods-26933.html
What is 360 Degree Feedback? (n.d.). CustomInsight. Retrieved July 13, 2015 from http://www.custominsight.com/360-degree-feedback/what-is-360-degree-feedback.asp
Williams, J. F. (2001). Leadership Evaluation and Assessment. Journal of Library Administration, 32(3/4), 145-167.