The name, 360 Review, is derived from the process by which a key employee is reviewed by peers, subordinates, superiors, and customers.
Since these are the 4 groups that “surround” the key employee’s work environment, the term, 360 Review, was developed to describe this “circle” of people who have knowledge about the performance of the key person.
The process used by 90% of companies for conducting 360 Reviews is a 5-point rating form that contains dozens of broad behavioral statements, such as:
- Provides direction around company vision.
- Shows respect for others and their ideas.
- Makes appropriate decisions.
- Takes risks.
The fact is that behavior-based statements and numerical ratings cannot capture the essence of what a rater actually means when he/she rates someone as a “3” or a “4” on such vague attributes.
Our approach to the 360 Review is a personalized approach in which we conduct 1-on-1 structured interviews with the selected individuals chosen to provide the ratings for the key employee. Typically, we do not involve customers as part of our review process, unless specifically requested.
These confidential conversations will ask the raters to provide opinions, examples, observations, and comments about the key employee’s performance in the following 10 topic areas:
- Quality Orientation
- Interpersonal Skills/Communications
- Continuous Improvement
- Customer Service
- Team Building
- Performance Management
Each of the above 10 topics include numerous key words and characteristics that are designed to focus a rater’s thinking on each subject.
We summarize the data from all raters by identifying and combining various themes in order to ensure the anonymity of the raters.
Next, we have the key person conduct his/her own self-review.
Finally, we meet with the key person to review all the information, provide our commentary, and develop a plan of action for correcting any deficiencies.
We have found this personalized approach to be the most effective method of not only accurately assessing a key person, but also providing the specificity for change that a 5-point rating scale cannot deliver.