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USP-D White Paper 360 Degree Feedback Group Report

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360 Degree Feedback is appreciated and actively deployed as an efficient diagnostics tool by many companies. With regard to successful executive development and constructive talent management, this tool makes a valuable contribution.
The Group Report consolidates the individual reports on a team or group level, offering additional benefits insofar as the team or organization level is purposefully integrated into the evaluation. Individual leadership performance is thus more closely networked with the performance of the team and the organization.

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USP-D White Paper 360 Degree Feedback Group Report

  1. 1. Petra Schulte / Gerhard Liska White Paper 360 Degree Feedback Group Report
  2. 2. 360 Degree Feedback is appreciated and actively deployed as an efficient diagnostics tool by many companies. With regard to successful executive development and constructive talent management, this tool makes a valuable contribution. The Group Report consolidates the individual reports on a team or group level, offering additional benefits insofar as the team or organization level is purposefully integrated into the evaluation. Individual leadership performance is thus more closely networked with the performance of the team and the organization. In this way, different locations or divisions within the company organization can be compared to one another in a condensed form. In so doing, the criteria on which the analysis in the Group Report are based can be fine-tuned to the respective customer needs. This way, hindrances to growth and frictional losses, for instance, can be examined and the need for support determined. The next step usually involves team development and the creation of a foundation of trust, so that the causes of any obstacles that have been identified can be broken down and eliminated. The analysis may also focus on an organizational unit as a whole. In this case, internal hindrances to success within a division or the shared leadership culture will be examined in greater detail. Initial situation Companies are required to an ever greater extent to use and develop the potential of executives and employees in an optimal way – a formidable challenge indeed against the backdrop of increasing cost pressures and the intense search for unique selling points on the market. That is why the demands on the added value of tools for potential analysis and aptitude diagnostics are also on the rise. On the one hand, tools are designed for a wider range of applications; on the other, they must satisfy several objectives at once: 360 Degree Feedback serves the purpose of assessing and supporting the individual. In addition, it is designed to allow for insights into the performance of the organization as a whole, thus generating added value. 360 Degree Feedback is a development-oriented feedback tool for potential diagnostics which usually focuses on individuals, e.g. executives. How can added value for the organization which goes beyond behavior-related statements about the participating feedback recipients be generated with this tool? The present White Paper discusses the issue. It presents the 360 Degree Feedback Group Report as a tool of strategic HR work. 2© USP-D 2015 / Petra Schulte/Gerhard Liska: 360 Grad Feedback Group Report Companies look for the added value of tools for potential analysis and aptitude diagnostics
  3. 3. The concept of aggregation A 360 Degree Feedback Group Report consolidates the individual re- ports of a previously defined group and interprets the results from a meta-perspective as well as with regard to the organizational perspective. The individual statements about a feedback participant are more closely networked with the perspective of the team or organization. Hence, 360 Degree Feedback is used for personnel development and organizational development in a targeted manner. The idea of a Group Report has grown in various steps into a productive concept in the portfolio of USP-D Consulting GmbH. The continuous experience from several different customer projects have been integrated into the concept over many years. Our own curiosity about the potential of the tool and the needs of individual customers for comparative data resulted in the implementation of the first aggregated Group Reports (see Figure 1). Figure 1: Development of the 360 Degree Feedback Group Report in USP-D The Group Report tool allows for the processing of specific questions. The analysis fields of the Group Report are customized and fine-tuned to the respective customer needs. Three specific examples will be described in greater detail here: 1. The management team of a division that, despite great efforts, does not approach the peak performance defined as realizable, goes through the 360 Degree Feedback process based upon individuals. The target group has its individual results summarized anonymously to evaluate them with regard to the team level. Guiding principles and axioms acting on an unconscious level become visible in the group result and can thus be addressed. Issues and aspects of team development, the creation of a foundation of trust or latent, unspoken parts of the team culture are frequently the topics that emerge. 3© USP-D 2015 / Petra Schulte/Gerhard Liska: 360 Grad Feedback Group Report Individual statements are consolidated into the perspective of the team and the organization.
  4. 4. 2. From the perspective of the overall organization, the management is interested in a comparison of the production site in Germany and the site in Malaysia. Differences or shared features of leadership culture can be more strongly focused on here, which in turn leads to the question as to how company-wide leadership criteria are actually practiced at both sites. This creates a clear organizational awareness. The need for change becomes more evident. The strategic focus for HR work becomes more tangible. 3. As part of a program for executive development, the different executive levels, from top management downward, go through 360 Degree Feedback. In the process, the main emphases of the development and program are elaborated for every group, based on the respective target group. The direct involvement of the group is a vital, constructive part of the analysis. Thus it becomes clear that a 360 Degree Feedback Group Report is a meaningful tool for a wide range of questions. The approach essentially correlates different areas in the organization with regard to selected questions, and the data material is bundled accordingly. Method The typical procedure includes several steps as presented in the Figure below. A ‘normal’ 360 Degree Feedback project constitutes the basis. At the onset, during and after the implementation of the 360 Degree Feedback cycle, it is established whether there will be a Group Report and which result variables will be examined. A debriefing of the participants follows subsequent to the cycle of the 360 Degree Feedback for individuals. In tandem with this, the preparation and assessment of the Group Report can take place. This is carried out in close consultation with the management team/the HR Department of the customer, since the case examples show how broad the possible scope of application of a Group Report is. The definition of the Group Report includes the decision on any further use of the result and its possible interpretation as well as its communication. Two classic evaluation levels are defined target groups such as a specific team or the organization as such. For the preparation of the Group Report, different analysis focuses are set for the defined target group or the management of the organization – so-called analysis parameters which allow interpretations and hypotheses based on the consolidated data. In the next step, specific measures and points of action are inferred from the hypotheses that, depending on the extent of collaboration with the client, may lead to specific transfer packages. The concluding review phase serves for reflecting on the overall process. 4© USP-D 2015 / Petra Schulte/Gerhard Liska: 360 Grad Feedback Group Report Interconnected process steps support the targeted process of refeeding the results.
  5. 5. Figure 2: The process steps of a 360 Degree Feedback Group Report The following overview summarizes the core aspects of different Group Reports. Targets for the team, or the evaluated group (team level). Focus: Buildup of trust and commitment. Potential analysis, optimization of team performance and team culture, the identification of learning fields and causes of conflict, team development, the strengthening of internal and cross-team cooperation, interaction between performance and leadership. Targets for the organization Focus: Buildup of understanding and growth orientation. Boosting or establishing corporate culture, information about performance of the organization, strategic embedding of current and future management skills, planning of educational requirements, strengthening feedback culture. Target group: Top management, divisions and teams such as management teams, internal service units, staff units and company units. Indication: Implementation of company-wide competence criteria, check-up from a strategic HR perspective, comparison of different divisions/organizational units, implications from a strategic organizational development-oriented perspective. 5© USP-D 2015 / Petra Schulte/Gerhard Liska: 360 Grad Feedback Group Report
  6. 6. Formats: Cumulative feedback report, sorted at customer request by areas, regions, functions, positions, teams, responsibilities, based on company-specific 360 Degree Feedback questionnaires and performance criteria. What is the benefit of a 360 Degree Feedback Group Report? According to our experience, top management is interested in specific hypotheses, recommendations and suggestions for action. Columns of figures and colorful diagrams simply do not suffice for experienced managers who want to score big with sophisticated statistical data. A combination of both visualization possibilities – presented in an attractive and easily comprehensible manner – does much in a constructive way and is far more informative: Aggregated comparative tables and diagrams on the performance criteria, hypotheses in the form of charts, specific action plans and an assessment of effectiveness. The advantage of this lies in the fact that the numerical data support the hypotheses and interpretations in equal measure, thus making the validity more comprehensible. The direct linking of figures and hypotheses encourages managers to discuss feasible solutions. Figure 3: Example pages from a 360 Degree Feedback Group Report Over the course of the last few years, we interviewed our customers as to their views and the added value that the 360 Degree Feedback Group Report might bring. From their answers, we inferred the following core wishes: 6© USP-D 2015 / Petra Schulte/Gerhard Liska: 360 Grad Feedback Group Report The clear visualization helps with the development of hypotheses and the inference of suitable measures.
  7. 7. Management: Establishing performance criteria Identifying and recognizing mechanisms inhibiting success (strategy) Cooperation in the team/link to organizational development Improving leadership/management style Improving corporate culture Setting the industry benchmark HR: Aligning strategy to human capital management (HCM) Establishing performance criteria Identifying changes in the management style Linking individual leadership to team/organizational development Optimizing cooperation Setting the industry benchmark Management and HR are in agreement in their endeavor to achieve a close link between strategic and operational measures concerning the development of the organization and personnel. To sum up, the following benefits illustrating the usefulness and added value of a 360 Degree Feedback Group Report can be defined: Due to the analysis at the meta-level, aggregated results allow for a better understanding of the individual areas within the overall organization. Success-inhibiting mechanisms, which are often developed unconsciously, are identified. For HR, strategic control options open up in terms of parameters that impact the culture and affect success, such as leadership culture, feedback culture or the establishment of organization-wide success skills. Individual leadership performance is more sustainably linked to the development of the organization. Executives become more aware of their role as change agents. Processes of trust building, team development and identification within hierarchical leadership levels (management teams) are initiated. Culture-creating effect: The basis for culture campaigns, e.g. on the topics of trust or work climate. 7© USP-D 2015 / Petra Schulte/Gerhard Liska: 360 Grad Feedback Group Report
  8. 8. Conclusion Vital findings from the Group Reports compiled with us: The strategic purpose of the Group Report defines the points of comparison. For example: The company management places emphasis on different parameters than the HR department or other company representatives. The focus of the approach is customized to the customer’s needs. The Group Report should be evaluated and reported back only following the feedback discussions and team debriefings, otherwise it will influence the individual feedback processes, and the consultant would have to spend more time on separating the total picture from the individual results. Individual feedback recipients tend to qualify their own need for action against the background of the group result. On the level of the target group, Group Reports should always be read in anonymized form. Before the overall result is communicated, it has to be made clear who in the company should receive the Group Report, in which form he/she should receive it and how the result is communicated to the organization. How should follow-up measures that might be necessary be implemented? Once defined, these principles have to be consistently adhered to, because: Transparency provides orientation and creates trust. Follow-up measures have to be discussed in conjunction with the customer and be aligned to the organizational structure. The client (HR or company management) is glad to deal with hypotheses and recommendations. On a broader basis, only coordinated statements will be communicated, however. The best result is achieved if the target group concerned performs the analysis itself with support from the 360 Degree Feedback experts. Subsequently, it can be discussed with HR or the company management whether organizational measures are relevant beyond the level of the target group. Small-format Group Reports relating to specific target groups are more effective than reports with a larger organization-wide comparison: The respective target group will pay greater attention to the presentation of the report, and acceptance will be higher. In addition, the evaluation of the results of small-format Group Reports is more easily comprehensible. 8© USP-D 2015 / Petra Schulte/Gerhard Liska: 360 Grad Feedback Group Report Authors: Petra Schulte petra.schulte@usp-d.com Gerhard Liska gerhard.liska@usp-d.com USP-D Deutschland Consulting GmbH Moltkestraße 101 D-40479 Düsseldorf Tel. +49 (0)211 913 697 00 Fax +49 (0)211 913 697 10 office.duesseldorf@usp-d.com USP-D Consulting GmbH Winckelmannstraße 8/6+7 A-1150 Wien Tel. +43 (0)1 585 55 94 Fax +43 (0)1 585 62 26 office.wien@usp-d.com www.usp-d.com

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