To better know our strengths and areas for development, we can ask people who have had the opportunity to observe us in different situations and to cooperate with us on various projects. One of the methods that allows us to receive feedback from others about our competences is a 360 degree feedback. A 360 degree feedback is a systematic collection of performance data obtained by an employee (usually a middle or senior manager), based on information from people who work with him or her. Respondents in the evaluation process are most often supervisors, associates and subordinates, it is also possible to invite partners and clients to this process. The main goals of using a 360-degree feedback are to help identify development managers’ needs; it also serves as the basis for executive coaching to improve performance. Less commonly, it is used to assess performance, talent management, employee acquisition and succession planning (eg. team leader). In marginal cases, it serves as a guide when making wage decisions. In the 360 degree feedback process, managerial competencies are described in different dimensions. They usually refer to leadership, management, and attitudes toward work. For example: Motivating others: Creating an environment in which subordinates and others are rewarded for accomplishment of group and individual. The selected competencies are translated into specific behaviors, and those presented in the statements, which relevance or frequency respondents evaluates on a 5-7 grade scale. There are also open-ended questions that are intended to gather feedback from respondents on the potential for the development of a given competence. The best option is usually to create one own instrument that base on company internal competency model, usually used for recruitment or job analysis. However, this is the optimal option only when the company has its own HR department and is fairly large to use such an instrument for many evaluation processes. With only a few managerial staff, it is better to purchase licenses for ready-made assessment tools, which are then modified for your own needs or you can hire a personnel consulting company that will carry out such a process in your organization, for example Management Skills Profile (MSP) or Management Effectiveness Profile System. There are several benefits of using such an assessment instrument within your company. First of all, you can receive valuable information which you can use to identify and address not only your weaknesses but also to recognize and build upon your strengths. And this information comes from multiple perspectives: from your supervisor, from peers, subordinates, business partners who work closely with the you and whose opinions are important. Secondly, it gives you opportunity to confront what you think about your competences, and how see you people that cooperate with you. The 360-degree feedback is thus a great opportunity to reflect on yourself and review your opinions. Thirdly, it gives your co-workers the opportunity to praise or criticize you anonymously, and thus express their opinion in a more free and honest way. The evaluation is usually done on an external web platform, and your reviewers receive an email with a link to the appropriate page or form to fill in. To provide anonymity it is important to select of at least 3 employees in each category and to keep the whole process confidential. Fourthly, it gives you not only information what is great and on what you should work to become better in your job, but also how to do it. The result of such an assessment is usually a report with the justification of the selection of specific competencies, obtained results (average grades from different groups of reviewers with their summary ) and proposals for optimal ways to develop selected competences (appropriate training, coaching, mentoring etc). And what if you are not a manager but would like to obtain feedback on your competences from others? I will write about it next time.



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