Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Part III: Can You Link 360-Degree Feedback and Performance Appraisal?

A CEO we are working with currently has a highly effective organization growing at more than 30 percent p.a. They are entrepreneurial and want to incorporate good performance practices without introducing big company bureaucracy.

We started by finding a simple way for employees to get feedback from the 3Cs (their customers, colleagues and community.) We made sure the questions were simple, relevant and could be translated into action.

The feedback provided the employees with two things: a model of what their 3Cs valued and recognition of what they were doing well with opportunities for improvement.

Now the CEO wanted to add an element of performance review so that he could evaluate performers at the end of the year, set expectations for the future, determine salaries, grant bonuses and organize training.

Could we do this in a simple way aligned to the 360-degree review without taking away from the development emphasis? 

We said that the two basic questions for 360-degree review are, “What does the person do well?” and “What are the person’s opportunities for improvement?”  When sitting down with an employee to give them their 360 feedback there is no reason you can’t add an element of performance review provided these two questions remain focused on development.

In designing an ideal performance review discussion without too much bureaucracy there are only two questions we would add to the two 360 review questions. 

The first is “How did the person actually do compared to what they promised to do?” The answer could be in the form of sales results, budget variations, project milestones or whatever. The issue is comparing what they said they would do with what they actually did. If your goals and reviews aren’t that specific, they’re probably useless.

Armed with the difference between promised and actual performance, you can now sit down with the person to review their results and look at consequences. First, let’s hear what the person has to say, both about their actual versus promised performance and about what they think they do well. Let’s confirm that where possible with the feedback from the 3Cs. Then let’s talk about opportunities for improvement using the 360-degree feedback and the person’s own views.

The second question we would add to the 360 input at performance review time: “Is this how you want your career to go, and does this fit with the organization’s needs?” 

With input that’s objectively sourced from all around the person, and a respectful consideration of what they want to get out of their job and career, it’s relatively easy to look at what kinds of training, development activities, rewards and recognition will best suit the individual and the organization.

That’s it, four questions:

  1. What does the person do well?
  2. What are the person’s opportunities for improvement?
  3. How did the person actually do compared to what they promised to do?
  4. Is this how they want their career to go, and does it fit with the organization’s needs?

The questions should be simple, relevant and concerned with helping the person develop their potential.

Do you want to discuss this topic in greater detail? Contact Koliso.

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