Setting Your Team Up For 360 Success
More and more of our clients are introducing 360 feedback assessments into their business leadership development programs. However, for most, they are unaware of how to successfully manage this process. From choosing the right 360 assessment platform to translating the feedback into a clear development plan, there are a lot of factors that contribute to a successful implementation process.
Taking the time to ensure this process is established from the beginning will not only ensure that the process flows smoothly, but it will also guarantee your team get the most out of the process.
Step One: Ensure you choose the right assessment tool
Not all 360 assessment platforms are created equally, and many of the providers in this space will have their different advantages. These benefits may range from being customisable, benchmarking sample sizes or the level of detail provided in their reports.
While customisable assessments may be an excellent option to allow you to drill into your company values or behaviours, this, in turn, removes the ability for results to be ‘benchmarked’. Benchmarking of results allows for more significant insights within the 360 report to be provided. Candidate’s results are compared against the average score of thousands of other professionals, clearly detailing their strengths and development opportunities.
Ensuring you clearly understand the outcomes you wish to get out of the 360 process will allow you to choose the right platform for your needs & objectives.
Step Two: Invite the right raters/responders to provide feedback
Selecting who will provide feedback as a part of your 360 assessment is also a make or break piece of the 360-assessment puzzle. All assessment platforms will require that direct managers and a manager one level above are included as a part of this process, which is non-negotiable.
When it comes to Direct Reports and Peer group responders, to an extent, these groups can be populated with individuals of your choice. When selecting these groups, make sure to include people who have worked closely or regularly with you, as they will be able to give you valid feedback. Don’t shy away from your adversaries and select the friendlier colleagues as you will skew the results of the process. If you genuinely wish to grow as a leader, you must develop the ability to seek out and listen to constructive criticism, as tricky as it can be.
Step Three: Personally reach out to your raters
Before the assessment is launched, send a personal invitation to your raters, asking for their participation in this process. If you can, ask your raters personally or over the phone to show your commitment to this process.
Share with them the reasons for your 360 assessment, including your desire to develop professionally, as well as your genuine interest in their observations and opinions (positive and negative). Encourage your raters to provide feedback in the open comments section, assuring them that their anonymity will be protected throughout the process. This can be an essential piece of information for raters so they feel they can provide open and honest feedback.
Step Four: Keep an open mind on the process (and don’t take it personally!)
It may feel like a popularity contest, but there is solid improvement feedback contained within your results. Seek to understand others perceptions of you, and try not to take the negative aspects too personally. Focus on how the different groups are rating you. Does your manager generally rate you higher than your direct reports? You may need to spend less time managing up and more time leading your team.
A great way to process this feedback is to seek out the services of an executive or leadership coach. This professional will be able to sit down with you to decipher your results and help you best interpret the feedback to identify clear actionable items. They can also help to develop a personal development plan to map out how you will use this feedback to solidify your strengths, but to also boost your opportunity areas.
Step Five: Put the results into action
In the weeks and months after your 360-feedback process, ensure you set aside the time to focus equally on development for the next 12 months. You may find your technical skills are highly valued, but your softer skills may be holding you back. Develop short and long-term strategies to close the gaps, with tailored approaches designed for each group. If your direct reports rated you lower on the softer skills, consider prioritising 1:1 meetings where you are able to allow them the opportunity to share their own career goals. If your colleagues are ‘on the fence’, consider joining project groups outside of your skillset or expertise in order to build stronger working relationships and share knowledge.
360 feedback surveys are just one of many steps in the process of professional development. In reality, these sorts of conversations, both informally and formally, should be a part of the day-to-day makeup of your business. However, dedicating a set time to undertake 360 feedbacks surveys will never truly ignite change in your business if it ends there as it needs to be backed up by a meaningful development plan with mechanisms in place for holding participants accountable for behavioural change and development.
As with any new business process, if it is properly planned and understood, there is no reason that your business should fear implementing a successful 360 assessment program for leadership development. But if you are still unsure of where to start or are looking for some feedback around your existing process, that’s why we’re here! The team at TalentCode HR have worked with many organisations to implement 360 assessment tools, feedback processes and ongoing coaching programs, so why not call us today on 1300 559 585 to leverage off our experience.