How to Use 360-Degree Feedback to Improve Your Employee Experience

At DecisionWise, we spend a lot of our time helping organizations understand their employee experience, with the end-goal of improving an organization’s levels of employee engagement.

How Do We Measure the Employee Experience?

Most often, we start by studying how things are working inside an organization from the employees’ perspective. Some of the tools we use include:

Using the data we collect, we are able to paint a fairly detailed picture of what is happening within the overall employee experience, and we can tell if the employees are passionate, energetic, and committed to their work or if there are areas for improvement.

What Drives the Employee Experience?

So, what drives the employee experience?  Our research suggests it is the sum of the daily, weekly, and monthly interactions employees have with their managers, co-workers, executive leaders, associates, etc. In particular, though, our database suggests that of these various interactions, the most important relationship is the one between an employee and their direct supervisor. This insight then begs the following question: how does an organization mold and shape those critical leadership interactions employees are having with their supervisors?

Driven by Culture

Winning leadership experiences are forged by a deliberate organizational culture that values and promotes effective leadership behaviors and deters poor ones. Effective cultures are active, not passive!  Culture matters because managers and leaders are no longer tasked with deciding what to do at each interaction. They assumptively know what to do when managing their employees because their organization’s culture tells them what do.   

Professor Christensen aptly describes how this process works in his book, The Innovator’s Dilemma,

Once members of the organization begin to adopt ways of working and criteria for making decisions by assumption, rather than by conscious design, then those processes and values come to constitute the organization’s culture. As companies grow from a few employees to hundreds and thousands, the challenge of getting all employees to agree on what needs to be done and how it should be done so that the right jobs are done repeatedly and consistently can be daunting for even the best managers. Culture is a powerful management tool in these situations. Culture enables employees to act autonomously and causes them to act consistently.

Building a Leadership Culture

In response, we set out to develop a tool that will help us better understand an organization’s leadership culture. The result?  We now offer a state-of-the-art platform that substantially improves the 360-degree feedback experience for leaders and managers. We call it the DecisionWise 360 Platform, but our tool is different from most approaches in three critical ways.

3 Ways the DecisionWise 360 Platform Outshines Other Platforms

First, our platform is focused on helping clients manage and maintain an ongoing 360-degree talent program within their organization. We know that 360s are an excellent source of leadership data, but when sprinkled around, here and there, the data they provide is of limited utility.

Second, the DecisionWise 360 Platform ensures that 360s are administered consistently and that follow-up assessments take place at regular intervals. Regular and consistent follow-up helps encourage change at the individual level, and it also gathers longitudinal data to help us see further and more clearly.

Third, our tool aggregates data and insights from across a variety of leadership levels, tenure levels, and other demographic breakdowns to provide even more data insights. Our platform is fully capable of creating and managing leadership cohorts that can be shepherded through the system. Each cohort can be analyzed, and their data is added to the overall dataset that informs our understanding of the organization’s broader leadership culture.

Conclusion

With our new DecisionWise 360 Platform, we are better able to understand an organization’s leadership culture and then compare this data against other data sources to further refine our understanding and overall picture of the organizations’ employee experience.  Better data means better understanding. Better understanding means designing and building wining leadership cultures. Better leadership cultures mean healthy employee experiences, and great employee experiences lead to happy and engaged employees – literally, the stuff of success.

360-degree platform

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