In a democratic workplace, one of the most important requirements is transparency on performance. In particular transparency on the performance of managers, business line leaders and other people where they supervise, support, look over other people.

If you are suppressing your people, there is no way they can perform at their best.

Obtaining feedback tells you how well you are doing personally – essential for long term sustainability.

Semco does this well (Ricardo Semler’s company) by using Upward Feedback forms. You can read all about it in his book Maverick (Maverick:  The Success Story Behind the World’s Most Unusual Workplace)

I took what is explained by Ricardo and turned it into a process that I applied several times with my team.  I do it about every 6 months or so.

It takes courage to hear the results, and even more to do something about it, however the benefits expand you incredibly, both personally and as an organisation.

Just remember the first rule: There is only one rule and it is that there are no rules! Work with your team and develop the tool with them. It benefits everyone.

Here’s what I did:

At the time of the first evaluation, my team about 35 people. I personally delivered the form to every person explaining what it was for (evaluating my performance as their leader) and inviting them to complete it. I made it clear that it was totally voluntary and would totally anonymous.  If and when they complete the form they are to give it to my secretary – not to me.

To my secretary I gave clear instructions not to talk to me about who has said what or who has marked what. She had to simply compile the results into a score sheet, by counting how many As, Bs, Cs and Ds. I did the analysis afterwards. She throws the original forms away once she has extracted the results.

She also types out the free field “Tell me What you think” section I have. I can’t tell who wrote what.

Everyone in my team who is given the form is told that I will never know who wrote what. So they are free to say what they wish.

I then present the anonymous results to my team so they know where I stand with them.

The feedback analysis form is here:

A result of less than 70% means work to be done. Under 50% means why are you even there?!!

I scored 86% on my last evaluation.

I pitched this to the CEO of the 40,000 person organisation I was consulting but the company wasn’t ready for widespread use of the process so I just keep it to myself and my team, nethertheless it worked really well.

This is how I analyse the results:

Not everyone answers every question. The analysis takes this into account.

  1. Give A, B, C & D a simple score. A = 1, B = 2, C = 3, D = 4.
  2. I have 36 multiple choice questions on my form. 14 of them have 4 answers (A, B, C and D), whilst 22 have only 3 answers (A, B and C).  Hence the top score is 122 (4 x 14 + 3 x 22).
  3. For every answer I work out it’s average score.  So for example for a question you had 3 x As, 5 x Bs, 26 x Cs and 5 x Ds, the average score would be:(3 x 1 + 5 x 2 + 26 x 3 + 5 x 4) / (3+5+26+5) = 111/39 = 2.84 (out of a possible maximum of 4)
  4. Add all these aggregated scores together.
  5. Divide them by the theoretical maximum score (in my case 122)
  6. Convert to % (divide the score by the maximum and multiple by 100)


Should you weight questions? No, don’t do it. Why?   It makes it complicated.  Keep it simple.

Develop the form with your team. They can contribute questions suited to the task at hand or are more relevant to your organisation.

Good luck!!

Jeremiah Josey

This post was in response to a request from Tiago Andrade e Silva earlier this year when he read my Slideshow presentation on forming teams. You can see the presentation here.

[slideshare id=1552971&doc=kw2-fs3usersjeremiah-joseymydocumentsjjsofficestuffsupervisorevaluationfeedbackvitalforselfdevelopment-090609035617-phpapp01]

On 04/03/10, tiagonmas wrote:

Hi Jeremiah!
I read the Maverick book and knew about the Supervisor evaluation form.
I just implemented it with my team. Do you know what are the rules to reach the overall % ? how is each question weighted ? what are the ratios ?
Tiago Andrade e Silva

Jeremiah Josey