All Around

How to Use Executive 360s Effectively

I believe a well-rounded performance evaluation plan should include executive 360s, a professional tool to assess the management team’s strengths and development needs, in which feedback is gathered from workers at various levels of the company to create a “whole” picture of performance.  With the right questions, the information obtained in this type of review can be incredibly valuable to the organization for management and executive performance, culture and environment data, and overall happiness of your employees — which can lead to a bump in your retention.

360s can be overly detailed.  I like to keep them as simple as possible, with no more than the top five areas the company wants to focus on.  This will help make the results truly measurable from year to year, as well as easier to act upon.  Treat the areas as you would goals.  If they are not reasonably attainable, why are you putting them in there?

Some suggested key areas of focus:

·      Strengths and attributes

·      Areas for continued development

·      Communication/listening skills

·      Clarity of direction

·      Supervisor/coach/mentor effectiveness

·      Teamwork fostering

You can also throw in a few company/overall satisfaction questions, such as:

·      What is the company culture and environment?

·      What do you like best?

·      What would you change?

There are many tools and software available to help you.  Another convenient way to administer the 360 process is an easy-to-use online service, such as SurveyMonkey  [] or Small-Improvements []. This makes data collection and analysis easy and, most importantly, confidential.  When presenting the information, I like to strip potential “identifiers” out. Comments that can easily be traced back to an employee should be scrubbed or, at least, watered down to reduce the common denominator.  Just as you would with an employee appraisal, schedule time away from the office or distractions to review, so the meeting is uninterrupted. The data should be presented in a format that is easy to digest and able to be taken constructively.  Most of all, this should be empowering for the person receiving it.

For advice on implementing 360-degree reviews, contact me e-mail

Leann Proud

HR Consultant and Practice Manager