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When Is it Time to Implement Custom 360 Reviews?

360-degree reviews are a reliable tool for creating development plans for individual employees in key roles. Many of the standard roles you'll see in corporate organizations already have extensive libraries of 360-degree review surveys and resources.

However, your organization may have a key role that fits a unique set of responsibilities or a role based on new modern workplace arrangements. You also might want to augment your existing development plans with increasingly narrow scopes for niche improvements. In these circumstances, a custom 360-degree review process can push your existing resources for optimal development and more custom-fitted results.

A custom approach can also lead to more buy-in and follow-through. According to Harvard Business Review, in properly customized processes, "The leader also receives a customized set of developmental recommendations, mapped to the company's leadership competencies, to help them create a personal development plan."

Standard and custom 360-degree surveys both generate many benefits. But when standard programs aren't tailored enough to your needs, opt for a custom approach. In this article, we'll explore the differences between the two and key use cases for custom reviews.

Premade vs. Custom Reviews

Premade 360-degree reviews are pulled from vast libraries of pre-existing resources. They're speedy and easy to implement because the processes have been tested and refined for each role. However, if your organization has a rapidly developing CRO role or you have a brand new Director of Remote Work role added to your retinue, you will likely need to assess role-specific competencies.

In these circumstances, working with a service that can develop custom surveys and derive the right competency areas for development is a great way to rapidly optimize both the role and the employee operating in the role.

When to Customize Your Assessments

Now that you have clear insight into the advantages of either approach, it's time to pick the right course for your organization. This list features many of the most common circumstances when you should prioritize custom reviews and assessments that allow you to create extremely customized development plans.

When You Are Assessing a Unique Role

Do you have a unique role in your organization that doesn't quite fit into the bucket of pre-existing roles? This will become more and more common as workplaces transform and adjust to new ways of doing business. Opting for a custom survey ensures you can touch on every aspect of their unique responsibilities and interactions with other employees. 

However, a custom survey doesn't mean you must start from scratch. You can use an existing repository of surveys and competency areas to formulate a brand new review for your new roles.

If You Have an Existing Competency Model

Many HR departments already have competency models in place that flesh out the requirements or ideal performance thresholds for an employee in a given role.

If your team has a model in place but you want to refine or augment your future development plans, custom surveys are the perfect next step. You can build review processes that help create more alignment between your assessments and your organization's internal processes, resources, and incentive structures. Just like creating custom review processes for new roles, you can benefit from creating hyperspecific reviews within a common job role type.

During a Time of Growth

Enterprise businesses and growing companies always need clear insight into leaders' competencies and potential areas for development. Both pre-made and custom-made surveys can fulfill this requirement.

But custom 360-degree reviews allow you to tailor feedback and development based on how key roles may be transforming to facilitate growth. Keyed-in professionals who know exactly what skills and objectives they need to reach in order to best fulfill their role in a pivotal, high-stakes stage of business operate better. Not only do they have a clear understanding of their strengths and their role within a shifting business paradigm, but they also know their weaknesses and when to ask for support.

Amid Business Transformation

Just like with business growth, business transformation often leads to a slight shift in individuals' responsibilities and the demands they face. They may be promoted to newly created roles, have much larger or smaller teams, or lead teams with employees in a variety of working conditions.

When this happens, previous competencies and reviews may no longer fully apply. If that's the case, completely customized assessments can keep everyone developing to fit their new roles.

In a Remote Work Environment

The shift to remote work is completely unprecedented, both in terms of speed and scale. Like we mentioned earlier, this can even lead to the development of completely new roles like Director of Remote Work. As more employees work virtually, management styles will need to shift to accommodate a lack of in-person interaction. Because pre-made assessments were built in a world of traditional employment, custom approaches can tackle new challenges head-on.

Choose TruScore to Optimize Your Custom 360 Reviews

Both pre-made and custom 360-degree reviews make your organization stronger and help your employees develop to fulfill their competency areas as best as possible. 

However, many circumstances require a custom approach so your organization can thrive. At TruScore, we provide both pre-made and custom review resources. Contact us today to learn more about our process and 360-degree review solutions.