360 Feedback Programs in Organizations 2018

Each year SurveyConnect collects and reports out on data that we hope is useful to our clients and friends. In 2018, as in previous years, we decided to focus our questions on the 360 process – how many employees are asked to participate and why, as well as what happens with the data once it is collected. In this way, we can understand the objectives and uses of the 360-degree feedback process at this point in time, and see how answers have changed over past years.  80 people responded to the questionnaire this year; 34% of these respondents are external consultants and 66% are in-house employees.




Section I: The Individual 360 Process

 

  • When asked “What is the primary purpose of your 360 program?” most respondents said that they consider the 360 program a development tool:



Scale Item

Percent (2018)

Percent (2017)

Percent (2016)

1 (Exclusively for Development)

40%

41.40%

44.40%

2

15%

16.20%

19.80%

3

7.5%

8.10%

11.10%

4 (Equal mix of Development/
Decision-making)

25%

24.20%

22.20%

5

0.00%

0.00%

1.20%

6

0.00%

0.00%

1.20%

7 (Exclusively for Decision-making)

0.00%

1.00%

0.00%


  • 360s are split between voluntary (41%), required (11%), and a combination of purposes (48%).
  • When asked “How often does 360-degree feedback get delivered in the following ways,” the responses showed

 

2018

 

 

Self-Serve Report (no facilitator)

Internal Feedback Provider

External Feedback Provider

One-on-One Feedback Provider

Group Feedback Workshops

Team Facilitation or Off-Site

Scale Item

 

 

 

 

 

 

Never

55%

16%

15%

10%

31%

31%

Rarely

10%

22%

15%

8%

17%

23%

Sometimes

24%

26%

13%

22%

21%

22%

Often

7%

32%

40%

44%

29%

20%

Always

4%

4%

17%

16%

2%

4%


  • Formal Action Planning:

o   Participants are generally asked to complete a Formal Action Plan – only 11% of respondents in 2018 said that participants are not asked to complete a plan.

o   Action Plans have varied effectiveness, with 56% said that the plans are Usually Effective or Highly Effective, and 4% saying they were Not Effective or Rarely Effective.  33% said these plans are Sometimes Effective, and 7% do not require any formal action plan.

o   Comments from open-ended questions:

§  We use the action plan along with peer coaching groups and find this more effective as the participants are also accountable to a group of peers.

§  They’re very effective when organization buys extended executive 1:1 packages post 360. They’re usually effective with some (limited) post 360 1:1 coaching to reinforce skills to develop on action plan. They’re not as effective if participant doesn’t have a coach or mentor to work with.

§  We do not mandate the individuals complete the action plans. So as a result the quality of the action plans do vary. We typically encourage people to have a structured conversation with their managers to review the action plans, and when this occurs we hear that the feedback is quite effective.

§  Those that are successful typically have strong support from the participant’s supervisor/manager.


Section II: 360s from an Organizational Point of View

 

  • 360 program feedback feeds into other HR organizational programs (succession-planning, mentoring and/or talent management) in about 73% of respondent organizations.
  • Demographic or aggregate data is used in about 46% of the organizations; last year this number was 34%.
  • Sample comments from open-ended questions around the organizational use of 360s include:

o   Often we will look at the reports of a cohort of leaders and make decisions about a program of work for that whole cohort based on 360s (as well as other factors). Often this cohort fills a whole ‘tier’ of an organisation.  So, the individual reports/360 feedback help to inform larger pieces of work
around leadership development.

o   Our future plans include using the aggregate reports to develop our overall leadership development strategy. These reports are helpful for assessing skills and designing curriculum for new managers to the company.

o   The overall, aggregate data is shared with Sr. Management who can then use the information provided to determine what training areas they wish to explore for the coming year. The reports can also show which areas have serious issues. Those with serious issues, can extrapolate the data to enhance red zones and explore alternative solutions thru training and/or counseling/mentoring programs.

 

Section III: 360s Going Forward

 

  • For this group of respondents, the number of participants going through a 360 process grew about 2% from 2017 to 2018, and then are projected to grow about 24% from 2018 to 2019.  

 

Conclusions

 

  • Organizations deploy 360s as a valuable tool for in-house analysis to understand current performance in important organizational competencies.  They are also used to help participants increase strengths as well as improve performance in appropriate areas. The primary use of 360-degree feedback programs is for development purposes, and most organizations either request or require a Formal Action Plan.  These Action Plans are most effective if there is motivation from the participant and follow-up from the participant, their manager, and the organization.
  • 360-degree program feedback is used in other HR organizational programs such as succession-planning, mentoring and/or talent management in a predominance of respondent organizations.  While the 360-degree program strategy fits into the overall performance management of the organization on an individual level, there is a growing trend for the analysis and use of 360-degree demographic data to understand organizational issues, strengths, and gaps.

 

As always, if you have any questions or would like to talk about 360s or other employee surveys, please contact me at:

 

Marcie Levine

mlevine@surveyconnect.com

800.945.0040

303.931.6484

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