360 Degree Assessment Design
Design your 360 Assessment Carefully
For a more complete and detailed discussion on how to develop your own customized 360 assessment, see our article: Developing a 360 Feedback Strategy
Define Superior Performance - Identify Competencies and Expectations for your Organization: Work with the leaders of your organization to identify competencies which are expected of all employees. These competencies should be tied to your organization's core values, mission, and strategy. Work with the senior person or group in each department - not only will their input be valuable, but you will also get their buy-in which will be important to the success of your 360 feedback program.
Define Superior Performance - Differences by Level: If you are conducting 360 feedback at different levels in your organization, consider how the specific behaviors and requirements differ, depending on what level a person is at within the organization.
Define Superior Performance - Identify Position-Specific Competencies: We don't recommend creating a different 360 survey form for every position, but for a small number of key positions or functions, you might consider adding specific competencies that are required for successful job performance.
Compose Questions for each Competency: Start by working from our standard list of 360 survey items. If there are specific behaviors or skills that you want to measure that are not covered by one of our items, take time to compose effective questions for the competencies that you have identified. If you have never written survey questions before, consider doing some research on how to write effective questions or hire a consultant to help you. If your questions are not well written, the data you receive will not be as useful.
Quantitative versus Qualitative Data: It is important to collect both quantitative (numeric) and qualitative (comments) data. Numeric data will give you hard numbers that you can use to identify strengths and weaknesses. Comments will offer insights into specific issues that are often missed by quantitative data alone. Comments are often the most valuable part of the feedback process.
Pilot your Survey: Once you have written the questions/competencies for your survey, try filling out the survey as if you were rating a coworker that you know well. This is your chance to identify redundancy, confusing items, and missing competencies. You should also ask a small group of people to help you by doing the same exercise. You can include some extra items on the survey for the pilot respondents that ask them to comment on the survey itself. You should also include instructions that ask them to comment specifically on items that they find redundant or confusing and ask them if they think anything is missing from the survey.
Ready to Launch? Once you have gone through the above process, you are just about ready to launch your survey. But before you do, be sure to read the next article on 360 Deployment.