Determining Your Leadership Approval Rating

Yesterday on LeaderChat, one of our sister blogs, we were Exploring the Value of Leadership Approval Ratings. Today we’ll discuss how you might go about determining your leadership approval rating.
The way I see it, there are two primary benefits for adopting a system similar to the Presidential approval ratings that we’re all familiar with and then applying it within your organization:

  1. It would demonstrate greater transparency within the organization.
  2. It would provide the leader(s) with the ability to keep a pulse on how others in the organization feel about their overall job performance.

Now, keep in mind that the idea is to have a quick, timely snapshot of public opinion. The intention here is not to do an in-depth analysis with detailed feedback. What we want is a very simple, broad overview. To obtain the information we’re looking for, there is really only one question we need to ask:

Do you approve or disapprove of the way ‘LEADER’ is handling his/her job as ‘TITLE’?

If that question sounds familiar, that’s because it’s nearly identical to the question posed to respondents polled by the Gallup organization. It’s quick, it’s to the point, and it gives you the broad overview you’re looking for.
Continuing with the K.I.S.S. theme, it would also be very easy to set-up and maintain. Consider the following:

  • Delivery Method – Choose your favorite free survey software and send out an anonymous survey.
  • Frequency – Try every two weeks. Once a month doesn’t seem frequent enough and every week feels a tad excessive. Whatever you decide, just make sure to stay consistent.
  • Respondents – Send it to everyone in the organization that you interact with. This includes direct reports, peers, and those above you.
  • Accountability – Display the results someplace visible to the organization.

Obviously there would be some other kinks to work out as you go. For instance, you’d need to determine your baseline number of respondents. You might also consider asking a qualifying question (such as, “direct report, peer, senior executive”) so that you could make sure your getting a decent cross-section of respondents. That said, being an early adopter should allow you some leeway with colleagues until you perfect the process.
You’ve heard the pitch, so what do you think? If you like the idea, make sure to tell a friend…my Klout score could really use some help.

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