In this podcast episode, Christian Nielson, Principal of Spectiv, reviews how you can get more out of your 360 degree feedback assessments. He touches on several strategies, including how 360 assessments can enhance your organization’s learning and development efforts, as well as best practices for including special groups such as low performers, high potentials, and top executives. You’ll walk away with a clear idea of how 360 feedback can help enhance your organization’s strategy.


[00:00:00] Hello, and welcome to this webinar, “Getting More From 360 Degree Feedback.” My name is Christian Nielson and I’ll be hosting this session. My role is as the Spectiv principle. Spectiv is a technology that branched off of DecisionWise and my background is organizational development. I’ve worked as a consultant and a coach in various capacities, and now it’s my pleasure to lead this Spectiv platform and technology and product and excited to talk more about 360 feedback today.

[00:00:33] So where we’re headed I’ll be giving you an overview of 360 degree feedback and organizational development. And the most of our time, I wanna spend walking through 12 different ways to use 360 feedback. In kind of in this spirit of getting more out of 360 feedback, I wanna talk about some different channels and ways to leverage 360 feedback to improve organizational development efforts you may not have considered and we’ll talk through those and we’ll make sure we leave time for some Q and A at the end of the session. 

[00:01:02] So let’s start off just very basic. What is 360 degree feedback? So 360 degree feedback is an opportunity for an organization or a leader to understand what experience am I creating for others, or how are other people experiencing me.

[00:01:19] The way we capture that, or the way we provide that feedback is by having the participant take an assessment of how they think they’re doing across different dimensions, different competencies and behavioral statements. Then we have those around them, their supervisor, their direct reports, their peers, perhaps others and maybe even other categories take that same assessment about them.

[00:01:40] How do we feel like this person’s doing? And then we provide that report with a coaching session. To understand what are you seeing versus what are they seeing? Where are your true strengths? Where there are areas to improve? What does this mean for you? It’s a wonderful instrument to help people understand the experience they’re creating for others.

[00:01:58] And it’s a tremendous development tool. In fact, one of the, my favorite descriptions of a 360 is a purposefully designed disruption, which creates the opportunity for increased self-awareness and change, a disruption. We don’t get this type of feedback every day, especially in such a formal format.

[00:02:20] And so it is a disruption. It’s a moment to step back and really assess, okay, how are others experiencing me? Am I creating the right experience? Where do I wanna make adjustments to get better outcomes? We’ll come back to this language a few different times because I think it plays into how we can really get more out of 360 feedback.

[00:02:39] So some of the common benefits of a 360 experience would be they expand perspective, promotes dialogue, sets and clarifies expectations, encourages development, raises accountability, and enhances performance. These are just some of the benefits of 360 feedback when it’s done right. 

[00:03:00] There’s a quote I came across recently that I think also highlights the benefit of 360 feedback and it’s from Anton Chekhov and it is, “man will become better when you show him what he is like.” It’s a mirror. It’s the opportunity to look at ourselves through the eyes of others and to really understand. Okay. Do I really come across that way? Is that my intention? Where do I wanna change? And so feedback, and especially 360 degree feedback, can be very powerful. 

[00:03:29] So how can we get more out of traditional 360 feedback? Well, there’s a lot of different ways. I think many organizations have some wonderful use cases for 360 feedback, but I think almost every organization I encounter could do a lot more with it. And I want to talk about just some of the ways that we could get more. 

[00:03:47] To do that, let’s first understand a little bit of the landscape. I want to introduce some terms or define some terms that we’re probably all very familiar with. 

[00:03:56] The first one I wanna talk about is culture. One definition of culture would be you know, a set of values norms, guiding beliefs, and understandings that is shared by members of an organization and is taught to new members as a way to, feel, think, and behave. Or in other terms, the way we do things around here. That’s our culture. The way we do things around here. 

[00:04:17] Another phrase we hear quite a bit in organizational development would be the employee experience, EX. And that would be the sum of perceptions employees have about their interactions with the organization in which they work or another way to put that would be how we experience the culture.

[00:04:33] So the culture is the way we do things around here. The employee experience is how do we experience the way we do things around here? How, what does that feel like for an employee? 

[00:04:42] And the last term I wanted to find on this slide would be engagement, employee engagement: an emotional state where we feel passionate, energetic, and committed toward our work. In turn, we fully invest our best selves in the work that we do. Another way to, define that or describe that would be it’s the way we respond to the employee experience. So, our work is creating an experience for us. Everything about our interaction with our work environment and the people there and the physical environment and social environment and so forth, it creates an experience and the way that experience feels and how we react to it determines our level of engagement. The way we choose to react or respond to that employee experience. 

[00:05:23] So just having kind of this understanding, these connections can kind of help us understand where 360 feedback can help us, kind of tune the machine or tune the environment to get better outcomes. If we want to improve that employee experience and invite more engagement, cultivate more engagement, how do we approach that? 

[00:05:43] Another framework that can help us kind of queue up the conversation would be this of organizational alignment model here. So to help us create a strong employee experience, it’s helpful for us to think through what’s happening in these three columns; within managers and teams, within the people systems of the organization, and also at the senior leadership level.

[00:06:05] Now I could spend all day talking about this model and some of the implications, especially around employee engagement and or large org surveys and things, but we’re here to talk about 360. So I wanna focus on two categories here. 

[00:06:19] So the manager and team area you’ll notice in this model manager and teams are deliberately closest to the employee experience. They’re the right of the alignment model here. And that’s because they’re so close to the employee. Much of the employee experience is shaped directly at the team level, the manager’s confidence, attitudes and behaviors, shape the culture and experience of the team. This tees up 360 feedback very well. It makes sense that the manager’s so important, the experience they create immediately for their team is so critical to the overall employee experience that it makes sense to invest in development of that manager and help them shape that experience and own that experience. So we’ll talk quite a bit about that, but that’s why 360s play a critical role.

[00:07:08] And the other area that we’ll spend some time on today, especially is around senior leadership. Let’s just focus on that description. The executive team shapes the mission and vision of the organization. They set strategy and goals. They make policy decisions that influence the employee experience, their attitudes and behavior shape the culture of the organization.

[00:07:28] Their attitudes and behaviors shape the culture of the organization. Not only do they individually lead teams and create an experience there, but being so high in the organization, everything they do, the way they lead, the way they interact is compounded and cascaded throughout the organization. So we really need to get it right at the top.

[00:07:48] If we can get the right behaviors modeled at the top, then that will set a really great example and be shared throughout the organization. So 360s play a really great role there, as well. 

[00:08:00] All right. Let’s move into some of the 12 ways. And 12 is just, I’ve picked some of my favorite ways, some of the things I think sometimes organizations overlook as possible channels for using 360 feedback in their organizational development efforts. There are many more ways to leverage employee feedback and especially 360 or multi-rater feedback to strengthen an organization. But let’s jump into some of these.

[00:08:28] The first one: developing senior leaders. Now this might be one of the more obvious ones. A lot of teams, a lot of companies come to our company saying, Hey, we need something to help develop our senior leaders and we think 360 feedback would be great. And it is great.

[00:08:41] Let’s talk about why is 360 feedback great for senior leaders? Well, as I just barely mentioned, senior leaders influence all aspects of the business culture and the employee experience. We wanna get it right at the top. They’re often insulated from feedback. It is lonely at the top. Sometimes it’s quiet at the top. Sometimes we’re afraid to give feedback to people with a lot of positional power. And so they don’t get the benefit of more direct feedback. And so, 360 becomes increasingly important to provide a safe channel and some clear feedback for those in the high office. 

[00:09:14] And also 360 feedback works very well with executive schedules. We don’t have to drag them offsite. Now we can, you can do a lot of things with this. This can be part of it offsite, but it all can be captured just in the flow of business. You know, they can take a very short assessment when it works for their schedule, their raters can take it when it works for theirs and then the system compiles it and delivers it.

[00:09:35] So it, it works very well for busy executives. Just very quickly, And I won’t go… there’s gonna be 12 of these. So I won’t go through a lot of detail on each of these, but, you know, with executives, I like it when we can run an entire executive team through the experience. We don’t single one out and just do it here and there. It works very well if you single it out. But my favorite approach is let’s run in the entire executive team through 360. Let’s give them some common prep together. Here’s what we’re doing, why we’re doing, what a report looks like, capture the feedback, and then you’ll notice this theme throughout each of the areas I talk about today.

[00:10:09] We wanna provide one on one coaching. Coaching is the greatest magnifier of 360 feedback effectiveness that you can really offer. You don’t want to just drop a report on someone’s desk and walk away. We want them to have someone to process this with. 

[00:10:23] And now a coach doesn’t need to be an external coach. It can be internal coaching. In fact, that’s one of the best ways to get more out of 360 feedback is to build internal coaching competency and capability. In fact, this morning, that’s what I was spending my time doing was training coaches from various organizations to run these programs within their own organization.

[00:10:43] Often though with an executive team, companies will decide to go with an external coach. Either they may feel intimidated. They may also feel like, you know, with the top of our organization it feels more appropriate for us to leverage outside coaching talent. And we do a lot of that work. We also partner with a lot of organizations that do that great work, but provide that coaching and consider a facilitated team conversation. So after those executives gone through, it’s great to draw some team insights out without, you know, singling individuals out. But to say, Hey, as a team, we notice that we’re all struggling with collaboration or delegation.

[00:11:18] What does that mean? And what are the long term implications if we don’t change? What are the opportunities available to us if we do? And so there’s a wealth of information available for the individual development, but also for kind of these team conversations. So developing senior leaders, a great use. We could spend a lot more time, but let’s move on to our next one. 

[00:11:37] Here’s another question. Is there any reason to ask employees for inputs into mission, vision, and values? I ask because it seems if they feel that they have input they may be more supportive and/ or have more buy in.

[00:11:49] I think that’s a really great question. In fact, I don’t have it called out specifically here, but one way… now a lot of organizations use an off the shelf assessment and that’s great. We’ve got some that we’re very proud of, offer a lot of value, but one way to get more value out of 360 long term is to build your own competency model that’s aligned to your mission, vision, and values. And some of the ways we see organizations do that, some of them will run a survey and capture, well, what do our frontline employees feel like? What do frontline managers, what do senior leaders feel are our values? There’s certain exercises you can go through to kind of get a feel.

[00:12:26] There’s also some merit in saying, well, what’s our strategy? And if we’re going to accomplish that, what are the values or the behaviors that we are gonna need to be successful with that? And mapping there. So there’s the value in understanding the current state and then also, okay, that’s who we are. Who do we need to be? And defining that aspirationally. But I do love the idea of tapping into employee voice. Now the caveat with that is, don’t set the expectation that whatever you decide is what we’re ultimately going to be at any level. Pull the entire population, if possible, capture all that information, and then we usually hold workshops or facilitate some different activities to surface what you’ll use for those values, but really good question. 

[00:13:10] I’ll do one more question and I’m thrilled that some questions are coming in. And then we’ll jump through a few more of these.

[00:13:15] How does a senior leader know who to give a 360 assessment to be most beneficial to their leadership and mission? Is there a standard you like to use? In what ways do you believe involving the raters in the coaching conversation after the 360 is completed is beneficial? 

[00:13:32] That’s a good question. So in general we often like to recommend a pre-webinar or at least some kind of pre-conversation, especially with senior leaders, just to say, here’s what we’re doing, why we’re doing it and for best practices, there’s different ways to select raters. You can select them for them, but in most cases, it’s best to let them select their own raters, and we even have another option where you can let them select their own raters, but then you approve those raters or you allow someone else to approve those raters. That’s a great thing too. 

[00:14:03] But in general you kind of go with those same categories you know, self supervisor, others, direct reports, peers. Now in certain cases, there may be other internal customers you want to have, but in general, we like to say invite 20 people and we hope you’ll get 75% of those 15 participating. If you’re running a lot of people through, you might want to be a little more prescriptive because you don’t want one rater to have to answer 20 of these in a week or something like that. So there’s a few variables you want to consider, but in general, you know, shoot for 20 people invited if possible 15, you would all say all of your direct reports, selection of peers, others, and certainly supervisor, critical raters are gonna be their self and their supervisor, but good question. 

[00:14:49] If I have time at the end, I’ll speak a little bit about best follow up conversations because there is some really great tips we have for after the session, what do you do? In fact, I’ll make a quick note there. We’ll chat about that at the end of the session, but following up and how do you include the raters? One of the best things is getting a note out to all of your populations is to say Hey, I heard you and I wanted to have some feedback conversations. We wouldn’t involve them directly in coaching, but we’d definitely leverage them in follow up conversations. Great questions. Thank you. 

[00:15:20] All right. Enhancing L and D efforts. This is one of my favorite things on our list today, because I think it’s missed a lot of times. You can leverage 360 feedback to really augment and enhance a learning and development effort. Let’s talk about some of the quick ways you could do that or some of the high level values, why you would do this. 

[00:15:39] So personalizing feedback creates an openness and energy for growth and development. So if for example, I’m a new manager or I’m a leader at any level, and I’m going to some training activity, it’s easy for me to sit back and be like, oh, this is great. Everyone else here needs this. You know who else needs this? My boss needs this. 

[00:15:57] But if I have a 360 as a component of that, can highlight how badly I need that feedback. Suddenly I have direct information about where my personal growth opportunities are and it creates that disruption I spoke about earlier and that openness for the training.

[00:16:13] So it kind of opens the door for the content I’m gonna be learning about in training. I used to do this when I would teach communications classes. People were always pointing at other people, oh, they need this. Well, guess what? We all need it and a 360, you can point out to the degree to which the individual needs this feedback.

[00:16:31] It also can help you quantify the ROI or the effectiveness of a training initiative. If you take a 360 at the early stages of a training effort and then do a follow up six months later, you can see if behaviors changed and you can point back to, Hey, this was effective, or maybe not as effective, we might need to up what’s happening in this program or increased coaching, but it gives you a sense for what’s happening in the actual session and if it’s making a difference. 

[00:17:00] The other thing I really love is group data from 360s and group data in general is a way you can get more out of 360. Make sure you’re leveraging a platform like the Spectiv platform that can really open the door for group insights. What are we seeing across the population? But group data can inform trading needs. So if we have 360s for a class, a cohort going through a training program or just any population, we can look and say, well, what do these leaders need? Oh, we’re low in creativity and innovation.

[00:17:28] Well, that’s going to be critical for our strategy. Let’s invest in more L and D efforts around innovation and creativity. Look across different levels of the organization. 

[00:17:37] Group analytics are very helpful too. Just in the spirit of time, I’ll go. I won’t go through exactly how, but it’s going to be again, pretty straightforward there. 

[00:17:48] Team building. Now team building isn’t always something you think about with 360 feedback, but this works very well, especially when the team is comprised of leaders of other teams. So if we’ve got a team of managers and they’ve got their own span of control. It works very well for that. So, you can use these things for some wonderful individual and group development. It’s not lost on me in any way that a 360 is a very human and vulnerable moment. I go through my own 360s and I feel it every time. It gets pretty real when you’re receiving feedback like this. And so it can build trust to go through it as a team, to experience it as a team when it’s done well and the 360 feedback can be used to build trust, break silos, improve collaboration, and it creates that open disruption where new things become possible.

[00:18:36] Suddenly there’s an openness there and during that space where we’re all reflecting and thinking of the experience and talking about team implications, we can talk about team possibilities as well. And so the 360 can be leveraged wonderfully in there and again, I’m gonna recommend that each person gets coaching. Now it can be done in group coaching. We do have a wonderful way that we do and leverage, and we’re always happy to share how you can do group debriefs and do some group coaching as well as individual coaching. 

[00:19:03] And then I love having a team conversation at the end around, well, what are the implications? What did we learn here? What did we have a growth opportunities as a team? And so it can be a wonderful experience for an intact team and I particularly like it when it’s leveraged for a team of leaders or manager. 

[00:19:21] Supporting low performers. Now this is, I think traditionally where a lot of people have gone to 360, probably to a fault. In some cases 360 feedback, picks up a bad brand that it’s a punitive measure. It’s done only for under performers and I don’t want it to pick up that stigma, that brand, but I do think it’s a very powerful tool when it’s done effectively for low performers.

[00:19:44] Let’s talk just briefly about why and how: identify specific improvement opportunities, creates urgency around the changes are needed, and this is another important one, this third bullet. When we’re doing this for low of performers, if we do it in the right spirit and provide coaching, it demonstrates that we care. Yeah. You’re not quite cutting it. You’re not living up to the standards we’ve set. We’re investing in a turnaround effort. Now that can be important for documenting, you know, formal case and things like that. But it’s also just a wonderful message to the employee that we care and we’re trying, and we want to give you resources and support and it’s coming through this feedback conversation.

[00:20:19] So it should be heavily accompanied with coaching and I think the stage should be set appropriately before the 360 is run, around, you know, there’s some performance issues. One of the things we want to do is in an effort to help you turn this around is to capture some 360 feedback and provide some coaching and then make sure that you’re providing that support going forward.

[00:20:41] But low performers: I don’t recommend the only place you’re using 360s in your organization is low performers, just because then it can pick up a stigma. So I like it if it’s also 360s being used with executives and high performers, which we’ll talk about in a moment as well. But it certainly has its place with those that are underperforming.

[00:21:02] All right. Oh, and in fact I was my own best plant on this. I segue perfectly into investing in high potential. We’re working with low performers. Let’s also invest in high potential talent, high performers: those that we see as future leaders, talent that we want to, you know, groom and cultivate within the organization.

[00:21:20] So why does that work so well? 360 feedback with coaching, you’ll notice again, coaching’s gonna be on every one of these slides, creates a tremendous growth experience for high potential talent. Sometimes we’re able to identify our high potential talent, but we don’t… okay. Now what do we do with them? Well, we know that high potential, we can give them a bonus or whatever your organization does, but how do you really invest in growth? Coaching and 360 can be a really great way and doing it as individuals bringing ’em together as a cohort, both options work well. 

[00:21:50] Keep them engaged by strengthening the organizational growth proposition. So I see this, especially with generational differences. Obviously we all wanna be compensated, but I’ve seen this in a lot of organizational data that employees increasingly are looking for you to pay them in growth. Pay me in growth and development. And so with high potential, you can strengthen that growth proposition by saying, Hey, we appreciate what you’re doing. We think you have a high ceiling here at the organization. We want to invest in, in your potential and possibilities here, and we’re gonna do it with some development tailored to your needs. 

[00:22:24] And you can also learn about the strengths and needs of that community. If you’re running a cohort of high potentials through, you can see what the future needs of your high potential talent are. You can say, yeah we’re coaching and it’s interesting across the board, we see this a need around managing change, and we know that’s gonna be critical for the future of this organization. So we’ve got a preview that’s something we’re gonna have to invest in across this population.

[00:22:48] Just in, in terms of how you’ve gotta identify ’em, I do love a pre-webinar, if possible, to say, you know, this is what, this is why we’re doing it. Especially if some of them maybe have the misunderstanding that 360 feedback is only for underperformers. You wanna make sure that they understand this is in the spirit of development and growth.

[00:23:06] We wanna run the feedback, provide the debrief and tie the feedback to the growth goals. What do you wanna be in this organization? Who do you wanna become? And let’s connect the dots with this feedback. 

[00:23:17] Developing new leaders and I’m going quick. I hope I didn’t shut down the questions. Keep those coming in and I’ll pause and get back to that list as they come in. Let’s talk about developing new leaders. 

[00:23:30] As I showed you in those earlier models, all managers are so close to the employee experience. So much of the weather that we experience every day at work comes from our manager’s interaction with us. So getting new leaders up to speed quickly is very important. 

[00:23:45] One of the most difficult transitions for any of us in our career is the first time we’re asked to lead others and manage others and I’m just gonna go ahead and guess that your organization doesn’t do the best job of preparing managers for that first time. We often promote super doers, amazing individual contributors, and suddenly they’re thrown into a place where they’re not expected to do it all themselves. They’re expected to lead others and get results through others. And so, they often, they don’t understand that the need to communicate differently, the need to advocate for organizational imperatives, the need to build engagement and cultivate experience that to the extent that they need to.

[00:24:25] A 360 could be really important for a new manager. In fact, I had one client that had the idea that 360s were only for new managers. Now, I obviously don’t think that, but I think they’re very powerful for new managers. So when they’re in position set, the expectation that 360s going to be part of the development. Usually give them some time between six to 12 months and in position to be able to kind of build you know, create enough experience to get feedback on but then provide that experience and that 360 experience with coaching. And if possible, if you’re organizations of a size where you can do large groups of new leaders through altogether, even better, they can learn from each other. It makes it a little safer experience if they know others are going through feedback at the same time. So, you tailor it a bit for your organization, but great for new leaders. 

[00:25:11] Following an engagement survey. I’m curious how many of you are running engagement or larger organizational surveys across all employees? A lot of times, it’s what do we do now? You know, we might get a theme that comes up the, these major themes that come from the story that say something about, you know, oh, we need to improve this aspect of bottom up communication or we’ve got some growth goals and things that we can work on as an organization.

[00:25:35] But you’ll also see some teams that are underperforming, as well as some teams that are overperforming in term of engagement, highly engaged teams, low engagement within teams. What do you do with that? A 360 can be a great follow. So, you know, you look at your top five teams or top 5% of teams, you can run 360 and kind of in the spirit of the high potential say, what’s going well? Let’s invest in these leaders that are doing a great job, not only for their own development, but also to learn from them. What are these leaders doing that we can share with the rest of the organization?

[00:26:05] But also with providing 360 for those teams that are struggling to create the right experience. If we’ve got low engagement on certain teams, let’s work with those leaders. Let’s get some more specific behavioral based feedback from a 360 to capture that. 

[00:26:19] Now you probably don’t wanna do this the day after the feedback results are in. You wanna give them a little bit of time to, so we don’t hit them with too much survey fatigue, but not much. You know, within a couple months you are back with capturing 360 feedback and coaching and working with those teams, following an engagement survey, a great way to leverage 360 feedback.

[00:26:40] Pausing for a breath there. Whew. Eight we’re on eight already. Let’s keep going. 

[00:26:45] Reinforcing leadership competencies and company values. A lot of times we kind of have a surface level thought around and a 360, oh, we’ve gotta run this and we’ll work with our vendor and get these out there. As I mentioned our off the shelf instruments are wonderful and very powerful and offer huge value, but you can also leverage a 360 to reinforce leadership competencies and company values. You had that great question about how do you surface those values? How much do we involve employees? Well, once you’ve got those values, how do you communicate them?

[00:27:17] You know, you can put ’em on the break room in a really cool diagram and that’s great. And you can message it in company meetings and things, and those are all important. But it’s really powerful to measure it and communicate it through the assessment itself. If we’re being measured on it and coached on it, following the introduction of these values and these competencies, we’re more likely to know, get on board and embody those.

[00:27:39] Individual behaviors are rarely tied back to the company values. Let’s tie behaviors to those things that we’re trying to grow and become. 360 feedback connects the dots and can strengthen those behaviors.

[00:27:53] It’s a lot of the same activities. I do like leveraging the feedback as part of training developments that are aligned with company values. I also like measuring annually or semi-annually. If we’re really trying to introduce a new competency model and get it ingrained in the population, let’s measure a lot up front and get everyone to be comfortable with the competency and the behaviors that we expect. Then you can, as it takes ground, you can ,or takes root, you can kind of spread out those measurements. But I do like, measuring it a lot as those are initially introduced.

[00:28:26] Succession planning. When you’re replacing a senior leader, you know, you’re gonna have a lot of internal candidates ideally. It’s really great for engagement. It’s great for growth proposition. If employees feel and see that their peers are promoted and that there’s a career path. And so while, sometimes we do have to hire out outside and that’s that can bring in wonderful new life and ideas and things, it’s a wonderful thing when we can hire and promote from within. 360s can help you vet the landscape of internal candidates. And when it’s done early enough, it can also help you cultivate the talent. So the 360 can kind of highlight where you’ve got gaps. 

[00:29:02] So how do we do it? Well, we need to understand what is going to lead to success, what we want in that senior position. It might be what made the last, the outgoing person successful, or the person that will be leaving successful. It might be, what do we need to, you know, that we didn’t have in the past. And then we’re measuring people, looking at group data to understand, okay, what does our current you know, slate of internal canidates, you know, show potential? You know, with our timeline, if this person’s gonna retire in two years, do we have time to build people up to where they’re going to need to be? And that might, you know, lead to different job rotations and things like that. Or, you know, it might also validate, yeah, we do need to go outside, but 360s can be a really great way to kind of understand and cultivate some talent there. 

[00:29:47] Self-driven development. This is a great thing that we’re seeing more and more organizations ask us about. And self-driven means who’s initiating a 360? Is it just HR? Is it just when we have underperformers? Is it just part of one training cohort every year? Can we provide this as a benefit to the organization for anyone to trigger?

[00:30:07] If a manager’s working with a a direct report, they want more options to develop them, can we make 360s available just as something they can initiate within the organization? There’s different ways we can do this. It’s all in the spirit of strengthening that growth proposition and giving folks more tools to grow and develop. 

[00:30:25] So let’s talk about how. Let managers know that they have access to this. This isn’t just something that HR can initiate. This is something you have access to through either an LMS or internal, you know, an intranet or something like that. And we work with some organizations. We create initiation portals. There’s different ways we can do it with the technology to make this an easy option. But it’s a great thing just to have at their disposal.

[00:30:48] Now, especially if you’ve got an internal coaching network. So it, you don’t want to just say, yeah, you’ve got access to this and good luck. You wanna have some internal resources that are well versed in what 360 feedback is and healthy coaching and help people that are able to shepherd them through the experience. But it’s great. If they can initiate it, have some more control to use it as needed throughout the organization. 

[00:31:14] Reinforcing strategy. I promise we’ll come up for air. This is 11. We’ve got 12 then we’ll come up for some Q and A. And next time I do one of these we’ll bring in some of my colleagues. So you, you get a break from my voice, but… reinforcing strategy. 

[00:31:31] Similar to, you know, strengthening those competencies, it’s great to tie this into the organization’s strategy. I love our off the shelf assessments. I love it even more when people, you know, take it a level further and said, okay, who are we? What are we trying to become? But also what do we need to accomplish? What are the mission critical projects, imperatives that the executives are worried about? What is our organization trying to actually accomplish six to 12 months out? Maybe five years out? And what behaviors do we need to espouse throughout the organization to be successful?

[00:32:02] By the way that not only is, you know, sounds good to us, it sounds great to executives when they hear oh, you know, your teams are trying to tie, connect this the mission that we have through the organization and the, to help us execute on our strategy.

[00:32:18] So. How do we do it? Identify which competencies are critical to the organization’s strategy. Now we’ve got a very robust competency library. We’re also great at building new competencies and developing and tweaking that library to align. But we’ve got 320 unique behavioral statements linked to 80 competencies. You can usually pull from our library. 

[00:32:38] Sometimes we work with organizations and I think there’s a mental block that it’s this impossible effort to develop a competency model. It’s not as mysterious and strange as sometimes we believe it is. It’s very doable and there’s wonderful tools and resources to make that happen.

[00:32:54] And so if you understand your strategy…. now, if your company doesn’t have a defined strategy that’s a different challenge and that’s probably step one. But once they’ve, you’ve got this defined strategy, linking it to some existing competencies and behavioral statements, it can be pretty straightforward and very powerful and you can leverage that to start measuring and training and developing leaders at all levels to be aligned with the behaviors that are needed for them. 

[00:33:20] All right. Last one I’ll talk to. Get those questions ready as well. For CEOs and the board of directors. We bump into this quite a bit and it occurred to me that I don’t know if all of our clients are aware of this is a great option. A lot of times the CEO, you know, I mentioned it’s lonely at the top. And also the, as we think through those 360 groups, who’s the CEO report to? Well in a lot of organizations, it’s the board of directors, it’s shareholders, things like that. And so, more and more, we see CEOs going through a 360 experience that’s initiated by their board. Their board wants to know, okay, we have our operational metrics. We have things that we are looking at and speaking about, but we also want to understand the experience that the CEO is creating for those that they interact with. And so a 360 can be a great tool for that. 360 feedback is flexible. It works with everyone’s busy schedule and all those good things. And it’s a great channel for someone at the top, cuz there’s confidentiality. There’s a objectivity. 

[00:34:17] So how do we do it? You know, clearly define what you’re going to use, that we have executive reports. If you wanna just get moving quickly that we can leverage. You could obviously build a custom assessment but consider an external coach when providing 360. That’s sometimes the sensitive area. If the Chief People Officer reports to the CEO, are they comfortable in a coaching arrangement? Would that be inappropriate or uncomfortable for anyone? So often it, you know, that’s why I’m more familiar with it because we’re often asked to do that type of coaching.

[00:34:46] The coach should provide, you know, coaching to the individual, but often there’s also a board report out as part of that, and that would, as long as everyone’s on, you know, apprised at that earlier, and the CEO’s not surprised that information’s being shared with the board, then that’s not a problem. You just wanna make sure everyone is comfortable with the process ahead of time. You don’t wanna surprise anybody by sharing the feedback with other populations. But those sessions are very powerful and could be very helpful and often we will do it once and then the board will, you know, it goes well enough that they’ll want us to, you know, have some kind of continuity with that and follow up a year later with another, a similar exercise, but a board, something that we I think some organizations don’t necessarily consider, but a really great way to leverage that. 

[00:35:32] Alright. I was worried about getting through all 12 of those. You heard a lot of talking. I’m not sure how many of you are left on the call, but there are some great ways and that was a major kind of just download from me on these and there’s many other things we could talk about. 

[00:35:49] I wanna chat a little bit about best practices following 360 feedback. But before I do, are there any other questions that you’d like to speak to as we think through how to leverage 360 feedback, how to get more out of this multi-rater approach that we’re here discussing today.

[00:36:06] I mentioned that we’d be chatting a lot about managers and senior leadership, but you can also see the implications for people systems cuz we talked about how you can leverage it for L and D organizational design or the succession planning and some of those things. So it works across this org alignment model that we like to leverage and this is a model we use a lot on the employee engagement side. But it certainly applies here. 

[00:36:29] Well, I’m gonna be biased on this question that just came through. What’s the best way to administer 360s, like what software is best to leverage? 

[00:36:37] So I will say, and here’s where my bias comes in, my informed bias. I’ll say the best software to leverage is Spectiv, the company we represent, but there’s a couple things to ask. Are you working internally? Are you running a few? So if you’re just saying, I just need to run three of these, then you might want to go with a managed service and work with someone like us that said, you know, I don’t wanna be in the software. You just do it for me and make it happen. And we do that for a lot of organizations.

[00:37:04] Best case though is, and why we’ve gone the platform model, is to say, you know, we’ve got a platform that is as easy as anything to run, and we’d love to, you know, if you’re interested in seeing that. You can link it with your hierarchy if you want and you can have It populate raters by itself. It’ll just look at your structure and say, oh, I’m putting all their direct reports and their peers in and their supervisor. Then they can put more, but we’ve got a platform that takes all the heavy lifting out of it. You say who you want to measure. You say whether you want them to pick their own raters or not, what assessment you want them to use, when you want it to start, and the platform really does the rest and it’s very customizable and flexible. 

[00:37:40] So we love our platform. We kind of built our dream tool. We’ve been doing this work at DecisionWise and Spectiv for, you know, more than 25 years. And so we’ve learned a few things about how to smooth out the process, but that’s a great way to go. Reach out if you’d like to learn more about exactly how smooth our system works, but that’s my thought there.

[00:37:57] How do you handle requests from next level manager to see 360 results? That’s a great question. So the best thing on that is decide ahead of time what you’re going to say. In most cases, when we’re doing 360 for development, we go ahead and just declare that the participant owns the report. They get to decide who they’ll share it with. And then we often strongly recommend in coaching sessions that they go to their manager with it because it’s such a powerful conversation. 

[00:38:27] In fact, one of the biggest benefits of a 360 is, it’s an excuse to have conversations that we can’t have otherwise. We’ve got data, it opens up a conversation between employee and manager that they’re not having otherwise. So we strongly recommend it. It happens very frequently, but we don’t mandate it. In most cases. 

[00:38:45] Now, if you want the manager to see it, decide ahead of time and when you’re talking, you know, initiating the program, whether it’s for an individual or a group, just set that expectation ahead of time. Hey, this is going to be seen by your manager and HR and yourself, and you get, decide who you show with otherwise. But the real story is don’t surprise anyone later. Oh, by the way, we gave this to your manager. What? I didn’t think they were seeing this. I was told it was confidential. You don’t want to do anything like that that would erode trust. It’s best. If you decide ahead of time who will see it, and if you want the managers to have automatic access to it just make sure everyone understands that going into the experience. 

[00:39:22] I’ll go back to that question. I was kind of brief with, and again, if there are other questions, get them in there, but let’s see… after the 360. So it’s interesting. We spoke about this earlier today in that training we did for some new coaches and there’s some wonderful steps that to take after a 360, and so after someone goes through, and by the way, I can’t recommend enough just being trained in how to debrief these. It’s work we do. It’s work we love doing. There’s other organizations that do it as well and certainly there’s some great things out there, but build some internal capacity or capability in, in becoming a coach and be able to speak to this because it’s one thing to put a report on someone’s desk and they’ll get some value, but it’ll be high risk that they may take it to an emotionally damaging or a strange place, much more effective if they have someone to help them take this in a healthy direction and have some basic coaching skills. So you don’t have to have a PhD in any of this stuff. It’s some basic tools and training. You can really help someone have a very positive experience with feedback even when it’s very critical feedback.

[00:40:23] So some next steps we recommend. Following your report, we recommend everyone sends a thank you to their raters, just a note where they put everyone in the blind copy and say, hey, I heard my feedback today. I learned some positive things and just close the loop on feedback. We also recommend that they open the door for follow up conversations. Hey, I’m committed to improving. I wanna learn more about the feedback and the opportunities to improve. Please, you know, I welcome some additional conversations about this. Then we recommend the action plan and work with someone to just build some accountability, selecting accountability partner, their manager, their coach, depending on how you wanna set that up.

[00:40:56] But there’s some best practice. And there’s some, also some best practices for how to have those follow up conversations and that’s something we covered in that training. So for example, You don’t want to go after your report to someone and say, Hey, why’d you give me a four on this item? That is a unsafe conversation. You’re making them an assailant and making yourself the victim. It’s better to say, Hey, I’m committed to improving in how I show up in this area. Do you have any thoughts on how I can, you know, better serve the team going forward? Keep it general, keep it future focused. So, there’s some really great best practices. Maybe we cover that in another webinar or I, if you’re interested, I highly recommend that training, that certification we offer, it’s a two session virtual training. But there’s some great things for those follow up conversations that help avoid some of the unnecessary pain.

[00:41:43] Let me look at another couple questions here. I like the idea of taking a next generation cohort through 360 together, since the natural gifts of the current success isn’t necessarily the skills that will help them be good managers, get things done through others. Some consistent standards of managing cultural communication is important to them. 

[00:42:01] I agree with this comment. I love that too. It’s a really powerful thing to do this as a group and to get them through and it builds safety when people don’t feel singled out and they’re going through it as a group. So I agree with that statement very much so. 

[00:42:14] To do a regular assessment using 360 is often difficult to get data from the same source, particularly external data. I can compare data for self supervisor, peer, and the direct reports, but it’s difficult to for the external source. What are your thoughts about using multi assessment or multi-rater assessment? 

[00:42:31] Uh, I dunno if I completely understand the question, but yes. So if you’re trying to capture feedback outside the organization, that can be a little bit tricky. So the biggest challenge I have with external sources sometimes we see people use vendors or customers, external customers, that sometimes we bump into firewall issues because you’re, you know, when everything’s using your internal email we’ve safe listed it and it goes through. Okay. But we don’t have that type of access to your external partners. That’s usually not a big problem. Sometimes you just have different participation expectations with external audiences. So where I said, you, ideally, you’re looking for 75%, you might get 50% if you’re using external audiences and it’s harder to do some of the pre-prep with people outside your organization. It can be done. It’s usually a little bit more of a conversation around what that is and how to accomplish that. 

[00:43:23] I see a note for, how can we register for the certification? That will be available on the DecisionWise website, You can search there, but I will try to find a more direct link to our certification and send that out with the slides for those that have participated in this session, but great question.

[00:43:41] And also some great tips for me to prep better for our next webinar like this. You know, these are things we would hope you would ask and we should have them on a slide, but you can see we’re a feedback company. I’m taking feedback on the fly. Some good things there.

[00:43:54] Any other questions. We’ve got a couple minutes. These are wonderful questions and yeah. And again, yes I’ll do my best to get the slides out to everyone following this session. 

[00:44:03] I don’t have my contact information on a slide, but I will put it out there. Just my name again is Christian Nielson and my email is So if you wanna reach out directly to me, happy to get that as well. 

[00:44:20] Alright, well, I really appreciate the questions and participation. And again, there are a lot of wonderful ways to leverage 360 and also to kind of change some of the historic stigma that I think has been associated with 360 feedback.

[00:44:33] If one leader has had a bad experience with feedback, then sometimes it, it can make it difficult to implement different programs in the organization. So making sure we understand the different use cases and some of the healthy practices around doing it right, can make all the difference. 

[00:44:48] Again, a pleasure speaking to you today and interacting with these questions. Oh, let’s see… 

[00:44:53] Are you ever planning to use AI to help filter through and make sense of written comments? Now that’s a great question. AI, we’ve definitely leveraged natural language processing, so sorting into different themes. We do that more on our engagement surveys, where we’ve got a deeper well of comments. So if we have 15 people responding to a 360, it’s not as much to work through. And the questions are usually positive and negatively framed, like what’s going well? What could be better? That type of thing. And so AI hasn’t been proven to be super effective there, natural language processing, to capture sentiment and things like that.

[00:45:28] We’re exploring the best options there. We’re further along the path on engagement and we’re capturing sentiment. We’re using neutrally worded, open ended comments. It’s a fascinating area. It’s a great question. You’ll see more and more, especially as we start to do more with group analytics.

[00:45:43] That’s a great, that’s a great question. So in the future webinars from us here at DecisionWise, Spectiv, I’m gonna bring our head of technology on and he’s going to be providing the last five to 15 minutes, kind of what’s next on our tech roadmap. And that would be a good question there. 

[00:45:59] Let’s see, high potential and high performers. How are they similar and different using a 360 approach. Ooh, that’s a great question.

[00:46:08] And in future sessions, we’ll be talking more about the difference between doing multi-rater for development versus performance. And we’ve got some exciting things planned down the road for leaning really into performance management 360s and there’s a different thought there. You’ve gotta take a different approach when you’re actually tying performance ratings to the feedback, because it’s a different conversation if it’s pure development. 

[00:46:34] So, that’s probably a longer conversation, but high potential, high ceiling, there’s a lot possible versus individual contributor and high performers succeeding very well in the role may have different limitations in terms of how high they can climb in the organization. How the variety of roles they’d be successful in, but some really good conversations, probably a longer conversation, but really policing myself, cuz I’d love to engage deeper in that conversation right now. 

[00:46:59] Again, I hope you’ll join us again for a future webinar. We wanna make these as value add as possible. We really believe in the model. We also believe that there’s a way to do this the right way, and we wanna be a voice and advocacy for, you know, a healthy approach to multi feedback and feedback of all kinds.

[00:47:15] So, please keep the interaction and attend a future webinar and I’ll do my best to get these slides out as soon as possible, along with that link to that certification. Thanks again for your involvement and looking forward to having you on a future webinar.anks everyone. Bye now.