Increasingly the annual performance review cycle calls for a 360 degree review element. This involves taking the views on employees from across the organisation through surveying. However for the HR department this often represents another logistical nightmare. Days are spent collecting employee’s nominated reviewers, emailing to request reviews, collating them and then putting the results into a suitable format for employees and managers. Meanwhile, many employees dread the annual cycle and regard it as a chore which they just need to “get done”. It takes too long and the outputs are often confusing and unattractive. Too often the benefits of reviews – employee development, support and engagement – get lost along the way.
There are several elements within an overall performance review cycle: have objectives been met, which ones and if not, why not. Then there are the competencies of employees – which includes skills, knowledge and behaviours. Thirdly is the managers view and assessment of the overall performance. The 360 degree review is a chance to get a range of views across the organisation and brings with it a number of benefits:
- It gives the chance to measure employee performance giving an overview of performance across the company.
- It highlights areas of development for employees.
- The first two benefits facilitate conversations between managers and their direct reports, strengthening their relationships; employees can be praised and rewarded for high performance, and those struggling given support and guidance for the future.
- It gives the chance for the company to reinforce brand values and the strategic direction throughout the organisation.
In this blog we focus on our experience of 360 degree review and how to maximise these benefits while reducing the time and effort in the process.
The OrgVue method for 360 degree feedback
Decide what data to collect
The data collected needs to be relevant to both the employee and company; helping highlight areas of development for the employee and reinforcing and assessing how aligned employees are with brand values.
At Concentra, OrgVue’s parent company there are 5 values which were identified through a series of workshops and interviews of the most valued staff (not just the senior leaders and a broad mix across the organisation):
Like a large majority of organisation, we took these values and created posters to remind ourselves of them. But, posters are a pretty ineffective mechanism to reinforce culture. So we included specific questions in our interviewing processes around each value and score all candidates against these values. While values are an extremely useful starting point they do not necessarily cover all aspects of work. For example, at Concentra most of the work is technical in nature and each role has specific technical/job specific skills and knowledge. Therefore we added a 6th element of “Technical Skills”.
Ensure you have an easy way of collecting data
Often companies use off the shelf surveys such as Survey Monkey which are sent round to very employee to fill in. We used standard out of the box survey functionality but created a custom dashboard sent to each employee accessible on both computer, tablet and smart phone. The survey was made as simple and easy to use as possible to make it easy for employees to fill in.
Make data collation easy
If the information from the surveys have been collected via an online survey or email it takes a substantial amount of time and effort to complete the tedious task of dragging and dropping the information into one place. In OrgVue’s parent company, Concentra, it previously took a good four working days! However, using OrgVue means that information from the surveys goes directly into a dataset. The information is automatically collated so the information for each employee is already in one place, automatically with zero additional effort.
Make reporting easy and insightful
Creating reports for each employee take time and inevitably lead to more shuffling of information. Reports often end up being sent round in uninspiring formats such as Excel or Word resulting in a lack of engagement with the results. However, OrgVue solves both these issue by creating extremely visual, colourful dashboards. Employees and managers are able to understand their reviews in seconds rather than minutes.
The image above is an individual employee report. It shows the employee has performed above average but immediate areas for improvement are “Together” and “Driven”.
This image demonstrates OrgVue’s ability to filter and organise reports. Because all this data is in one place, it allows for meta analysis. Is there a relationship between tenure, pay or the function and the level of commitment? Do those regarded as “smart” have higher technical skills? Do managers who receive the highest feedback have teams who also out perform the average?
OrgVue makes the process of yearly reviews disappear into the background, bringing the real benefits to the fore. It creates the perfect platform for conversations between managers and employees. The really exciting thing is thinking of what you could do with surveys and instant reporting beyond yearly reviews. monthly or weekly pulse surveys, idea collections (the “Idea Box”), understanding of the strategy or alignment with a direction of travel… The possibilities are endless.
Having just completed our review, we would love to hear thoughts on how your company runs company-wide reviews and what you find the benefits and challenges are.
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