Custom 360 implementation process


HRO Shanghai recently implemented a customized 360 solution, and the whole process was accomplished in just 10 days. What is the secret of such efficiency?

In short, the key ingredient of that efficiency is the good cooperation with the Client. The base of such efficient cooperation is a shared belief that HR should serve business and should create ROI. HR solutions should be pragmatic, and should make the life of line managers easier. The project manager of the Client was an HR Business Partner who was not just carrying this name, but in fact acted as a business professional: dared to make decisions, dared to do something new, and made things happen. An HR professional who cared about ROI (not a person who's first and most dominant priority is to play it safe). The Client instead of requiring perfection (which doesn't exist when it comes to 360 surveys anyway), rather trusted that following the right principles and putting in the work, an iterative development process leads to better results.

This 360 was part of the leadership development program of the company for their junior and mid-level managers. The 360 customization project steps were: the Client HR had a discussion with the "project sponsor" line managers about the program objectives in detailed behavioral terms: What behaviors/phenomenons need to be changed? How does the problematic behavior look like? How does the good behavior look like? Then the Client used this list to customize the Corporation Leadership Competency Model of HRO (which is probably the shortest of such model, consisting only 28 behaviors). Yes, the Client did this important part of the work! This competency list was then reviewed by the questionnaire designer expert of HRO. The original words and expressions of the line managers have been kept as much as it was possible. A few loops of feedback, and the competency model was accomplished! The result is a model with 6 competencies and 30 behaviors - it is much shorter than most competency models around. (Why short is so important? Because at the end of the day, the validity of the 360 depends on the quality of the data it gathers. Long questionnaires frustrate people, and they don't have the time or energy to fill them properly.) Back to the project: after that HRO prepared the bilingual customized 360 online form, and it was tested first with one manager in the HR department. The first test was successful in terms of identifying strengths, improvement areas and collecting suggestions. In the same time, the HR department gathered all feedback from the participants, and this feedback was used to further improve some aspects of the solution (wording in the instructions, interfaces, report). This whole process described here was completed in just 10 days, including the user training for administering the 360 assessments (by administering the 360 by the HR department, the company saves a big time again).

Now the solution has been rolled out to twenty managers. The feedback from participant was very good, and the data showed that all items created good standard deviation. After the analysis, the solution will be rolled out to the next 20 managers, and so on. So instead of huge and speculative upfront work, the solution is simple, efficient, and continuously improved. It beats both in terms of effectiveness and ROI the traditional customization processes.