An age-old challenge for leaders within all organizations is the ability to govern employee performance. Even more difficult is confronting employees who haven’t met the standards of the organization. This is where the personalities of managers come into play. Some avoid confrontation by walking around the subject and reiterating the importance of hitting goals. This might not only reference hard goals but soft goals as well. Soft goals relate to the individual’s behavior in the workplace like helpfulness, attitude, and being a team player. Other managers are strict and straight forward on how they approach employees who are not meeting their goals. It’s essential for managers to be able to adapt to different employee personalities and find balance in their approach.

Recently, I had a manager who introduced a concept of how an employee can self-evaluate their performance in an organization. Immediately, it made sense and I thought it was worth sharing. Anyone in business will immediately understand this concept but even for non-business minded individuals, the concept is so easy to understand, you can easily adopt it into your own organization.

The next time you feel like employees need help self-evaluating their performance, have them evaluate themselves based on being an asset or liability. This particular manager said it best, “It’s my goal/job to promote assets and eliminate liabilities.” Below is a simple comparison if we were to put it into a formula.


How easy is it for you to understand that assets are important and liabilities are not based on this formula? Now it’s essential for your employees to understand what an asset vs. liability is. The manager who so eloquently describe this mind-blowing concept outlined what an asset and liability is from an employee standpoint.


  • Someone who focuses on solutions and not problems
  • Someone who is trustworthy and has integrity
  • Someone who thinks about everything in a team context – not fighting for one’s own personal interest or departmental interest. We are one company
  • Someone who challenges the status quo by bringing positive ideas
  • Someone who does not need to be micromanaged
  • Someone who communicates well… who is more focused on collaboration than “winning” the debate
  • Someone who makes us all better by what they do, what they say, and how they serve other staff


  • Someone who complains… and complains
  • Someone who lies and cannot be trusted
  • Someone who only cares about themselves or is unwilling to help anyone and everyone in the company
  • Someone who never voices an opinion when they see something that can be fixed/improved
  • Someone who needs to be watched and constantly asked about their deliverables
  • Someone who cannot handle a discussion or who has poor communication
  • Someone who does not leave a positive impact but rather creates more problems


This is simple right? If you’ve identified issues within your organization or departments, ask them if they are an asset or liability. By allowing them to do this self-evaluation they can determine if they are willing to take the steps to be an asset in your organization.

Assets are retained, liabilities are removed. They decide.