At most companies, it's an annual rite for employees to sit down with their bosses and review their strengths and weaknesses. After all, who can better judge employees' performance than their immediate superiors?

Warren Rodgers can think of some. Why not let employees rate themselves? says the president of Computer Specialists Inc., in Monroe-ville, Pa. And if you're in a service business, you may be overlooking an obvious critic: your clients. They may see your employees more often -- and in a greater variety of circumstances -- than you do.

Twice a year, Rodgers asks his clients and each of his 150 employees to fill out evaluation forms. Then, he and the employee compare the two evaluations. "If people feel the quality of their work is an 8 out of 10, and the client feels it's a 4, there's trouble," says Rodgers.

* * *