Measuring the Effectiveness of Management

On a scale of "Amazing" to "Awesome", how great am I?

Companies are adept at creating metrics for revenue, expenses, margins, and more. Measuring more subjective things like morale seems to come later in the lifecycle of a business. I imagine that when a company is small and the entire company can collaborate regularly, the leader or leaders may have first-hand knowledge regarding how their employees are doing.

As a company grows, a flat and loose organic management structure gets unwieldy. People need to be split into teams and those teams need to report to someone. The people who lead the teams can have a dramatic impact on morale, retention, and engagement.

I've worked at organizations that used skip-level meetings between the manager's manager and the manager's direct reports to gather feedback. I've also seen "town hall" meetings with VPs, suggestion boxes, and HR-driven homegrown surveys via email or SurveyMonkey. Each attempt at information gathering likely did provide some value, but it would have been difficult to track results in a way that could be used to make changes or decisions, let alone monitor progress over time.

In this glorious era of the information age, vendors have specialized in "people data" gathering and reporting. The more clients these companies have, the more data they have access to. They can create effective surveys for evaluating the morale and engagement of teams, the effectiveness of leadership, and more. They can analyze the data for trends and provide scores, reports, and guidance for companies committed to making improvements. For companies that are "people-first", these survey solutions can be very powerful.

My current employer uses a company called Glint to survey employees. The surveys help us measure leadership effectiveness, ask for input from team members, and allow us to compare our company data with global data.

It was powerful to see a score measuring my performance as a leader calculated based on the input of my team members. I am pleased to say that I scored 95. Compared to Glint's global dataset, my score is 14 points above the average and 6 points above the company's average.

Those numbers look good, but you can drill down into the scores and get even more insights. I scored well in categories like trust, consideration, and support. It was validating to see that the efforts I have made to build relationships with my team members have been fruitful.

The weakest score that I received was related to role clarity. At my current employer that is a systemic issue. As each leader reviews their results with their director or vice president, those higher leaders can see trends and (if they're wise) take steps to address the concerns raised by the employees. Before the Glint results came out, I was already working with my team to clarify roles, so the survey results affirmed that I was following the right path.

For any employee, providing them with metrics that go beyond dollars and cents can be more personal, more affirming, and more powerful. A survey like the one I described can help leaders grow, help employees feel heard, and drive better outcomes for the organization. A company is a hollow thing without the people who get things done. Is your company investing in ways to gather input from its people?