Middle managers to tamper with reality

The key message, or rather the key frustration, that came out of a recent event was a very powerful, interesting and worrying one. We were looking at self assessment.

Staff overwhelmingly thought of their self-assessment regime as bureaucratic – something to be hated; tolerated at best. I’d been brought in by senior management to help front-line staff write judgement-rich, evaluative text rather than simply descriptions of what they do and out-and-out PR.

It was when we started digging into their writing styles and challenging their approach, that real frustrations became clear. Staff claim they always write evaluative text, but that middle managers edit it out.

‘We’re not encouraged to be honest’, said one, ‘We’re just told to make ourselves look good’.

This reminds us that quality improvement has to be a culture, a philosophy, marbled through the heart of the organisation – with everyone committed to the same vision.

The real prize, here, lays in what motivates middle managers to tamper with reality…

Session: Preparing for Live Self Assessment


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