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There are dozens of competing 360 review providers. When you conduct a search online, you'll be bombarded by ads, landing pages, and competing perspectives on how to best complete a 360 review and what specific resources you need before you can get started.
Before you start investing time and resources, it's important to know what your organization wants to achieve through a 360 review program. Unlike performance reviews, this framework provides insight into specific developmental areas so individual participants can excel in their roles.
Read through this list of must-have features so you can cut through the noise when selecting your 360 review program.
The more robust the 360 review program service, the better it can tailor products and services to your unique organization. As you shop around for a provider, look for these six essential features:
Pre-built assessments are standardized tools that cover commonly used roles and positions in corporate structures. Because they're pre-built, they're time-tested for effectiveness and have a proven history of statistically reliable results; they're also quick and easy to implement. If your team needs to quickly assess leaders and generate development plans for people in core business roles, these assessments are a great option.
However, not every leadership role in your organization will fit into an option provided by pre-built assessments. That's where custom assessments come into play. Look for service providers with experience in creating reliable, high-quality custom 360 assessments.
The truth is, your vendor should want to help you create custom assessments — not for personal gain, but because they care about your success.
As companies shift to add CROs and have unique leadership roles due to changes in workplace structures, accurately capturing optimal points for improvement is even more critical for ensuring brand new roles add the right value for your company.
Along with custom assessments for new roles, look for 360 review programs that offer custom assessments that can supplement existing competency models. This can drive even more efficient improvements and ensure your organization's previous review work isn't overridden.
Pro Tip: You want a service provider who does both pre-built and custom assessment work. This ensures the custom review structures are built from a library of statistically reliable, proven competency models and assessments.
You can face pushback if your 360 review program and software are difficult to implement, tedious, or face other barriers. So look for reviews that have built-in features which make implementation as easy as possible. This can include:
These features don't just improve the results. They also make it easier to incorporate 360 review implementation into your existing task load.
Look for services with features that benefit or support both the participant (the leader or employee being assessed) and the raters (the employees providing feedback). Participants need to be able to easily invite raters and send the surveys, monitor completion, and issue reminders without pressuring the raters. Look for programs with these participant-specific features:
The raters also need support features, such as an easy survey interface and reminders. The platform needs to let them log in securely, provide feedback without getting confused or needing in-person support that could influence their answers, and stay engaged with the process. For modern and work-from-home workplaces, it's also important to prioritize a responsive online platform that can be accessed across any device.
Clear data and reporting tools are at the crux of any strong 360 review program. Look for clear reporting functions that present all of the data as usefully as possible. This can include aggregate views, views of data for specific goals, views of data from specific groups, and more.
These togglable views give participants and leadership different insights so they can develop the best-fit development plans for each unique organization. The program should also provide summaries of results and developments for supervisors so leadership stays invested in and informed of the process.
In addition to 360 assessments, your partner should allow you to host additional surveys using the same platform. By consolidating all surveys onto one platform, you improve efficiency and cut costs.
You also ensure easy access to past responses for referencing. Knowing how survey questions were answered in the past compared to now will give you more insight into how your company is living up to expectations and how employees are following through on developmental plans.
Whether your organization is starting a 360 review program for the first time or you're moving to a new service provider that can better fit your needs, it helps to take a long-term approach. Look for services that provide the features, quality, and year-over-year support you need to get the best results from 360 review processes.
At TruScore, we're dedicated to helping organizations achieve development through standard and custom surveys, a hard-working interface with easy controls and user-friendly analytics, and more. Contact our team today to learn more about our 360 review solutions.