Articles, whitepapers, reviews and more.
Articles, whitepapers, reviews and more.
Can you think of anything more exciting than settling in to begin the deep dive research necessary in choosing your next 360 assessment vendor? Get ready for the seemingly never-ending lists of pros and cons. Checklist after checklist created, updated, sent around to the team, updated again, rinse and repeat. Just imagine the must-have feature sets headed your way. Oh, and these will change weekly. Yep, let the fun begin!
In recent years, it seems as if 360 assessment companies are popping up overnight, with little experience in the field. As you can imagine, this oftentimes leads to less than stellar results and leaves behind a bad impression of 360 feedback. This is truly unfortunate since 360 feedback, done properly, has a real opportunity to generate positive change within an organization.
Consider the following as you begin your research.
Whether you need off-the-shelf or custom reporting make sure the vendor can support your current and future reporting needs. If you’re moving an existing assessment or creating a new one and you do not have specific report requirements then an off-the-shelf option could be a good fit. It would be a good idea to ask the vendor for samples and have them talk through how the data in your report would be presented and how it would look in terms of style. If you want to maintain brand continuity and user experience then make sure the vendor can match your report, or at least replicate the charts and data views that make your solution unique.
The PDF report has served the 360 feedback industry exceptionally well for decades. They can be full color with stunning visual displays of 360 assessment data and can also include development plans, resources and links. However, the length, density, and static nature of PDFs can sometimes present challenges to coaches and participants. PDF 360 assessment reports are linear, creating limitations, and sometimes sacrifices what should be shown in order to reduce length and file size.
360 assessment report dashboards give you the ability to sort and toggle between different types of scoring, and turn on or off data, giving greater control to the user and more data views than a PDF can allow. Having the ability to choose the data you want to focus on is one of the most important features that is usually inherent with reporting dashboards, giving way to a dynamic experience that is unique.
Regardless of which reporting direction you opt for the data should be clearly presented so that the participant and coach can easily identify development opportunities and spot YOY trends.
There are many types of survey software available on the market. Some excel at performance management, while others focus on market research or customer satisfaction.
Choosing software built specifically for the 360 feedback arena will ensure you’ll have all of the flexibility and robust feature sets needed to support the administration and participant related tasks that are typical of managing development 360 degree feedback initiatives.
The 360 assessment solution you choose should allow you to focus on your core business while the vendor focuses on theirs: serving up a reliable platform in a secure environment. The vendor should stay on top of the technology so you don’t have to. If you already have an existing Talent Management Platform, integration services should be available to provide seamless integration with the major platforms, as well as offer “Single Sign On” (SSO) capabilities. And on the security front, a comprehensive Security Management system should be in place that addresses all aspects of data privacy and security, including encryption, Intrusion Prevention & Detection (IPS/IDS), access control, and regular vulnerability testing.
When launching a new 360 assessment program, many companies focus solely on the 360 content and the technology (both critical factors) but too often fail to place sufficient attention on the actual design and implementation of the program itself.
Regardless of the quality of the assessment, the way in which a 360 program is designed and implemented will have a direct impact on the overall success of the initiative.
To ensure your 360 assessment program provides maximum value, it’s important to focus on a few key components.
The biggest takeaway from all of this is there’s a lot to consider when choosing your new potential long-term assessment partner. After all, 360 assessment initiatives are not typically one-and-done events, but rather an ongoing and strategically important piece of the training and development puzzle. Increased job satisfaction and team morale, coupled with lower turnover and improved performance, are just some of the reasons that almost every Fortune 500 deploys 360s in some fashion. In short, there’s a lot riding on your selection decision. You must choose, so choose wisely. No pressure.