360-degree assessments are widely used for leadership and talent development. But the process can fall apart if all the key players are not in place.
Craig Chappelow, CCL’s global assessment portfolio manager and long-time trainer in CCL’s Assessment Certification Workshop, says organizations need to shore up six roles for a successful 360-degree feedback process.
- High-level 360-degree advocate. A high-level advocate within your organization is important to support and communicate the importance of the initiative. A senior-level executive (the higher the better) can contribute to the success of the process by supporting the initiative and helping to kick off the process by communicating to the participants, “Why we are doing this?” “Why with you?” and “Why now?”One example of a best practice in implementation of a 360 initiative involved a CEO who was the champion of assessment for leadership development in the organization. He set an example by going through his own 360-feedback process first. He then held several open information sessions to discuss how he experienced and benefited from the process. Given this CEO’s leadership by example, individuals in the organization saw the 360 initiative as an opportunity to develop instead of something that was being done to them.
- Project manager. A project manager (often a senior-level human resources staff member) has overall responsibility to select an appropriate assessment, schedule the calendar, and make decisions about the way the feedback will be delivered and the kind of follow-up that will occur. In consultation with others, this individual is the master planner.
- Project administrator. The project administrator is also someone in the client organization. This person has the hands-on responsibility for logistics such as distributing, monitoring return status and answering questions from participants. In small initiatives, the project manager and project administrator may well be the same person.
- Participant. The focal point of any 360-degree assessment process is the participant — the person receiving the feedback. This individual asks co-workers to provide feedback via the surveys and receives the finished feedback report. The ideal participant is open to learning, curious and motivated to be more effective.
- Raters. Raters are the people invited by the participant to complete surveys that address specific behaviors. With CCL, feedback ratings from groups such as direct reports and peers of the participant are anonymous. Feedback ratings from the boss or other superiors are typically not anonymous.
- Feedback facilitator. A private one-on-one session between the participant and a trained facilitator enhances the impact of the feedback process. The facilitator reviews the feedback report prior to the session. Depending on the time available, the facilitator is able to help the participant understand the data and take steps toward creating an action-oriented development plan. The facilitator can be an independent consultant or someone from your organization. With CCL 360s, facilitators must be certified by completing our Assessment Certification Workshop.
CCL’s suite of research-based 360s and our approach to facilitation and feedback are fundamental to our work with leaders. Organizations can tap into this expertise with CCL’s Assessment Certification Workshop, a program that prepares professionals to design, implement and facilitate feedback using CCL’s 360-degree assessments.