I have spoken before about the purpose of the “debrief”, that is, the meeting when the 360 degree feedback is shared with the feedback recipient in a face-to-face session.
During a recent training session around “How to conduct an effective 360 degree feedback debrief”, which we run with many of our clients, I noted again that many delegates approach the debrief believing they have to ‘solve’ the issues raised in the report, or have to get the feedback recipient to solve the issues there and then.
They move straight to resolution mode, effectively stepping through the ‘GROW’ model of coaching or some such equivalent.
Of course this is valid at some point in the process as you try to help them create a ‘Personal Development Plan’ (or PDP), but far more valuable time should be spent doing two key things before moving to goals and actions, and they are:
Raising Self-Awareness and Encouraging Responsibility
The feedback recipient needs time to understand the feedback and then accept it – without these crucial steps, any attempt to get them to committ to an action plan is doomed to fail.
Taking my last posting about New Year Resolutions….if someone doesn’t realise that they drink too much, eat too much, spend enough time with family, etc, and what the impact is, thus realising it is an issue, then they will not make a resolution to change this behaviour.
As it is, I realise that I have eaten far too much over Xmas, so have made a resolution to eat no mince pies ever again……well maybe next Xmas…..
A number of ideas collided for myself recently with the first being an article on the news with regard to the how many people break their New Year Resolutions – a study found that only 14% followed through on their resolutions (I would place myself firmly in the other 86% group!).
These 14% of people managed to change their behaviour, sometimes in quite a radical way, and for others a more subtle change.
The study also found some interesting differences between men and women in that men stuck to their resolutions when the goals set were realistic, gradually more demanding (such as reducing from 20 cigarettes, to 10, 5 and then 0), and were very specific.
In contrast, the women who had succeeded found that sharing their goal and being supported by a friend or colleague worked best – they would go to the gym with a friend, compare diets, track improvement together, etc.
Not unsuprisingly in thinking about this in relation to 360 degree appraisals, I could see how very often the feedback an individual receives often inspires them to want to change their behaviour in some way, to do things differently, to make a resolution.
And in just the same way, they will often only succeed in changing their behaviour if they set SMART goals, with organisational and peer support – this is the real goal of 360 degree appraisal….to make those New Year Resolutions or Any Time of Year Resolutions really stick.
I don’t normally concentrate on process. I believe that that should be the simple part – the key element is ensuring that a 360 degree appraisal or performance review is going to work for the recipient.
But sometimes our clients impress me enough to comment on the process. We have just started JCB’s annual 360 degree appraisal process. They have over 1,000 people go through a 360. As they have 7 people giving feedback, this requires over 7,000 appraisals to be completed. In fact it normally gets near to 9,000.
Yesterday, we sent out 1,500 email invitations to people to say “please give feedback on the following list of people”. We are used to working with a large scale but that is still a big moment for us.
Within 48 hours (actually just over a day) we have 1,000 appraisals completed. I’ve touched on the best methods of handling this scale previously – today, I just want to express some admiration for a company that takes 360s so seriously and is able -ok, with some of our help – to pull it off each year. Last year a 95% completion rate was achieved in just over a month. I’ll keep you update.
We are doing some work on refreshing our system and how people work with the tasks that are thrown up from 360 degree appraisals and performance reviews. Our appraisal systems allow our clients to run both a 360 and a performance review at the same time with various levels of integration.
The issue is whether we should show a combined task list for the 360s and the performance review. You could then see the 360 that your peer wants you to complete alongside the performance appraisal you have to complete on your direct report.
We’ll probably do something like this for convenience.
The issue it brought to me was that they are different tasks requiring different mindsets. Even if we do create a combined task list for convenience, I would not propose working down that task list in a hurry.
A 360 requires that you consider behaviours and comment on the impact of these behaviours. Although an appraisal may (should) include some element of this activity it’s purpose is different. A 360 is developmental and annual appraisal is by necessity judgmental.
OK, back to looking at how best to implement this difference.