Are you thinking about launching a 360-degree assessment? Implementation is relatively easy:

  1. Clarify what you want to assess – the competencies, behaviors, and skills associated with the jobs people perform
  2. Select the people you want to assess (feedback recipients) and those who will provide the feedback (responders)
  3. Buy or develop the assessment instrument (we advocate customized assessments but you can buy one off the shelf as well)
  4. Set up the process for responders to provide feedback using an online system
  5. Collect the feedback and deliver it to the participants
  6. Provide development solutions for addressing improvement needs based on feedback

Somewhere between step 4 and 5 there’s typically a lapse. Responders don’t take the time to respond, or they “lose” their login and password. Reminders get sent out, and then more reminders get sent out until you feel it’s like pulling teeth to get people to complete the assessments of their peers or direct reports. Typically, those who’ve been asked to give feedback will drag their feet because of:

  • Instrument problems: You’ve given them something to read and understand that they don’t have the time or inclination to read and understand. If the instrument is complex or technical, it will stop people in their tracks. (“Please select only one response and then select the value of that response. Mark only one response in each of the question sets.” Huh?)
  • Resistance problems: On the surface, people may say they want feedback and agree to participate in the process, but end up resisting in the end. Perhaps they’re afraid the assessment project will be somehow used against them, or they are disillusioned with flavor-of-the-month programs.
  • Priority problems: You may believe that assessment and feedback is a top priority, and it may indeed be the missing link in your ability to perform and excel as an organization. But when those involved are being told they have other priorities or feel that taking 30 minutes to complete an assessment is time that should spend on something elseā€¦the task flops over onto tomorrow’s (and next week’s) to-do list.

Whatever the reason, set up your project so that people are involved, interested, and informed from the start!

What problems do you experience when conducting assessments?