Good communication is the foundation of any successful relationship – personal or business. Working in a corporate environment – feeling enabled to give feedback to your peers, managers and direct reports freely – is essential.
MadeYou Think’s Luke Todd explains. “GO’s HR team came to MadeYou Think and invited me to work with them. They asked me to help them enable GO’s management team to be as agile, cohesive and effective as possible in an increasingly competitive environment.”
360° feedback for management
Luke continues: “GO brought me in to help them create a 360° feedback programme. This is the first stage of their journey towards enabling an embedded feedback culture within their company. The 360° assessment process will be the start of this transformation.”
A 360° feedback programme can also help a business or organisation to address issues such as:
- departments not working together properly with the consequence of them remaining in so-called ‘silos’;
- being organisationally slow to react when opportunities and / or challenges arise; and
- being reluctant to challenge the organisational communications status quo because it ‘has worked ok so far’.
The 360° feedback process typically involves someone receiving feedback on their performance from their managers, their peers and direct reports. This is via an online questionnaire which is completed individually by the feedback givers.
“The normal process is that each individual who is undergoing a 360° assessment also uses the standard 360° form to complete a process of self-assessment. But using this form yourself, I think, from an operational point of view, is completely useless. This is because the individual has the opportunity to ‘gamify’ it,” says Luke.
“What do I mean by this? For example, I am an extrovert, so a lot of my feedback is that I am too ‘out there’. If I wanted to gamify my 360° self-assessment, I’d present myself on the form as not an extrovert. So, the result of the assessment means that I am perceived in the way that I think my managers want to see me, and not how I really am.”
“As we are in a process of culture change at GO, we removed the central 360° self-assessment part. We replaced it with Gallup StrengthsFinder, MadeYou Think’s preferred tool for this type of work.”
Gallup StrengthsFinder concentrates on the positive attributes
“Gallup StrengthsFinder is at the heart of this process as it facilitates untainted feedback on an individual’s strengths,” says Luke.
Created by Donald O. Clifton, educational psychologist and head of Gallup, the opinion poll company, his revolutionary book Now Discover Your Talents was first published in 2001. Revolutionary because until then, psychometric testing had tended to concentrate on weak spots and not strengths.
This is what Nikhil Patil, GO Plc CEO, had to say,
“The 360° feedback process led by Luke Todd from MadeYou has been an instrumental step forward in our journey to change the feedback culture at GO. It has really provided valuable insights into personal, individual and collective strengths and consequently, where, as a team, we can improve our effectiveness to reach new personal and professional goals and strengthen relationships amongst the team. Luke organised and led a combination of individual and group tasks which worked really well for us. They provided ample opportunities to discuss the process at length, adequately preparing everyone for the next step in the programme. The process has worked great so far, the feedback has been very positive indeed and has certainly helped us take the first big steps in our culture transformation. I really look forward to continue working closely with Luke to implement this across the whole organisation.”
Facilitating culture change
Says Luke, “To start the process, all of GO’s 35 senior managers have just completed the StrengthsFinder questionnaire.”
“I then produced a profile for each of them and spent an hour with them individually reviewing the results. Going through their strengths, weaknesses, potential downfalls, how these can influence different situations, all these kind of things.
“What I like about StrengthsFinder is that every result is unique to the individual. Unlike, some other personality tests, it doesn’t put me in a box. It doesn’t just say I am a ‘red’, for example, or a ‘yellow’. It tells me who I am. And as a management coach, this makes me feel particularly empowered because it is so accurate and powerful. If someone reviews the results and says, ‘that’s not me’, I work with them to realign their profile.
“The next part of managing the change process involved a training day with GO’s eight-strong C-Level management team. We talked about the importance of peer-to-peer feedback, got them to do some communications-based exercises and played some fun games.
“All these exercises were feedback orientated and quite quickly, there was some really healthy dialogues about their teams. One point was that they have never discussed the performance of their direct reports between themselves as a peer group.
“I also sat down with the C-Level and talked about their StrengthsFinders results and those of their team members’. In other words, their direct reports – and discussed their respective strengths and weaknesses.
“It’s all about enabling GO’s C-Level managers to give their colleagues in SMT, the right kind of feedback. This is in terms of getting their performance to where they want it to be.
“The following day we repeated the session with GO’s 28-strong senior management team. The results were exactly the same.
“And on both days, participants brought the results of their StrengthsFinder assessments to share these with their colleagues. This enabled us to discuss the dynamics of the C-Level and SMT, during the sessions and have honest discussions..
“So that’s where we are at now. Every CO and SM have completed their Strengths Finder and are individually aware of their own strengths. Both teams are also aligned on the top strengths of each team and what each team needs to focus on. The next phase of the process is centred on the 360 feedback form. I’ve worked very closely with GO’s HR team to encourage participants to answer honestly. Each individual’s form will be completed by five colleagues: each participant’s manager, two peers and two subordinates.”
Watch this space for updates on the outcomes of this process and in the meantime you can contact Luke about how to plan and deliver your 360° process by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org