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Hello MT community!

I am in a small company that has no formal (or even informal really) way of doing annual reviews.  I would like to bring some structure to this and have even thought about doing quarterly reviews (and bonuses) as opposed to yearly reviews and base increases (due to the economy and the nature of the highly-paid IT consultants that I manage).

Here is my thought, i would like to make these reviews into a company wide (12 people) exercise.  I definitely agree (per the MT podcast) on giving the direct, the review form and having them rate themselves to be a part of my overall package for review but i'm wondering if i should also give this form to everyone else in the organization that works with the direct.  Their peers, my boss, other departments, etc to get that full 360 view.  Is that a good/bad idea and why do you feel either way please?

Also, though it may make it a bit tougher, but more accurate, i was thinking about making a note to everyone that any very bad or very good reviews of the direct will be thrown out without supporting examples (meaning on a scale of 1 - 10, 1's and 10's) .

I'm in the infant stages of planning this but dont think it should take very long to get the structure down and roll it out.

Any thoughts, advice, experience would be GREATLY appreciated!

Thanks!
 

JG

matt7267's picture

JG,

I have absolutely no idea what the right answer is, but I am curious myself, so I am subscribing to this thread :)

jg407's picture

Thanks Matt, i'm glad i'm not the only one interested in this..hopefully we get some good answers and i'm betting we will with all the smart people on this forum :)

 

JG

cyhelm's picture

Remember those old double-edged razor blades. I do, because I nearly sliced off my thumbprint when I was four. 360s are like that. You can get some great insights, but it requires some specialized equipment to handle them well. Do you have, or can you get, the expertise to design an effective 360 process?

If you have a small company, it will be close to impossible to maintain anonymity. If you have a healthy, open culture already, this might not be a problem.

It seems to me you might think about two questions:

1) Would you be able to make a better decision with the additional input?

2) Would the quality of the decision be improved enough to take on the effort and risk of the 360s?

Vaya con Dios,

Cy

Solitaire's picture

... you do have to be careful whether you would gain anything from the full 360 experience. People tend to be less honest than you'd want them to be for fear of saying something that will get them into trouble. Though as Cy says, if you have an open culture that may not be an issue.

The best way I have seen appraisals done is where you base the aspects of the review on behaviours that you believe are important to the individual role and to the company. Then examples are given by the employee for EVERY aspect of the review. 

For example if you have a section for communication on the appraisal form, you would expect the employee to show examples of how they have been a good communicator in the last year. Not just fill in that section by saying "yes I am a good communicator and I score myself at 8". You'd want a good communicator to say "When there was a problem in June with XYZ product arriving late for our best customer I sent out twice daily update emails to everyone involved and phoned the Supplier every hour to get an update on the situation to make sure they were on top of it."

I'd be wary of needing examples for only the extremes. My last company only had a 1-5 rating (1 lowest and 5 best) and the MD decided that anyone getting a 1 in any subject should have been performance managed to better performance or out of the role, and anyone getting a 5 should have been promoted to a different role. This meant that everyone was only every awarded a 2-4, and since they believed most people were meeting expectations of their jobs, it was impossible to get an average of above 3. Basically made the whole process a waste of time!

Perhaps you could give examples of the type of behaviour that would warrant getting a 1 or a 10, so that people know what the standards are. Although different roles and levels will have different levels of expectations too.

Another thought is to walk before you run. Get the basic behaviour based system implemented and fully understood by all staff first, then implement an upgraded 360 system in a few years if you feel you still need it.

Good luck getting this implemented!

Solitaire

wdywft's picture

Kevin Berchelmann (http://blog.triangleperformance.com/2010/01/hmmm-you-look-like-487-to-me.html):

I always find this topic fascinating; in reality (my opinion), there are only three performance results:

(a) Doesn't meet expectations,
(b) Meets expectations, or
(c) Exceeds expectations.

And you might want to check out ‘The case against performance appraisals’, p. 307 (just scroll down), in Peter Scholte’s ‘The leader’s handbook: making things happen, getting things done’ (via google books). - Interesting stuff!

saluki's picture

 Wow, that book is awesome.  I just read the first chapter and I am hooked.  Google has pages missing so going to order now at amazon.

 

Chuck

Mark's picture

This is a VERY bad idea.  360 degree reviews are powerful tools... and in small firms, HIGHLY dangerous.  If you don't have all kinds of safguards in place, you will do more harm than good.  And you CANNOT get those safeguards in place internally. 

Don't do this without outside help (which will cost money).

Mark

Todd G's picture

I feel that 360 Peer reviews are a good tool (with Tool) being the word of choice. They do provide insight and only the individual's perception of the peer they are providing input for. You can obtain 4-5 peer reviews for the direct and three out of the five have positive feedback and two have specific poor feedback, it makes it difficult and questions the motive of the individual(s) providing this feedback.

We utilize 360's in our organization (5000+). I have 55 direct reports and distribute 360's bi-monthly. I don't distribute them all at one time, I allow for some spacing so as not to overburden everyone at once.  It allows me to "see" what the issues are if any, as well as provide praise for exceptional work too. Do I wait until their review? No! If there appears to be a trend of issues based on the organization's Behavior Standards and specific Essential Duties, job performance, etc.., then these are addressed well before to develop action plans to change the behavior or issue. This can then be used in their evaluation at that time.

 

Todd M. Grivetti, MSN, RN, CNML, CCRN

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ChrisH__'s picture

Far more important than the measurement is what you do  with the data.

Planning and executing fair and consistent 360 appraisals is a huge amount of work which generates a huge amount of data.

To make that work worthwhile, the resulting data needs to be analysed and plugged into company systems for coaching, employee development, HR capacity planning etc etc. You need a plan - in advance of the appraisal - that details exactly how this data will be used to make the individual and company better.

I can't see the benefit of all this for a small company. With such small numbers you also have no opportunity for benchmarking across the company.

 

The best use of 360's that i have seen, is when they are limited to senior management. The further someone rises up the ladder, the less aware they can become of how they are perceived by people with less authority. A 360 review can help a manager to understand how people really see them and, with coaching, iron out habits that are reducing their effectiveness as a leader.

hambim336's picture

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Hi,

Thanks very much for this comment. It help me to think about my ideals. 

Tks again and pls keep posting.

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If you want to get more materials that related to this topic, you can visit: 360 performance review

 Best regards.