Why did your last 360 degree feedback project fail?
All too often we come across HR executives who feel that despite all their time and effort their previous 360 just didn’t meet expectations. This is often the point at which we are approached and generally we find that the problem can be attributed to one fundamental issue not having been addressed, namely “Why?” Or more specifically – Why are we conducting this 360 Assessment and what are we hoping to achieve?
I would classify this as a failure to define project objectives and we know from experience that neglecting to carefully define the specific purpose for implementing such an assessment will have significant implications on the:
- overall focus of the measurement,
- way in which the questions are phrased,
- response scale,
- type and number of relationships that are defined,
- way the report content is structured, and
- manner in which feedback is administered.
Also, keep in mind that without clearly defined objectives it will be very difficult to measure the success of the initiative and demonstrate the value that has been delivered. In short, your objectives will have an impact on every aspect of the project and may therefore be regarded as the most crucial input into the entire project planning process. However, defining objectives is often not as simple as it may seem (which may be the reason so many people avoid it).
To make addressing this all important issue a little easier, here are some of the questions we feel should be answered in order to gain a clear understanding of what is driving the 360 assessment and by implication what the assessment needs to achieve:
- What are your overall business objectives and how will this assessment align to those?
- Who is being assessed? Is it the leadership of the organisation, the whole organisation or specific groups within the organisation identified for assessment?
- Will participation be compulsory or voluntary? Are you targeting a specific participation rate?
- Is the assessment based on behaviours or based on performance measures?
- On what will individuals be measured: organisational values, competencies, skills, attitudes?
- Will the results be used for self-development and training, remuneration and reward or promotion?
Investing time in clearly defining your objectives will go a long way to increasing the value you will derive from your 360 Assessment. Do not underestimate the importance of this first step.
Tags: 360 Implications, Failed 360, Successful 360