While the Center uses a variety of assessment tools to identify strengths and development opportunities, our most extensively used assessment tools are 360-degree in nature.
Grounded in the belief that the most complete and useful feedback is generated through multiple lenses, we use 360-degree assessments to elicit feedback from a variety of raters/respondents, including supervisors, peers, and especially "users" of one's managerial skills - i.e., direct reports and others affected by a manager's decisions. Studies show 360-degree feedback assessments can have a positive economic impact when used for leader development, generating lower employee turnover, quantum-leap improvements in employee performance, and significant returns on investment.
All 360-degree assessment instruments involve asking superiors, peers, and subordinates
- as well as the person being rated - to serve as raters of that individual's
behaviors relative to effective leadership and management. Each of them
responds to a paper-and-pencil or on-line questionnaire.
Three-hundred-sixty-degree assessments can be conducted using a variety of instruments. The Center typically uses two proprietary instruments, both of which are customizable and provide ample opportunity for raters to elaborate on their answers. However, we are willing to work with other instruments that a client may prefer (for example, because it has used a particular instrument in the past and wants to have comparable data that permits examination for trends).
Gathering data is the relatively easy part. Making sure that the data are valid and lead to constructive changes are the hard parts. We always conduct 360-degree assessments in the context of an integrated program that thoroughly prepares raters to respond helpfully to questions asked on the assessment instruments. In addition, we train the person being rated (i.e., the "subject") to interpret the data he/she has received, to test the accuracy of the interpretations, to devise plans that address the issues as interpreted, and to make sure that the raters believe these plans are responsive to their input and likely to succeed. We emphasize the need for the subject to communicate what he or she has learned to the raters and to express appreciation for their help.
The Center believes the 360-degree assessment process works best when only the
person being rated has access to the raw data, with the raters (including
the subject's superiors) only having access to the individual's interpretations
and plans. This approach tends to foster rater candor and to minimize any
tendency for the 360-degree assessment instrument to be used as a popularity
contest or in any vindictive manner.
The Center typically uses two instruments:
- The Senior Management Development Compass - This is a 162-item instrument that assesses competencies in four overlapping areas: Perceived Cognitive Ability (broad strategic thinking, creative thinking, and technical/business knowledge), Developmental Focus (development of self, others/teams, and the organization as a whole), Making Things Happen (leads change, develops commitment, and understands operations and administration), and Interpersonal (integrity/character, relationship building, valuing others, and communication). It was designed for senior managers with extensive input from the executive team of a successful electric utility.
- Global Feedback Inventory - This is a 360-degree assessment instrument that is highly customized to reflect the specific core values and leadership priorities of the organization. In addition, this instrument provides for automated development recommendations specific to the strengths and developmental needs as assessed by the instrument, and for company-wide aggregate data that can be used to plan strategically for large-scale training and development programs.
Client Success Story:
Revamped 360 Assessment Tool Facilitates
Putting the "value" in evaluation: Ninety-eight percent of managers and 100 percent of employees assessed via our 360-degree assessment programs believe the recommendations are helpful.