We spotted this interesting piece in Forbes explaining why many 360 degree feedback programs fail. You can read the full piece here.
Their conclusion, which we agree with whole-heartedly, is if you do the opposite, then you have a really great chance of a successful project. The seven points and our thoughts on doing the opposite are:
“The Boss doesn’t get involved or discounts the program’s importance. “
We believe that any programme must always start with the boss as the clear sponsor. This is why we put so much emphasis on getting the boss onside and ideally getting him or her to position the whole exercise in the first place. Their on-going involvement and briefing needs to be carefully managed. We have yet to show a boss a 360 team profile with all the rich information it holds and not have them fully engaged – so showing them example team profile beforehand is often a great way to get their buy-in.
“The 360 tool/questions are too vague. “
The power of the Schroder framework on which my360plus is based is that the behaviour indicators are razor sharp and empirically proven to enable individuals to thrive and survive in increasing complexity and change. We ask ‘how often’ a very specific indicator is seen, giving the best possible chance of getting objective feedback.
And of course with the coaching descriptions and comments created for each delegate, there is no vagueness in the report either!
“People offer comments that are personal in nature rather than constructive. “
As well as carefully chosen objective statements, any freeform questions need to be carefully considered. We take great care to ask constructive questions and give extensive guidance to the observers network when they are invited to post comments.
“No plan is set following receiving the feedback” &
“If there is a follow-up post-360 plan, it happens only once.”
The on-going nature of my360plus’s ‘social feedback’ really helps here. And with the soon-to-be-enabled mini surveys, delegates can measure specific progress on the behaviour they have worked on before choosing another.
“Lack of confidentiality. “
Always critical. Anonymity and confidentially are key to any programme. If you can’t ensure both, you should not do anything!
“Forgetting the strengths and only focusing on weaknesses.”
We’d go further and say that it’s all about the strengths. Understanding these and your developing strengths enables you to know where you add the most value, what you can build on and where you might wish to work with others with complementary strengths. We do of course rate ‘negative’ behaviours (like over talking, or making assumptions) and report those separately, and our coaching comments focus on getting people to stop these – but doing negative stuff (which you can stop) is different to having a weakness (which you may neither have the predisposition, nor the opportunity to develop). None of us can be good at everything.