How to Know If Becoming a Manager Is Right for You

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As a child, I’m fairly certain I never told anyone I wanted to be a manager when I grew up. As it turns out, though, managing has been one of the most rewarding challenges of my career. But, while I strongly recommend everyone try supervising at least one person during his or her career, the gig definitely isn’t for everyone.

If you’re thinking management might be in your future, there are a few things you should consider first. While being the boss has its perks, it also comes with a lot of work, responsibility, and stress (not to mention transitioning away from the job you’ve been doing for the past several years). Here are a few things you should weigh before stepping into that corner office (or cube).

Do you love meetings?

OK, so this isn’t really a fair question. I don’t think anyone really loves meetings, but if you want to manage, then you’ll have to at least be able to tolerate them. Lots of them. When I first started out as a manager, I was blown away by how much of my time was spent in meetings. And, all of them were actually important, too. Which meant I had to stay awake and retain everything for every one.

Having a calendar bursting with meetings isn’t fun for anyone, but for managers, it goes with the territory. If you have a painful aversion to meetings or find you are struck with a sudden case of narcolepsy every time you enter a conference room, think twice before throwing your hat in the ring for a management role.

Do you like to teach or coach?

One of the best parts of being a leader is seeing your team improve and succeed — especially when you know you helped get them there. I’ll never forget one of my first employees. He was painfully shy and could barely look anyone in the eyes. Since his job was to work with wealthy clients, this was an issue I knew we’d have to work through. It took us about a year, but with a lot of coaching and listening (on my part) we figured out how to get him out of his shell and comfortable being front and center with clients.

By his second year, he was the head of the team, and managers of other groups were regularly telling me how much he’d improved and how happy they were with his performance and how well he handled the clients. Needless to say, my employee was happy, too!

Sharing information and knowledge with someone else can be incredibly rewarding, and, if you’re lucky enough to see those lessons in practice, too, you’ll understand why good managers love to manage (even if they are stuck in meetings all day). But, this isn’t a motivator for everyone. And if you find that you’re more excited by, say, the work you actually produce than by coaching and training others, consider whether that’s really what you want to be doing all day.

How are your feedback skills?

One of the most important things a manager does is provide feedback to his or her employees. And, I’m not talking about a simple “Thanks for your help on those TPS reports, Bob.” I’m talking about meaningful, relevant, and timely feedback that will actually help your staffers improve and let them know you see them kicking ass and taking names.

Whomever you end up managing will be looking to you for guidance and, yes, feedback. Lots of it. And, some of it might not be so rosy — there will be plenty of tough stuff to dole out as well. If you think you’ve got what it takes to give constructive and continuous feedback, you might be ready to be a boss. If, however, you’re not a big fan of feedback, management might not be in the cards for you.

Does conflict make you cringe?

Believe it or not, there are people out there who don’t run and hide when conflict comes to town. So, if you’re planning on becoming a manager someday, it’ll be best for everyone involved if you’re part of the former group, rather than the latter.

I had a manager a few years back who absolutely could not handle conflict or confrontation of any kind. Whenever an issue arose that needed his approval or opinion, he’d be halfway to Starbucks before I could walk to his desk. As you’ve probably already guessed, he did not make my list of best bosses ever.

If you find you do well in challenging situations — like dealing with an angry client — you might be better equipped to handle conflict than you thought, and management could be a great fit for you. If, however, this whole section just sounded like nails on a chalkboard, you probably want to steer clear of supervisory positions.

Are you a good cop or a bad cop?

No, I’m not talking about the game we all played as kids, but trust me, there will be times when you feel just like your parents must’ve felt when you asked one of them if you could go to a party because the other said no. Managers still have to report to their own managers, which means sometimes decisions are made that just won’t make much sense by the time they trickle down to the team. And that’s when managers have to start playing good cop, bad cop. But, honestly, it’s mostly bad cop who makes an appearance.

Here’s how it usually went with me and my team: I’d get approval from our budget to throw a small happy hour for my team to congratulate them on meeting their quarterly goals. My boss would give me the thumbs up, and I’d announce the good news to the team. Everyone would be excited, and we’d all start lightheartedly arguing about where we should go, and when. Then, after everything’s been reserved, and it’s time to lay down the corporate card, my boss calls me into his office. It’s bad news. They’re announcing layoffs in another department that afternoon, and the company feels my team having a party that same day looks bad. A decision has been made, there’s nothing I can do, and now I have to tell my team the party’s off. In an instant, a happy, celebratory event morphed into a disappointing (and potentially worrisome) afternoon at our desks, instead of at the bar.

Some days, it’ll be all wine and roses, but others, you’ll feel pretty crummy. You’ll be the bearer of bad news, you’ll have to make tough decisions, and you’ll feel pulled in a thousand different directions, unable to pick just one and go for it. In short, managing is tough, confusing, frustrating, and tiring.

But, it’s also a pretty amazing experience. I know I’m a better worker and a better person because I was a boss. If none of these things send you to hide in the closet, management may be in your future. And, if it is, I promise you, you’ll learn more about yourself — and your team — than you ever thought possible.



9 Toxic Employees You Should Fire Right Now

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An employee’s most important job is to bring value to an organization–when that value isn’t there anymore, it’s in the organization’s best interest to rid itself of the wasted seat and salary.

Great employees are enthusiastic about their jobs, go the extra mile, and are team players. They bring value to their employers, their co-workers, and their customers. And they’re the kind of people you–and everyone else–want to work with.

Sometimes we are not so lucky when hiring and end up with a lot more than we bargained for (in a bad way). Remember this rule of thumb: Hire slow, and fire fast. When an employee isn’t performing or acting the way they should, give them an opportunity to get their act together. If they can’t, then don’t hesitate to let them go.

Here are nine employees who need to be fired immediately.

1. The one who says, “Oh well, that’s their problem”

Really? If you have an employee who says anything close to this, you really should consider firing them–and fast. There should never be a job or situation at work that issomeone else’s problem. Even if something crosses someone’s desk that they normally don’t handle, they should always make it their problem to find the right person to handle it as efficiently and effectively as possible.

2. The one who leaves work for an “appointment” as soon as the boss exits

This is the type of employee who really doesn’t care about their job or their work. They’re always looking for an opportunity to leave the office early, or to take advantage of the fact that the boss isn’t around to see that they aren’t there.

3. The one who everyone else complains about

If you have several (make that three or more) employees who complain about the same employee, there’s probably a good reason behind the complaining. Instead of ignoring complaints about coworkers, really check them out. Where there’s smoke there’s often fire.

4. The one who is clearly unhappy

If no matter how you try, you still can’t make one of your employees happy–they continue to complain about working conditions even after you provide them with their own office, or constantly complain about certain clients or coworkers–it’s time to show them the door.

5. The one who always takes meetings off track

You know the one–he has a habit of becoming confrontational during meetings, throwing the agenda off track as others get drawn into the argument. If the employee isn’t providing the value that he should be, then it’s time to cut him loose.

6. The one who uses a company credit card to purchase personal items

And, check those expense reports closely. If personal spending continues after the employee is counseled against it, they need to go–and now.

7. The one who says, “That’s not my job,” or “This is stupid”

An employee who consistently demonstrates this kind of attitude is not an employee who deserves a job.

8. The one who constantly yells or loses their temper with clients and co-workers

This is not the way to conduct business in a professional way, and this employee could scare all of your customers and best employees away. If you have an employee who can’t or won’t control his or her temper, then you should immediately cut your losses and let them go.

9. The one who pushes his or her work off on everyone else

They are the ultimate delegator because they simply don’t want to do their job. This is the employee who constantly complains about being overworked, yet actually accomplishes very little each day. If you have this kind of slacker at work, show them the door.

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10 Tips for Leadership When You’re Not the Boss

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When founders and CEOs look to hire and promote managers, they want people whoexhibit leadership. But how can you exhibit leadership if you’re stuck in individual contributor roles? No one reports to you, and you’re not even a project manager.

Good news is, leader isn’t a title, it’s a group of characteristics, and you can acquire them, even if you’re not the boss. Here are 10 ideas:

1. Communicate clearly. Leaders don’t grumble behind closed doors when things don’t go their way. They don’t say yes when they should have said no. They say what they mean, and do so in a way that people understand. This is not advocating rudeness, but it is advocating dropping passive-aggressive behavior.

2. Learn flexibility. There’s rarely a “right” way to do something. If you are going to insist that things be done a certain way, you’re headed down the micromanager path, and that’s not what leadership is about. Ask yourself, “Is this the wrong way to do it, or is it just a different way?”

3. Don’t be a doormat. Leaders stand up for themselves, politely. Jerks stand up for themselves rudely. If somebody interrupts you in a meeting, simply say, “I’m sorry, can I finish?” If your slimy co-worker tries to dump her work on you, say, “That won’t be possible.” Does this mean you never do a favor? Absolutely not. You do do favors, but you do so because you are nice or because it benefits you and the company, not because you can’t say no.

4. Help others. Leaders bring others along with them, and share credit for work well done. Leaders don’t look for opportunities to step on others, but rather look for opportunities to help others succeed. Remember, a leader is someone who demonstrates desirable characteristics.

5. Take responsibility for your mistakes. We all make mistakes. Own your mistakes. When someone points out an error, don’t start throwing blame, simply say, “Thanks for letting me know. Let me fix that.” Additionally, when things start going south, ask for help rather than panicking and trying to fix everything on your own. That usually makes it worse.

6. Listen to others’ ideas. You may be bursting with ideas and can’t wait until it’s your turn on the stage, but take time to listen to others. Other people have great ideas as well, and a true leader acknowledges that good things can come from many sources. Don’t cut people off. Do solicit ideas. You may be surprised at what you learn.

7. Take risks. Lots of times, people think leaders have led charmed lives where everything went well. This is rarely the case. Failure is an integral part of success. When you can acknowledge that the risks are real but the potential payoff is enough to counteract that, you’re demonstrating leadership. If you jump blindly, that’s stupid. But if you evaluate the situation and take the risk anyway, that’s leadership.

8. Remember to network. Networking isn’t just about finding jobs, it’s about connecting with people. As you learn how to interact with people, you’ll learn which interactions are effective and which are ineffective. As you help others with their career, you’re demonstrating your ability to lead and guide.

9. Develop a thick skin. Illegal and immoral discrimination happens. Accept that it does now and just determine not to let terrible people get you down. The business world is not the university, and the HR department are not counselors. If someone treats you poorly, don’t immediately jump to the conclusion that it was based on some immutable characteristic. Instead, evaluate if what they said or did was justified. If it was, change your behavior. If it wasn’t, don’t let it bother you. Now, in an egregious situation, absolutely report it, but let most things roll off your back.

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10. Don’t ask for special treatment. All that stuff you learned about being inherently special? False. You’re not. I’m not. No one is. So stop asking for special treatment and exceptions to rules. Now, can you become special by working harder and smarter than everyone else. You’ll get special treatment when you deserve it. That isn’t to say you can’t ask for a raise or a promotion for extra behavior. That’s not special treatment–that’s something you earn by being awesome.

15 Signs Your Employee Is Ready to Become a Manager

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Chances are, there are a few great leaders on your team that aren’t yet in managerial positions. Some of them may already take on the role of a manager without claiming the title, while others may show subtle signs that they’ve got what it takes to lead.

Just as the wrong hire is costly, so is the wrong promotion–so with that in mind, we asked 15 entrepreneurs from YEC to reveal one surefire sign that a team member is ready to take on a managerial role.

1. They change their vocabulary from “mine” to “ours.”

Going from being an employee to a manager occurs when team members hit a tipping point. It’s normally a point when they begin to understand a manager’s point of view. Look for subtle changes in a team member’s conduct. This may be a simple choice of words. An employee may use the term I, mine or me. Those ready to assume a management role may choose words like ours, we or us.–Christophor Jurin, Construct-Ed, Inc.

2. They prove they can manage themselves.

One key indicator that an employee has really come into their own is when they require less and less time to manage. They know what needs to be done and make sure it happens, they learn to spot opportunities and coordinate actions to seize them. The only way someone can ever hope to be a manager is if they can manage themselves, and this is typically evidence enough that they’re ready.–Brian Honigman,

3. They look out for others.

If an employee is concerned for their co-worker’s success as much as their own on a group project, that’s usually a very good sign you have a team player that wants others to succeed. Great managers are selfless leaders that want the unit to succeed together.–Kenny Nguyen, Big Fish Presentations

4. They take responsibility.

A sign of a leader ready to take on a managerial role is the ability to take responsibility for themselves or the team. The people you lead will give you respect if you own your decisions, regardless of the outcome.–Phil Chen, Systems Watch

5. They excel above expectations.

The sign of a good leader is if they are going above and beyond consistently. When you naturally see them leading others in all their work–when they excel far above expectations in everything they are doing–it’s time for a promotion. You don’t want to lose them to someone else that’s willing to give them that promotion when you’re not!–Peter Daisyme, Hostt

6. They actually want to take it on.

It’s very simple. The most important sign is that they want to be in a managerial role and they ask for it.–Dan Price, Gravity Payments

7. They’ve mastered their technical craft.

Once team members have mastered their technical craft–but before they get bored–I begin to explore their interest in leading others. Some people are quite content in their individual contributor role, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Others, however, crave opportunities that bring new challenges. –Chris Cancialosi,GothamCulture

8. They already manage without realizing it.

When a staff member is ready to take on a managerial role, they’ve already taken on a managerial role without realizing it. Often, I’ll notice that they’re helping other employees with the marketing plans, giving advice on how to deal with a difficult client, or making the new intern feel welcome. When somebody truly wants to be in that role, they do it without even trying because they enjoy it.–Cassie Petrey, Crowd Surf

9. They go above and beyond in completing their tasks.

It’s very telling when someone goes above and beyond, completing required tasks and ensuring everything is effectively coordinated with the team. If they have a natural affinity for this kind of coordination, they are probably a good fit.–Daniel Wesley,

10. They show ingenuity.

A great manager is someone who not only manages existing tasks, but also takes initiative in creating or improving other tasks and processes for the benefit of the company. Potential managers who demonstrate these traits also tend to display ingenuity and critical thinking in the ways they perform on a daily basis, which tells me they are ready to take on more responsibilities.–Firas Kittaneh, Amerisleep

11. They look for solutions.

I am always looking for my team to bring me solutions instead of problems. A good manager will understand and have mastered this art form.–Mina Chang, Linking the World

12. They help others.

When I see team members going to a certain person with questions, that’s a clue. When that person has the answer or promises to seek out and deliver the answer, they’re on my radar for moving up into management. When they help other team members and still accomplish their own job, that’s the definition of a good manager.–Joshua Lee, StandOut Authority

13. They show ownership.

One sign is that the employee regularly shows a feeling of pride and ownership in their work. Leading a team is about understanding the big picture and internalizing not only what it will take to get there, but understanding how the assets available to you can help you realize that picture. Employees who approach every task as if its success or failure is a direct reflection on them are on track.–Mike Seiman, CPXi

14. They volunteer for leadership roles.

A team member who steps up to the plate and takes a leadership role (whether it’s in a team project setting or other environment) is sure to be ready for management. These situations present themselves often, and those who take the bull by the horns are the ones who are ready for the next step. –Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

15. They’re proactive.

I never want my employees to be on auto-pilot, but there is something to be said when a team member jumpstarts their workload without me having to instruct them further. When I find team members proactively asking questions to improve their output to the company, that’s when I know they’re ready.–Rob Fulton, Exponential Black

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Bring Agile to the Whole Organization

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Software has eaten the world. And as it continues to consume new and diverse industries it’s transforming the way business is done. We are all in the “software business” now, regardless of the product or service we provide, forcing us to reexamine how we structure and manage our organizations.

When I ask managers if their organizations practice “agile” they almost always say yes. Probing a bit deeper reveals that most of this agility starts and ends with the product development teams – specifically software engineering. There is rarely a mention of “agile in the HR group” or “continuous improvement in finance.” And yet, it is in these infrastructural disciplines that agility must take root to support software-driven businesses.

As the nature of software continues to shift towards continuous delivery, we are able to create a new type of conversation with the marketplace – a continuous one. We deploy products, observe, measure, interview, learn, and optimize in hours, not months. Decisions are made quickly. Directions shift overnight. To support this rapid, iterative optimization of our business the internal organizations that staff, fund, manage, and reward our people need to exhibit that same level of agility. “The way we’ve always done it” starts to put the management tier in direct conflict with the potential of the execution teams.

Let’s take a look at HR first. The object around which most HR organizations operate is the job requisition. A traditional job requisition is usually nothing more than a list of tools and capabilities buffered by ambiguous language about “self-starters” and “team players.” These job descriptions are written to fill a gap in a discipline-specific silo (e.g., the software engineering team or the design team). Recruiters, incentivized to fill roles quickly, scour resumes for these skillsets ensuring that anything that makes it through to the next round has “ticked all the boxes.” Three years of Rails? Check. GitHub? Check. Candidates are passed on to hiring managers who are then pressured to make a decision – ensuring the HR teams hit their time-to-fill quotas.

This style of hiring doesn’t build organizational agility. Quite the contrary, it reinforces the barriers between disciplines and minimizes cooperation. Instead, HR teams need to start hiring for creativity, collaboration and curiosity. They need to seek out the non-conformists — the candidates that don’t easily fit into a box. These are the generalists with an entrepreneurial spirit. They’re the multi-faceted tinkerers who have specialized in a discipline like design but turn out to be pretty good coders. They’re the skeptical members of the team. The ones always pushing back on the status quo and forcing the business to rethink the way it presents itself to its customers. New hiring practices have to be put into places to attract these candidates. Interview structures and exercises have to be completely rethought. It’s nearly impossible to assess a candidate’s collaboration skills in a one-hour Q&A. What do we need to change in order to learn if this new candidate is the innovator that will push our company forward? How do we ensure that our hiring practices continue to improve as the nature of our business evolves?

If we’re hiring ever-curious, entrepreneurial team members, the next logical question is how do we incentivize and retain them? In the past, we’d just assign them to a team; give them a project to build and if they shipped on time and on budget (or at least close enough to it) they got rewarded in some way. That’s not enough anymore. Financial compensation is not the main motivator for these folks. Building something meaningful, something they can call their own holds much more value. Is there a way for us to rethink compensation structures to include equity (or at least upside) for the ideas our collaborative teams create?

Project funding is another monolith that must conform to our new reality. CFO’s want to know what will ship in return for funding an initiative. While there is never a shortage of answers (you are trying to get funded after all), the true answer is rarely given – we don’t know. There is an ambiguity in software development that renders the end state unknowable. Unpredictable levels of complexity, market turmoil, and shifts in customer behavior put any product roadmap longer than four to six weeks at a high risk of quickly becoming an outdated artifact.

Taking a cue from the startup world, the CFO’s office needs to start treating each team as an in-house startup – a group of people tasked with solving a business problem. That business problem has an objective, measurable goal that ultimately determines the team’s success. At the end of each funding period, the teams must present their cases to the finance office for re-funding. This builds a cadenced resilience into the way the organization makes decisions, allowing it to make short commitments and then further those commitments or not, based on real-time market-based realities as opposed to lofty predictions of a future state that may never come.

Lastly, decision-making hierarchies need to change. Traditionally decisions are run past layers of management ensuring everyone is bought in before direction shifts. These processes are slow. They provide cover in the event that someone makes a mistake. Agility in the organization requires decision-making to be done as close to the customer feedback as possible. The teams working on the products need to be able to quickly decide how to move forward based on the continuous inbound stream of market insight. Making mistakes shouldn’t be a capital crime. Instead, mistakes should be quickly analyzed and any new information should be incorporated into the next set of tactics.

Incentives should support measuring outcomes, making evidence-based decisions, and learning. The culture of software development allows all of this, but without organizational support, the teams can’t take full advantage of it. At the end of the day, the day-to-day tactical decisions the teams make should not be the concern of managers. Instead, managers should focus on the teams’ progress towards the strategic business objectives. To allay managerial anxiety and ensure broader strategic cohesion, the onus falls on the teams to communicate back to the organization as much as possible. They must proactively report on their tactics, learnings, progress, and next steps. However, without the safety to report the whole process, warts and all, most teams will opt for safety and predictability – effectively undermining their agility.

As our companies turn into highly focused software organizations, we must change the way we manage them. A continuous learning environment fueled by round-the-clock customer insight and feedback demands teams, environments, decision-making structures, and funding models that exhibit the true meaning of the word agility — resilience, responsiveness, and learning.

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10 Tips To Become A Leader Everyone Wants To Follow

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1. Lead by example.

Leaders need to show, not just tell. If you want your employees to be punctual, make sure you’re there on time — or even early. If professionalism is a priority, make sure you’re dressed for success, and treat everyone you interact with (both in-person and online) with courtesy. Set the tone and your employees will follow it.

2. A little humility goes a long way.

There’s a difference between a leader and a boss. While both are in charge, a leader shares the spotlight and is comfortable crediting others. While it might seem counterintuitive, being humble takes more confidence than basking in glory. Your employees will appreciate it, and your clients will, too.

3. Communicate effectively.

Effective communication is imperative, both in the office and in life. Great leaders make sure they are heard and understood, but they also know the importance of listening. Communication is a two-way street, and making the most of it will have your company zooming forward instead of pumping the breaks.

4. Keep meetings productive.

As the saying goes, time is money. So, of course, you should want to limit tangents and other time wasters during meetings. If you trust your team to do their job, there should be no need for micromanaging, and meetings can run swiftly.

5. Know your limits.

Even the kindest, most caring leader has limits. Set your boundaries and stick to them. Knowing what you will not tolerate can save everyone in the office a lot of frustration, and keeping boundaries clear means there’s no confusion.

6. Find a mentor.

No man is an island, as they say. The best leaders out there know when they need help, and they know where to turn to in order to get it. Nobody can know everything, so finding someone you trust for advice when things get tough can make all of the difference.

7. Be emotionally aware.

While many people advise keeping emotions separate from matters of business, business is ultimately about relationships between people. To make these relationships last, you need to be emotionally intelligent — to be sensitive to different points of view and different backgrounds. When using your head to do what’s best for your company, don’t forget to have a heart.

8. Watch out for (and avoid) common pitfalls of leadership.

Everyone makes mistakes, but some of them are avoidable. Being aware of common mistakes, while not focusing on them to the point that they become self-fulfilling prophecies, can be the first step toward not repeating them.

9. Learn from the past.

To once again quote an adage, those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. History, recent and otherwise, is filled with examples of successful business models and spectacular business failures. Think about what the people you admire do well, and consider what went wrong for those who end their careers mired in scandal or disgrace. Lessons can be found everywhere.

10. Never stop improving.

Great leaders — indeed, great people — are constantly learning and always trying to improve themselves. There’s always something that you can work on or a new skill to master. Be sure to keep your mind open to new ideas and possibilities.
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Penilaian 360 Derajat (Curhat mode on)

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Ini pengalaman penulis disuatu instansi BUMN yang menerapkan penilaian kinerja. Untuk penilaian kompetensi dilakukan penilaian 360 derajat. Artinya seorang akan dinilai oleh diri atasan,rekan sekerja (peer) dan bawahan.

Singkat cerita, penilaian dilakukan. Seseorang menilai orang tergantung jabatannya. Jika tidak mempunyai bawahan maka dia hanya menilai atasan dan rekan sekerja. Masalahnya timbul jika seseorang mempunyai bawahan banyak dan rekan sekerja/satu level yang banyak juga. Akhirnya ada seseorang yang banyak orang 😀

Akhirnya disepakati dibatasi, seorang hanya menilai rekan sekerja sebanyak 2 orang dan atasan juga dinilai maksimal oleh 2 orang bawahannya. Dan sistem akan memilah secara acak. Jadi yang dinilai tidak tahu periode ini akan dinilai oleh siapa.

Setelah satu bulan pelaksanaan ternyata tingkat partisipasinya hanya 50% dengan alasan terlalu sibuk jika harus melakukan penilaian ke banyak orang. Akhirnya disepakati lagi hanya atasan-bawahan. Ternyata banyak juga atasan yang tidak melakukan penilaian  dan rata-rata bawahan yang melakukan penilaian ke atasan, baik-baik semua 😀

Akhirnya dirubah lagi..penilaian dilakukan satu arah. Atasan hanya menilai bawahannya saja. ternyata gak jalan juga he..he.