Friday, January 30, 2009

360 Degree Feedback Month

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For the month of February, we will be running a series of articles on the topic of 360 Degree Feedback. We're kicking the series off today with the introduction to a Research Study that we recently conducted into the soundness and reliability of 360 Degree Feedback projects.

It only seems natural to start at the beginning: To define what a 360 Degree Feedback process is.

Best practice in 360 degree feedback
Results and experiences from practice

“The concept of 360 Feedback makes a lot of sense and, if used well, should have a great deal to offer. It seems to suit the move towards the less hierarchical, more flexibly structured an knowledge based organizations of the future” – Dr. Clive Fletcher 

Companies are shaped by the goals they have, the people they work with and the contemporary texture in which they are embedded. Several decades ago, organizations were modeled upon hierarchical frameworks which, inevitably, rendered a very clear and precise organizational model. With the wave of lean management came the toppling of organizational hierarchies and the installation of more interlaced, dynamic organizational settings focused upon cross functional and project based corporations. These new organizational settings have proven to be more conducive to a setting in which projects and goals arise and are tackled by team based structures rather than hierarchical ones. Within these new frameworks, team oriented goal setting flourished, in part, because of the dynamic relationship between managers and subordinates. These structures create a broader span of control for leaders making it indispensable for them to use more systematic leadership instruments like MBO processes and performance feedbacks. Besides the evaluation of productivity and the reaching of certain goals, the so called “social and networking skills” of employees gained a once unnoticeable relevance. It has been found that these, “social skills”, can be measured through 360 degree feedbacks. Behind this assertion lies the assumption that both personal and operative competencies contribute to the success of a manager and that these competencies are vibrant enough for assess

In the meantime there are a wide array of studies and experience reports proving the effectiveness of 360 degree feedbacks for both individuals and companies alike.

I: Definition: “What a 360 Degree Feedback really is”.

A 360 degree feedback is based on several opinions about the contributions and behavior of an employee as well as his or her own assessment through a structured procedure. A proper 360 demands that third party evaluations come from groups with a variety of relationships to the focus person: i.e. peers, managers, subordinates external suppliers and customers. The various viewpoints of the different feedback groups within 360 degree feedbacks contribute to comprehensive and authoritative results based on average values.
360 degree feedbacks are methodologically diverse and can, according to what is ultimately sought after, point to an equally diverse range of goals. Nevertheless, there is one guiding principal involved: good feedback should be precise and behavior focused and that focus should be value neutral. Assessments should yield positive change and depict relevant behavioral alternatives that the focus person can implement. Besides the goals deducted for the company setting, a good multi-perspective feedback instrument is especially instructive for the personal development of employees.

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In February, we will be putting up many more posts on this topic as part of our "360 Degree Feedback Month".

PLEASE NOTE: On February 20th 2009, the President and CEO of HR-Meter International, Christina Dietzsch-Kley, will be hosting an informative Webinar on the topic of 360 Degree Feedback implementation and follow-through. 

To attend this event or to request a copy of our 360 Degree Feedback study:

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Customized Knowledge Solutions

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It takes a long time for a method, application or technique to become "Best Practice". It has to circulate through the journals, get "workshopped" in the business schools, get implemented in the fortune 500's and then make its way to the trade shows in the form of keynote addresses and on and on until it reaches your desk. 

But what if you had a hint as to what the future "Best Practices" will be? What if you could listen in at the point between "the journals" and "the workshops"? Well, if you knew the right journals to check and you read through them, then you would be off to a good start. Or, maybe you have Lexis-Nexis business; that's a good start, too. But you also need the time to do this.

We now offer Customized Knowledge Solutions.

We hunt down the next "Best Practices" for you. We search ALL the relevant databases (not just Lexis-Nexis), we read and digest all the relevant journals, we have the time.

We have started to collect and structure knowledge on request. 

Here's how it works:

1) You give us a topic such as:
  • Leadership Learning
  • Leadership Training
  • Employee Assessments
  • Organizational Commitment
  • Talent Management
  • Employee Relations
  • Employee Confidence
  • Executive Talent
  • Innovative Talent
  • Leader Member Exchange
  • Performance Management
  • Organizational Engagement
  • Work Group Integration
  • Whatever you want…
2) We RESEARCH that topic in depth, picking through databases like:
  • Academic Search Premiere
  • Lexis-Nexis Business
  • Lexis-Nexis Academic
  • JStore
  • PubMed
  • PsycINFO
  • PsycPUB
  • Web of Science
  • WorldCat
  • ProQuest
4) These databases search through thousands of relevant journals such as:
  • Educational Management Administration & Leadership
  • Journal of Information Science
  • Social Studies
  • Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization
  • Theory into Practice
  • Economist
  • Social Indicators Research
  • Leader to Leader
  • Journal of Psychology
  • Behavior Modification
  • Expert Systems with Applications
  • Workforce Management
  • Journal of Applied Psychology
  • Behavior Modification
  • Expert Systems with Applications
  • Workforce Management
  • Gender, Work & Organization
  • T + D
  • And thousands more...
4) We read and digest the most relevant journal articles from the most relevant journals and prepare for you the following:
  • The Abstracts from several relevant articles
  • A comprehensive digest of article "take aways"
  • Information on how to obtain the full articles
  • Information on the availability of managerial techniques relevant to the article topics
  • Information on how to implement existing or non-existing techniques, tools, etc on the basis of this new knowledge.
  • Insight into the future "Best Practices"

For more information on Customized Knowledge Solutions, or to perform a trial "search", please send us an e-mail to ""

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Crisis of Confidence: Averted

Morale is low in a lot of workplaces. Employees are worried about losing their jobs. They are wondering if the good, hard work they are doing is being noticed by managers. Managers, are worried about numbers (sales, leads, budgets, etc) and are not particularly worried about their employees... That is worrisome.

It's funny how, in times like these, the hierarchy gets magnified. Everyone looks up. All eyes to the top. When you see the eyes going up, you can bet the morale is going down.

But managers can do a lot to get their employees eyes focused back on their work by instilling some confidence. Remember, your employees want to know that the work they are doing is being noticed because their fear is, that if it isn't, then neither are they. And if they aren't being noticed, then they are just a drain in the budget and their time is limited.

So, at a minimum, take a moment to recognize the work that your employees are doing. Even better, do a survey to find out what is important to them right now. Ask them questions. When your employees see that you are interested, they will feel more motivated and less worried and their eyes will look down and refocus.

It's only a crisis because we call it a crisis. So, it's a crisis of confidence.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Benefits Installments

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We've been toying with the idea of adding a regular "Benefits Installment". That is, we have been considering broadening our topics of reflection to include regular discussions of employee benefits. This is an HR blog and we feel that it's quality and utility could improve from this kind of expansion.

Now, HR-Meter does not do any work in the field of employee benefits and, so, HR-Meter will not be writing such an installment. Rather, in the spirit of our recent upgrades, we will rely on guest 
authors with significant employee benefits experience to write our "Benefits Installment".

It is our hope that our readers will find these installments interesting and valuable.