Currently organizations have two modes of collecting feedback from their employees- Anonymous feedback- which help employees feel protected and give honest feedback, but due to scope for misinterpretation and lack of follow-up, make it inactionable or Direct feedback which tends to create a hostile environment in the workplace, but save time and effort in recognizing pain points, leaving no scope for ambiguity.
I thought of an alternate way of obtaining feedback for managers who really wish to "listen" to their direct reports to improve as leaders. What if there was an Artificial Intelligence (AI) app that silently monitored every conversation that a manager has with their teammates and took notes of the manager’s behaviour. If the app is smart enough to understand the context of conversations, it would be able to indicate areas of improvement for the manager. For example, the AI could infer the following:
Did the manager address queries from their direct reports in a timely manner?
Was the manager willing to step up and help their subordinates or did he/she re-direct the queries to someone else?
Was the tone and language used by the manager objectionable during conversations?
When pointing out mistakes was the manager reprimanding or motivating?
When faced with an alternate view or suggestion, was the manager welcoming?
Was the manager empathetic towards their direct report's personal situation?
Frequency of conversations and checking-in with their direct reports
One could keep adding to this list. So, the idea is to have such an App available to managers in addition to either the anonymous/direct feedback policy followed by their organization. The AI app could give them insights into how their subordinates actually perceive them, without disclosing the data publicly.
The App could run in the background and collect data for review monthly, quarterly, annually or could give suggestion to managers in real-time during their daily conversations.
The app could be customized to take care of any concern managers could have, being aware of their personal shortcomings (For example, for high functioning aneurotypic people in position of authority who fail to perceive emotions in the same way as majority of the population- The app could come in handy to help them not come across as insensitive or rude).
Since the App would use standard algorithm, managers could use it to track their progress over time. If the App finds acceptance within the organization, the managers could use the performance ratings provided by the app to substantiate their improvement during self appraisals.