Upward Evaluation at the Arizona Health Sciences Library (Brief Communications) (Report)
Upward evaluation is a process that involves the evaluation of supervisors by those they supervise. Although common in industry [1, 2], it is fairly rare in libraries and even more rare, though not unheard of, in medical libraries . A recent informal, unscientific poll of academic health sciences library directors conducted by the Arizona Health Sciences Library (AHSL) director revealed that only three of twenty-six respondents participated in upward evaluation of managers. Three others had a process for evaluation of the director only. During the summer of 2007, the AHSL explored the many potential benefits of upward evaluation and concluded that benefits could accrue at three different levels. According to the literature, at an employee level, upward evaluation gives employees a voice in the organization of which they are so integral a part, can lead to better staff morale and improved commitment, and can reduce conflict [1, 4]. At the supervisor or middle management level, it can serve as a powerful tool for professional development. At the director or supervisors’ supervisor level, upward evaluation can provide valuable input regarding the supervisory skills of the supervisors they oversee. Because of its potential benefits, the AHSL decided to develop and implement a process that incorporated evaluation of supervisors by subordinates into the annual performance review process.