Often when we are involved in 360 degree feedback projects with our clients, we find ourselves delivering the face-to-face debriefs with the group of recipients, particularly if they are within the senior leadership team of the organisation.
Exploring the 360 report with the individual and identifying their own specific development areas is really just the starting point for leveraging the true value of 360 feedback.
It is relatively straightforward with an online 360 system to aggregate the data of all recipients and allow HR to then seen what the group-wide learning & development needs are and how they should be prioritised.
However, beyond this very effective means of conducting a TNA within the business, such data needs to be coupled with the anecdotal evidence gathered through the debrief conversations with the group of recipients themselves.
It is the comments from recipients during the debrief which add colour and depth to the development requirements, and these need to be skillfully drawn out through a review of the individual debrief conversations to see what is truly needed for that group of people.
Furthermore, and where the real power of 360 degree feedback lies, is in the strategic themes which inevitably emerge during the debrief conversations; if you speak with the top team in a business, you will quickly find the conversations highlight issues that are way beyond their own role.
Patterns may emerge which suggest very high-level issues such as poor vision and direction, a failure of communication from the top team downwards, a rumbling dissent among the employees which threatens to undermine the whole organisation.
We will present such findings back to the senior leadership team as a non-partisan party, and just like in a 360 debrief, ask "What do you notice?", "What is the impact of such feedback?" and "What does it suggest might be necessary organisational changes?".
360 degree feedback, correctly implemented, can go well beyond being an HR initiative and be seen as a critical tool in raising the awareness of the organisation and giving insight into what it needs to do to succeed.