A number of recent 360 degree feedback projects have called upon us to aggregate the data of all the recipients in the 360 process and assimilate this with the anecdotal/qualitative data drawn from the face-to-face debrief conversations; the resulting summary analysis is always fascinating and genuinely insightful.
Time and again, we see the power of 360 degree feedback to go way beyond the value which individuals derive from the process; if the data is synthesized with some care and thought, the organisation will get feedback on itself.
The organisation has put in place systems, processes, reward practices and alike, and these will drive certain behaviours – sometimes intended, sometimes not, and 360 degree feedback is very good at highlighting such behaviours.
An example would be a sales force being rewarded on individual, short-term targets, but where the the desired organisational behaviours indicated in the 360 are those associated with collaboration, teamwork and strategic selling; there is a potentially a big mis-match.
If the 360 feedback shows a collective ‘poor’ rating around these behaviours, coupled with debrief conversations that point to the reward system being (partly) to blame, then the organisation has insight from the 360 process that it perhaps might have suspected, but lacked the evidence to create a compelling case for change.
So what can 360 degree feedback tell you about your business? Much more than learning & development needs; just need to dig a little deeper to mine the gold.