Monday, February 21, 2011

360 Degree Reviews

I got good feedback from my interview questions blog so I thought I would continue in the vein of HR. Clearly the most critical thing for any business is staff. In most cases it is the biggest line on the P and L. One way to keep HR on track is with reviews The way I do that is to send an email to everyone who interact with the person being reviewed asking for 3 things they are great at and anything they could use coaching on. I then cut and paste that into a review. This has huge impact because the person often hears similar feedback many times (and usually it is highly positive).

In some cases, I filter it a bit (usually only the coaching points). Tact is key in a review. People only are as open to coaching as they choose to be. The manager or leader can increase receptivity by sharing the good as well as any coaching suggestions.

I am not sure why so many reviewers seem to focus on the bad and not see the good. By definition, if the person still has a job with the company, they are likely good. So tell them.

We want high self esteem people.

Of course I do not think reviews should be "saved up" for once per year. Feedback should be continual.

Should reviews be done all at the same time of year? The advantage to this is the psychological outlook of the reviewer is the same. They will be equally impacted for all by recent sales, profits etc. The challenge to doing them all at once is they can become "something to just get off the list" and that can make for shallow and not useful reviews.

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I read "Conversations for Change - 12 Ways to Say it Right When It Matters Most" by Shawn Kent Hayashi. As with many books, the title almost says it all (without giving away the real meat)

It has things like "phrases to get started", "tips for being a great communicator" and even "sample scripts and scenarios".

Part one covered the foundations. EQ, Vision and Communication Styles.

Part two goes on to cover the 12 Conversations. The background from part one guided the reader into which conversation should be had.

One sample conversation was chapter 11 - Conversation for Conflict Resolution. It talks about the different types of conflict. How to recognize conflict. What happens if conflicts are not dealt with (thus raising the need to deal with conflict) Then it gets into how to actually deal with the conflict.

Great quote "The first man to raise his fist is the first man who ran out of ideas" H. G. Wells

Parts of it reminds me of an article I wrote on dealing with difficult people.

Communication is key in any company. When I ran SYNNEX Canada and even EMJ, I had a lot of staff in various locations. I would spend time crafting a perfect positioning or vision statement for the company. I would email our goals, I would say them in speeches, by teleconference and try to cover them whenever I could in person.

It was still a challenge to get to everyone and make sure they "got" the message. So I recently invested in a company called Sparkologee that really helps with one to many communication. Watch a short video (or read a PDF or email), do a short quiz and if desired, get a reward. Knowing there will be a quiz increases the comprehension. Well designed questions can also focus people on what the important message is. Makes sure people get the message.

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