Free webinar 22nd October 2013 – How to conduct an effective 360 degree feedback debrief

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Join us for free webinar on Tuesday 22nd October to gain a deeper understanding of the crucial part the face-to-face debrief plays when running a 360 degree feedback programme within your organisation.

Considering the broader purpose of 360 degree feedback is to raise self-awareness, and open up an individual to change and develop, it follows that the debrief is the catalyst for this process.

This one hour webinar explores the key elements of a successful face-to-face 360 feedback debrief:

  • Understanding your role as a debriefer and what skills it requires
  • Preparation; what to look for in a report
  • Structure; the basic debrief process
  • Concluding the debrief; moving towards action


All attendees to this webinar will also receive the accompanying free whitepaper which offers more insight, tips and advice.

To register your interest, simply click through to our Eventbrite page here and secure a place.

Hope you can join us then.




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Meet the new boss, (not the) same as the old boss

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I read this piece on the BBC website about a video games developer, Valve, who seemed to have dispensed with every notional idea we might hold of what an organisation should look like; crucially, they don’t have any line managers.

Now as a business which encourages meaningful conversations between line managers and employees through performance appraisals and 360 degree feedback, this concept certainly piqued the interest!

It’s worth a read because despite the headline grabbing angle, many of the practicalities of what is happening within this company, could be adopted by many more organisations.

Firstly, employees gravitate to what they’re interested in; groups coalesce and disperse according to the projects on the go – in many instances, they physically move to where they want to go to do this work; the furniture is all movable on wheels, so ‘have desk, will travel’ seems to be the order of the day.

Underlying this is a simple premise; people give of their best when they are interested and engaged in their work, and the team around them. Any organisation should be harnessing such energy and finding ways to place people where they will contribute their best thinking and work.

The second idea is that of peer-moderation; in the absence of line managers, how is performance assessed? Everyone provides feedback on everyone’s contribution & impact, not just their achievements & technical competence, but their behaviour & the values they embody too.

Again, any organisation can bring peer feedback into play and have it focus not just on what someone achieves but in how they go about their work and impact on the morale of the team around them.

Finally, at the heart of all of this, and something which any business should focus on irrespective of structure or hierarchy, was conversation; open, honest, regular dialogue between people striving to achieve the same aim.

It’s this final point that made me think that this wasn’t, at is may first appear, be about revolution, but rather evolution; a recognition of how growing a respectful community of people, clear in their aim, guided by values, collectively engaged and talking to one another is the core to success.





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How to bring Performance Appraisal and 360 Degree Feedback together

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A trend we saw some time ago of organisations implementing new performance appraisal systems with integrated 360 degree feedback has gathered pace and is very welcome – although particular care needs to be taken as you bring these processes together.

The belief that is fuelling this trend is that assessing performance against objectives, identifying learning & development needs, and setting objectives going forward, is not enough.

Defining desired organisational behaviours and soliciting feedback on these is an essential element of any effective performance management process.

The key to success in bringing together the outputs of both the performance appraisal and the 360 feedback into a meaningful conversation is to clearly recognise what they are designed to do; appraisal on the ‘what’ and 360 on the ‘how’; appraisal for evaluation, 360 for development.

Ideally we would suggest you try to keep these conversations separate (albeit that they implicitly inform the nature of the other) but sometimes this may not be pratically possible; in which case, encourage & train Line Managers to be adept at switching their mindset from one of evaluation and judgement in appraisal, to one of curiousity & exploration in the 360 debrief.


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How to take a strategic view with 360 degree feedback

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Many of the 360 degree feedback projects that we are now involved in with our clients, share something which wasn’t as apparent when we first started out some eleven years ago, and that is the realisation of just how rich the feedback gathered through the 360 process is.

Originally, we set up clients with a simple, tailored on-line 360 feedback system which provided them the ability to self-administer and run reports to share with the recipients. Over time, we began to support them more with our consultancy & design skills, to help ensure the competency framework which underpinned the process was relevant, resonant and reflected the business priorities of the organisation at that time.

The next step was to take an active interest in the debrief itself; the crucial conversation where the recipient sees the report for the first time, has an opportunity to explore it without judgement and identify strengths & development areas.

As we conducted more of these debriefs, particularly with senior executives within an organisation or partners in a professional services firm, it became apparent that the value of the 360 feedback process didn’t just sit within the report and for the individual.

Each debrief conversation through light on issues that pertained to that group of executives or partners as a whole entity; development needs for the group as a whole would become visible through these discussions as we joined pieces of a jigsaw, held by different people within the business; new feedback was coming into play.

We found ourselves with a rich body of data, both quantitative and qualitative; suddenly a 360 degree feedback programme found itself feeding into the strategic direction of an organisation rather than just an HR/L & D initiative which promoted organisation values, aided personal development and helped embed behaviours.

If you would like to know more about how our unique approach to 360 degree feedback could work within your organisation then do get in touch - we have some recent client success stories which highlight just how powerful a process it can be.


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Using social proof as a means of embedding your organisational values

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Big title, simple concept – social proof is ’a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behaviour for a given situation; in other words people watch what others do, consider it the ‘norm’ and emulate it to fit in.

What does this mean for an organisation trying to bring it’s values to life? If you can highlight to employees when a set of people in the organisation are displaying the behaviours associated with your values, it helps to reinforce these as the ‘norm’.

That ‘set of people’ may be the majority, or may be a significant minority; either will exert influence over what actions/behaviours others will follow.

The question then becomes how can you shine a light on those people who are demonstrating your organisational behaviours on a day-to-day basis?

As you might imagine there are many ways you could do this and would be very dependent on particular aspects of how your organisation operates; some companies have awards, some share their own stories at weekly team meetings, some identify bright spots and broadcast them via the intranet – and if you make talking about behaviours the norm, then that further reinforces the chance you have ensuring your desired behaviours and company values stay really take root.



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Values, employee behaviour and your brand

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This post was sparked by reading another quality post, by Seth Godin, which suggests that your company brand lies at the front-line contact you have with your customers & clients; this of course makes sense – the experience people really have of your business is not in what you personally say or promise, or what your website or PR states your brand to be, but in the interactions they have with your employees.

This is never more true than when you are working in a business-to-consumer environment where you may have many contact points from initial outbound and inbound sales activity, to ongoing customer service, seeking renewals or further business, complaints handling, etc.

With such a myriad and diverse range of interactions, how do you ensure your brand is represented as you would wish it to be?

Skilled employees, clear in what they have to do, are  naturally essential, but unless you are a low-budget airline of certain repute, then your brand is often being distinguished by how they go about their job; their behaviour when interacting with the customer.

You cannot monitor every call, watch every interaction, attend each field visit and manage individuals; you have to signal what’s expected and trust individuals.

The best way to signal what’s expected is by clearly stating your organisational values, and ideally provide some sense of what behaviours would be observed in someone congruent with these values.

This latter step takes a set of company values, often found laminated and stuck to a wall, and brings them to life; it allows them to be more readily discussed as both line managers and employees have an easier way to articulate the values through real-life stories of how they behave in their day-to-day work.

If you have a brand you cherish, having values is a start, but not enough – they must work practically within the context of Performance Management conversations, otherwise they really aren’t worth the (laminated) paper they’re written on.



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