Why Leaders are Still Investing in 360 Feedback

At a time of continued redundancies and cuts, many organisations may still be keen to resolve short-term issues across the board by slashing spending.

But, given that the global business climate remains so challenging (and more competitive than ever), long-term success lies in an organisation’s leadership.

And so it’s perhaps not surprising that, last year, a poll in the US found a fresh focus on developing management. The survey, of dozens of HR and other managers found that almost all (an overwhelming 98%) expected to maintain or marginally increase leader development expenditure in the next 12 months.

However, it’s also understandable that companies want optimal return on investment from their leadership programmes.

With 360 degree feedback, in which perceptions are collected about an employee’s performance from all of those around them, an environment is created leading to enhanced job satisfaction. In turn, this can increase staff retention and reduce the expenses linked with replacing staff.

At the same time, once strengths are highlighted through this system, the training budget can be put to better use.

It’s also the case that 360 feedback can stimulate sustainable change in how effective a manager is, while lessening the costly problem of ineffective management.

Maximising ROI on Your 360 Feedback Programme

There are several things you can do as an organisation to maximise your return on investment (ROI) on 360 degree programmes.

For example, once you get back your assessment reports, it is not enough to expect these alone to make a difference.

Coaching, action planning and accountability are all needed to translate the feedback into tangible results. Equally, training those who are going to provide feedback improves the quality of the process.

There are other things you can to do to minimise potential risk and maximise ROI:

For some candidates, uncomfortable truths may be brought to light. Have a one-to-one feedback session with a trained facilitator for everyone and make sure you address the “What next?” question each time.

Some may feel unsure about how reports will be used. Make purpose clear in internal communications.

Having well-designed questionnaires, good communication, strong support and using an experienced supplier to help implement your programme will alleviate
any staff concerns over the additional time and effort needed to complete a review on top of regular work, and fears over any potential loss of anonymity. If necessary , your programme can be phased in in stages – good timing could make all the difference to its effectiveness.

So extensive planning, good communication internally and expert assistance are all vital.

Finally, in terms of the financial cost of your programme, it’s important to make sure that you get the best value from your programme to maximise the difference it makes to your organisation in the long run. This does no necessarily mean plumping for the cheapest option you are offered.

It nearly always makes sense to outsource to an expert supplier – but get references on them and do your research thoroughly into the best provider first.