"Evolution of your assessment process is key. The capability framework itself should be designed so that it can evolve over time without significant redesign in-between assessment processes..."
A 360-degree feedback assessment is a great point in time capture of feedback. If used effectively, it can lead to effective change management over time, particularly if supported by learning interventions and development programs.
But if 360s are a good way to gather feedback at a single point in time, what options do we have to support it and gather feedback over a continuous period of time?
Complementary to the development interventions available to participants at the end of an assessment process, an incredibly helpful process to support the development of that individual may be the use of pulse surveys. Pulses are consistent, short, easy to complete assessments featuring only behavioural indicators and competencies selected by the individual to support their development plan.
A participant might add certain competencies to a development plan, and opt to respond to specific behaviours from that competency on a frequency of their choosing. They should have the ability to do this a self-reflection, or may choose to receive feedback from others around them as well. Pulse surveys should only consist of specific areas that the individual wants to develop.
By their nature, pulses are sent anywhere between weekly and monthly to a user, depending on how frequently they want to measure their change in conjunction with their development plan. Due to their frequency, users should be much more select about who they receive feedback from. It may be entirely unreasonable to ask certain raters to complete an assessment weekly in response to someone’s level of capability, even if it is a significantly shorter survey.
The key benefit of pulse surveys is that they help users think through what activities and behavioural changes are effective in the development of their capabilities, and due to ongoing feedback, reinforce positive habits. It is also a very visual short process, quick to complete. If done correctly, allow a participant and their manager to view the original scores and compare them against current perception of capability.
"At an organisational level, data insights can show group change in capability levels and this can assist in understanding and measuring the effects of learning on the target audience..."
There should be a plan from assessment to assessment, and the reassessment process should be clearly considered during the initial project communications, so that participants know that this is an ongoing process.
Evolution of your assessment process is key. The capability framework itself should be designed so that it can evolve over time without significant redesign in-between assessment processes. We are often asked how frequently one should be reassessed. Our opinion is between 12 and 16 months post initial assessment. This gives you a fair amount of time to assess, create a development plan, execute that plan and prepare for a reassessment. This will also give you the opportunity to identify change in level of capability and adjust your development interventions accordingly.
Successful reassessment projects also provide reports that allow users to see change in their levels of proficiency over time, ideally showing percentage change at a capability or individual statement level. At an organisational level, data insights can then show group change in capability levels and this can assist in understanding and measuring the effects of learning on the target audience.
Whilst reassessment every 12 to 16 months is ideal - a full reassessment, particularly if it’s a 360-degree process which has a greater impact on the organisation, may not always be practical due to timing, organisational change, or budgets.
Team surveys are a way of tracking not just the individual behavioural change of everyone within a particular team, but also if that change and the programs surrounding competency assessment is also leading to a change in wider culture and behaviour. Team surveys can be completed in a pulse survey format, and are most effectively used when they compare the data against culture, value, or engagement indices.