• Kyodo

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A pilot project introduced here last year for city employees to rate their supervisors’ work has yielded a lower-than-expected response.

Only a quarter of Kumamoto municipal employees who were asked to rate their supervisors in so-called reverse job evaluations had responded by the November deadline.

Behind the disappointing results, according to city officials, lies a requirement that the employees who rate their immediate supervisors must identify themselves.

Even though the city has promised not to reveal the identities of the evaluators to their supervisors, many of the employees have shied away from the project.

Under the program, city employees are asked to rate their immediate supervisors in 20 categories of job performance under a five-point grading system. A total of 318 departmental heads, section managers and other management personnel were subject to the evaluation.

Among the areas evaluated are whether the supervisor listens to the opinions of subordinates and whether the supervisor trusts what subordinates do.

The city says that identifying the evaluators is intended to obtain responsible assessments.

“I agree with the idea of evaluations,” said a city employee who did not participate. “But I cannot make a fair judgment as long as I know I could be identified.”

An employee who submitted the evaluation said: “I believe that immediate subordinates are most suited to evaluate their supervisors. But I am concerned how the evaluation form, with my name on it, would be treated.”

Those on the other side of the evaluation project appear largely in favor of the name requirement.

A deputy section chief said: “Of course they need to give their names. I would not want arbitrary judgments made from personal likes and dislikes.”

The results are to be given to managers next month.

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