The federal government needs to move to 360 degree performance appraisals, in which more than just a person's boss opines about an employee's performance in his or her job. It is too easy for a boss to be subjective, without a check of getting the views of the employee's peers and subordinates. It's very easy, for example, for a manager or executive to look good to his or her boss, but be just an awful manager of his or her subordinates. Many higher-level executives never learn how badly their subordinate managers and executives are doing, because they do not care to gather input from the subordinates of their subordinates, or they do not have a systematic way to do so. 360 reviews require work and forethought to operate correctly, but if you have worked for awful bosses before, the opportunity cost of not evaluating them is quite high. Technology might be able to play a facilitating role in this, but OPM and the protectors of the merit system would need to devote a lot of thought and care to how to do this.
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