We recently ran our seminar ‘Successfully implementing 360 degree feedback’ in London and have been asked by a number of people who couldn’t attend if we could present this by way of a webinar, so here are the details!
Date: 8th December 2011
Time: 2pm GMT
Duration: 45 minutes
The webinar will focus on four key elements of 360 degree feedback implementation, namely:
- Design of the competency frameworks, questionnaire, and rating scale
- Understanding the different type of 360 reports; what works when
- How to build the case for 360; getting senior level ‘buy-in’
- How to share the feedback report in the one-to-one debrief session
In addition, we will be demonstrating an online 360 degree feedback system to show how easily recipients, respondents and administrators can engage in the process if correctly designed.
If you are interested, then please click on the ‘Get in Touch’ button opposite and register your details; in the field which says ‘My project is…’ just add the word ‘Webinar’.
You will then receive an email requesting you to confirm your interest. just click on the link within this, and we can then send out joining instructions for the ‘Gotomeeting’ webinar session.
We look forward to welcoming some of you to the session; many thanks.
A brief note here to highlight a post on the Harvard Business Review Blog from Scott Edinger in response to Marcus Buckingham’s original blog post of last month about what he saw as the ‘fatal flaws’ inherent in 360 degree feedback.
We have commented ourselves on this post (read here) already, but Scott Edinger’s post articulates very well where some of the reasoning made by Marcus Buckingham might lead to the wrong conclusion.
In essence, we see again that if the purpose or intention of 360 degree feedback is not aligned with where it adds most value i.e. to furnish an individual with useful subjective feedback that will help them craft a better plan for personal development, then of course it can be viewed negatively and perceived as not adding value.
Meetings within the workplace is a similar topic that we often hear lambasted as a activity, as in "Meetings are a waste of time"; what is meant is that ‘bad’ meetings are a waste of time – the proper purpose and intention for a meeting has been lost.
Success follows both these elements.
We often talk around the heart of our business ethos relating to how we wish to encourage organisations to focus on the meaningful conversation between employee and their line manager at performance appraisal time or as the culmination of a 360 feedback process.
A good read is ‘Authentic Conversations’ by Jamie Showkier and Maren Showkier which feeds much into this ethos and offers a way for organisations to change culture through conversation.
Many things stand out as great pointers to how this might come about; the adoption of a mindset which recognises the freedom of choice in others, the intention to move from manipulation to engagement, and how conversations should move away from trying to get compliance and towards committment or engagement.
Performance management is the primary vehicle of communication between a line manager and their team and can drive this engagement; each conversation can build comittment or try to reinforce compliance in others.
With the right intention the right techniques can do wonders; conducting a well structured performance appraisal is a good start but it has to be coupled with a sincere desire to treat people as adults who make a choice to offer their committment.
Just a brief visit to CIPD in Manchester this year proved a worthwhile opportunity to catch up on what is happening within the industry and both 360 degree feedback and performance appraisal were very visible.
In fact there was a lot around assessment, diagnostics, evaluation, appraisal, talent metrics and alike; the continued ascent of online, web-based, SaaS and Cloud software is fuelling lower cost and easy to deploy solutions.
Whilst this is all good, the challenge for providers of such software solutions is to ensure that they don’t obscure what’s really important in all of this, meaningful conversations, face-to-face interaction, literally ‘the human touch’; efficiency is one thing, effectiveness is the goal.
A recent post by Marcus Buckingham here is worth a look at the thread of discussion it has prompted; he challenges the effectiveness of them with a focus on what he describes as ‘bad data’.
The subjective nature of respondents offering their view on behaviour of the recipient is inherently flawed in his opinion and for them to be more effective, he suggests a focus on the outcomes experienced by the respondents i.e. "I know what the vision of this organisation is" as distinct to "Clearly articulates the vision of the organisation".
I am not so sure; I accept the subjective nature of feedback from respondents/raters but that’s fine – we are looking to bring together a host of different world views and see how they stack up against the recipient’s own self-evaluation and each other.
We don’t subscribe to the idea that people should get scores such as "3.7 in communication"; it is meaningless and in this regard I take his point.
However, where one sees these different world views within a report, the ability to have a debrief conversation which asks ‘does that matter?’ becomes interesting – if it doesn’t matter and these views can continue in relative harmony then fine; but if as the recipient looks at this and sees that, subjective opinion or not, such disparate views will have a negative consequence over time, then it is sensible that the they take note, accept and consider their options.
360 degree feedback is not about scoring or qualifying absolutely what someone is good or not good at, it serves to offer up feedback for consideration by the recipient which will aid their develoipment; it’s not black or white, truth or false, right or wrong, it just is.
Despite being a runner of some 25 years, my second visit to the physio proved again that simply raising ones awareness about performance, as we often seek to do through feedback and performance appraisal, can have profound effects.
I had thought my running style quite good; frankly putting one leg in front of the other can’t be that demanding to think about can it? However, as I started to run on the treadmill and have my running style assessed, the phyiso started to ask me about my ‘cadence’.
I had never heard of this in the context of running; but of course as you reflect for a moment you realise that of course there is a rhythm, a beat, as your feet repeatedly land and take your forward.
Well mine was 143…and apparently all professional runners tend to have a cadence of around 180; this isn’t groundspeed, just the number cycles your legs/feet make as you move.
My cadence was putting an undue strain on my calves and tendons, hence the problem I was seeking to resolve; now with a new awareness and new cadence (which to be fair made me feel a little like a keystone cop furiously pedalling my legs), I could feel immediately the difference.
Now out running for the first time again in many months, my new awareness though a review of my performance (or performance appraisal…!) has created a change; I have a new alternative, a new perspective, and a desire to develop and improve my running times, because I now know how.
Again and again, if you simply ask people what they notice about one way of doing things and then ask again what they notice with a new way of doing things…they are savvy enough to make the choice.
This is the final piece of the CIPD presentation I made earlier this year relating to how to create a better performance appraisal process and more ‘feedback rich’ organisation; the first two elements regarding ‘Context’ and ‘Mindset’ have been covered in earlier posts.
Duncan Brown of the Institute of Employment Studies (IES) makes excellent reference in his article regarding performance management as to how, despite good intention and ambition, organisations fail through poor practice and delivery.
We might have set the importance of feedback in the context of performance management correctly and adopted the right frame of mind as we come to do it, but without a process which is easy to implement and follow, organisations will fail to create something sustainable.
Case studies revealed some success with a performance management, performance review and feedback process which:
- Clearly linked to the organisation’s purpose and against a broad scorecard of performance.
- Had a focus on the reviewing line managers who have to implement the process HR design.
- Concentrated on the conversation; benefits of a strength-based approach to performance conversations and reviews, building on employees’ strengths and energy levels.
Considering all the three elements of context, mindset and process, as one comes to design and implement a performance appraisal project, is a useful guide to help increase success and longevity.