360 Feedback assists in Talent Management and Succession Planning

360 Feedback assists in Talent Management and Succession Planning

Whilst a number  of the online 360 Feedback Tools we use at Natural Talent are effective for the purpose of Talent Assessment and as a pre-cursor to Coaching or Training interventions, we find that some of the most effective and insightful feedback tends to come from the comments in the areas for free text.  In order to guarantee success and high Return on Investment, we ensure that any 360 Feedback Review for our clients is not just a ‘tick box’ exercise.

In our experience the most beneficial 360 Feedback Review includes completely tailored questionnaires delivered face to face, which not only assess key Leadership and Management Competencies, but also include questions around the organisation’s strategy, culture, and values. The design of the bespoke questions can only be completed after an initial detailed Consultancy Phase with the client. The 360 Feedback Process is also communicated positively with specific objectives around increasing individual, team and business results and performance, as well as improving efficiencies, productivity, Sales, overall engagement and morale.

With the bespoke face to face 360 Feedback Questionnaires the respondents usually find it easy to describe someone’s general characteristics. We then use pinpointing questions around specific behaviours and anecdotes in order for them to elaborate on their initial general statements. While pinpointing, we gather data regarding actual events, behaviours, and body language.  This is useful to prove intent versus effect; interviewees often will identify the effect of an action, but not the intent.

For example, in order to ensure the leaders and/or managers are articulating and delivering on the long-term strategy and vision, and that teams and goals are aligned, we ask very specific questions around many aspects of their leadership style, communication and performance metrics, not just competency based questions. Again, all the questions are tailored as a result of the initial consultancy phase, so if the organisation is going through significant change, questions around the culture and potential new values can be very beneficial.

Often the 360 Feedback Review is not used in isolation; particularly when the key objective is for Talent Management and Succession Planning, it only forms part of the overall assessment, with individual and team business targets, results and projects analyzed at the beginning and end.  Personality Questionnaires may also be combined with the 360 Feedback to give a round view of the individual, as well as confidential Team Questionnaires which can highlight key issues which are frequently ignored or not debated openly.

At the end of the process all feedback is delivered individually and face to face, sometimes followed by a team feedback session to address key team issues if required; this stage may also form part of a Leadership Development Centre.

Outcomes of the 360 Feedback Review tend to be recommendations for ongoing development including 1:1 Executive Coaching and/or a broader bespoke Leadership/Management Development Programme, and blended learning.  Recommendations are worked on and followed up by the leader or Line Manager at every 1:1 and senior team meeting.  After six months an anonymous 360 review is often conducted to assess progress against the recommendations and SMART Coaching Action Plans.

This more rounded approach to 360 Feedback, Talent Management and Succession Planning is favoured amongst many large corporate organisations in North America and Canada in particular, as well as in parts of Europe; it delivers highly detailed and robust talent charts for Succession Planning as well as identifying key areas for ongoing tailored learning and development.  Utilising a 360 Feedback Review as part of this overall process will always deliver significant ROI, even by as much as  7,000%.

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