It probably hasn’t escaped your notice that there has been much comment recently about making workplaces more ‘human’. Most thinkers agree that appreciating people for their talents and uniqueness, rather than trying to shoehorn them into a role is the current best practice; ruling with command and control is old fashioned and ineffective.
You don’t need me to tell you this, you will have read about it or experienced it. This is no surprise. It’s a result of the changing ways we work – more knowledge working, much more need for innovation, more flexibility for ever changing technology, markets and economies.
There has also been debate recently about whether scoring people, as 360 questionnaire does, can be part of the way forward. Isn’t giving someone a score out of five reducing them to being just a number? It is a very good question, and one to be considered thoughtfully before you carry out any 360’s.
The one thing that most people agree on is that we thrive on feedback. We want to know how we are doing, and where we could do better. The question then becomes ‘How do we give – and get- good feedback?’ Of course regular open, honest discussions with line managers are critically important, but sometimes a broader picture is needed.
Think about it from the perspective of the respondents. An efficient, quick method of gathering feedback is needed. While they may be willing to contribute some free text, to cover the ground of a 360 report in sentences rather than scores would be a task of epic proportions. Online questionnaires using scores do give a relatively painless option for getting that data. It’s technology working well.
The art is integrating the results of the 360 report with treating people like, well….people. There may be those that will use the reports clumsily or unethically. Is that the fault of the report? Sounds like a bad workman blaming his tools to me. If we value our fellow humans, using a 360 report can be used to provide timely feedback and stimulate personal growth effectively.