CBIZ Case Study

Last spring Sunny Claggett, vice president of Talent Management and Organizational Development for CBIZ and I were interviewed for the Best Practices in HR Publication (May 1, 2010 www.blr.com Issue 908).  I receive many questions on how our customers implement the 360 process, so I thought I would share parts of this case study.  For the entire article, click here .

Providing feedback to employees for ongoing career development is not only important for staff, but for senior executives and management as well. Sunny Claggett, vice president of Talent Management and Organizational Development for CBIZ, Inc., explains that the company uses the 360-degree feedback process for its senior executive management team, the CEO, business unit presidents, and directors.

The CBIZ Feedback Process
Claggett explains that CBIZ…”work[s] within each practice and each strata to determine the core competencies to be successful.” The raters for the 360-degree feedback are chosen by the leader being rated, with approval and input from that person’s supervisor, says Claggett. The leader sees the aggregate report that includes comments, but not individual raters’ feedback. In most cases, Claggett says that leaders welcome the 360-degree feedback process…Claggett explains that “there’s still a need for calibration of what I [as a leader] should be doing better and also to appreciate what seems to be working in order to continue [that behavior]. At this level, leaders are like sponges. They want to know what they can do to be better in their jobs.”

Educating raters upfront about how to give feedback is necessary and helps them give balanced information to the leader being rated, says Claggett. She explains that the 360-feedback process is completed in 3-year cycles at CBIZ. The first year is the developmental year, with only the person being rated and the coach (often an HR professional) seeing the report. “The report provides a baseline to see where you stand and what you need to work on [over the year]. “The second year, after another 360-degree survey has been completed by the raters to determine how the leader is progressing, the report is given to the coach, leader, and leader’s supervisor.

The coach and leader’s supervisor meet to discuss issues on which the leader needs to be coached, the supervisor and leader review results together, and the coach and leader discuss further plans for skill development up through the third year. “The sense of accomplishment is visible when you sit with a person after 12 to 15 months and see that [the raters] have recognized your efforts” to make changes in behaviors, states Claggett. For example, a leader who has been cited for micromanagement tendencies and not providing visionary leadership might make changes during that time frame, such as pulling the next level of leaders together for a summit to discuss his or her vision for the direction the organization needs to take and to receive input and thoughts from direct reports.