360 degrees represent the circle of people surrounding an employee (a focus person) such as the employee’s manager, subordinates, colleagues and possibly clients. In short, all people our focus person is interacting with. By asking questions to them it is possible to obtain an overall picture of how the focus person is being perceived. Hence 360 degree analysis identifies the focus persons self-perception visavi the impression of others in the light of chosen competencies. It is one thing what you do but how you are perceived is often another matter. 360 degree analysis can identify the gap between the two.
Since all respondents in a 360 degree analysis answer out of their own perspective, a 360 is subjective and potentially influenced by the maturity of the respondents. Thereby 360 is not suitable for recruitment purpose/decisions. 360 is however a very cost efficient tool for development and a very good starting point for development efforts and coaching.
A 360 degree analysis gives many indicators of difference in opinion between different groups as well as clear indication of what the manager / colleagues / subordinates are content with and what they wish to see developed or prioritized. The generated report however, is not the full story – it is the following question that is of great interest. “Why is it this way?”
360 is an efficient tool that can be recycled over and over again – making it cost efficient. The full process takes approximately 6 weeks to complete.
360 – process
Can be done in a more formal workshop or a one-to-one-meeting. Often a fixed mix of competencies is chosen for a specific level or a specific type of position – a mix that later is reused for the same level or the same type of position.
Information to the focus person
The focus person receives detailed information on beforehand regarding what a 360 is, why and how it is carried out as well as how the finished result will be presented.
Choice of respondents
Usually done by HR and manager, sometimes in cooperation with the focus person.
Approval of respondents
Done by HR + manager. However it is crucial that the focus person also accepts the list of respondents in order for the focus person to later on accept the finished results.
Invitation to fill out the questionnaire
Invitations are automatically sent out to all respondents with information about the 360 and a link to the system questionnaire.
Respondents are usually given two weeks to fill out the questionnaire. A reminder is sent out after one week. When all respondents have answered the questionnaire or when the answering period is up the report is generated in the system.
The focus person receives the written report in a feedback meeting and gets a verbal run-through page by page, question by question. As certified users we have looked at the report and analysed trends, drawn hypothetical conclusions – in order to ask open questions that can identify the reasons for the result. Alternatively we can train your own staff (HR for example) to handle this feedback themselves.
Personal development plan
The report and feedback dialogue shall form the basis for a personal development plan for the focus person – a starting point for further development which can include coaching, counseling, further education, specialization etc.